watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)
[personal profile] watersword
Gretta (Keira Knightley) and Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) discuss Violet's clothing choices and what they say about her, deciding to go shopping together, although the conversation begins with them discussing the boy that Violet has a crush on, and is mostly focused on clothing as a marker of sexual availability. Later, they say goodbye to each other after a party, and Violet thanks Gretta for her kindness.

Longer, more fannish review with spoilers at my journal.
lilacsigil: Ororo/Storm face close-up (Storm)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
X-Men: Days of Future Past involves a lot of men talking to other men about each other and about a woman, Mystique. The movie does technically pass (a scene where Mystique has a discussion with a female nurse about being a mutant), but it may also pass on another scene where Mystique has shape-shifted into a male character and talks to his female personal assistant about a number of different things. Does it count if one of the female characters is temporarily presenting as male and is played by a male actor?

Not a lot of women in the film - SPOILERS under cut )
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
Yet another technical pass for the Iron Man franchise, which at least puts it ahead of the Avengers movie, but way behind Thor.

In the first movie, Pepper briefly speaks to Christine Everhart about her job, then talks about Tony.
In the second movie, Pepper briefly speaks to Natalie Rushman (on two occasions) about their work and about imminent danger, then talks about or to Tony.
In the third movie, Pepper briefly speaks to Dr. Maya Hansen about science...then talks about Tony!

Yes, Tony Stark is the main character, and the vast majority of conversations in the movie are with or about him, but there are several scenes involving conversations between two characters whose gender is not relevant to the plot, and all of them involve at least one male character.

While the movie is definitely worth watching for fans of Pepper, it's barely even a technical pass.
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
There are several named female characters in this movie, and they have a few brief exchanges with each other that aren't about guys - pizza in one case, a missing girl in another. Overall, though, the movie is about the male characters. None of the characters are really fleshed out with any depth, but the Obligatory Girlfriend to the lead gets a decent amount of screentime and is reasonably active, and the male lead's mother has a surprisingly large role, and is a competent cop.

The movie was muddled and messy, and inconsistent on several minor plot details. There's also a subplot about filming underage girls in locker rooms and bedrooms. I don't recommend it.

ALSO A CHARACTER IS SAID TO BE THE DEVIL BECAUSE HIS NAME IS LOUIS WHICH SOUNDS A BIT LIKE LUCIFER.
lilacsigil: Joan Watson, caption "Watson the Detective" (Watson the Detective)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
I really enjoy Elementary and Joan Watson is an awesome character. That said, the show is continuing to scrape technical passes by the skin of its teeth in about half the episodes, and the other half it fails.

Technical passes: Episodes 1 (Watson speaks to a victim about how she's recovering), 2 (Watson speaks to a suspect about her sister), 5, 10 and 11 (see below), 12 and 13 (Watson speaks to her therapist, mostly but not entirely about Holmes). The rest are fails.

Episodes 5, 10 and 11 are a bit better. Watson has three detailed conversations with former friend and colleague Dr Carrie Dwyer about a female patient. In Episode 10 Watson speaks to her mother three times about her job, though Holmes dominates the second conversation. In Episode 11, Watson counsels a teenage girl whose mother has been murdered and they speak at length about the mother and about the girl's college plans. None of them are what I would call a mega-pass, though.

This show is in desperate need of more female characters, though the few it has it generally treats quite well. Victims of the week are as likely to be male as female, neither are sexed up (with the possible exception of the very first episode) and crimes are rarely glamourised.
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
This movie only gets a technical pass for some micro exchanges, but that's partly because of the mockumentary format. The movie is a 'documentary' about the events following a teenage girl's death by drowning. There's a combination of 'found footage' and people being interviewed. (The interviewer is male.)

But I think it's worth noting that Alice, the drowned girl, is a real and vivid presence, and the whole movie is characters talking about her and who she was, in particular her mother, who talks about her relationship with her own mother. There are plenty of women in this movie talking about women, and how they interact.

The movie as a whole is twisty and fascinating, very atmospheric and with a really well-done ending. I found the first ten minutes or so dragged a little, but then I was sucked in. I highly recommend this movie, and don't switch off as soon as the credits start!
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
Scrapes a pass when Irma the diner owner offers one of the female leads a glass of water and she accepts. The two female leads talk primarily to the male characters, and about them when they talk to each other.

In a movie full of people acting stupidly and pointlessly, a female character gets the best scene of competence and genuine heroism, but there's not a lot of competition. This is by-the-numbers schlock that I can't recommend from any angle, expect perhaps an entire monologue of clichés. Five in a row! Impressive.
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.
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.
esoterrica: (Default)
[personal profile] esoterrica
Iron Man 2 passes, barely. Technically. Maybe? I think Pepper and Natalie talk about schedules and paperwork when Pepper is running out the door to do CEO things. Please pipe up if I misremembered the scene! I don’t remember more than a couple of scenes where they were together and even had the chance to talk about something other than Tony. As the entire movie is dedicated to worshipping Tony in his "impenetrable iron-dong costume" this is not surprising.

The first Iron Man is also a technical pass--Christine Everhart and Pepper exchange two (seriously, one each) sentences that are not about Tony at the beginning of the film.
valtyr: (Sue Storm)
[personal profile] valtyr
Clash of the Titans actually squeaks a pass, surprisingly. It has five named female characters (six if you count Medusa), Marmara, Danae, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Io.

mild spoilers )

Overall, though, it's an incoherent sausagefest. The female characters aren't terrible - they have a certain amount of agency - but they're very clearly secondary to the hijinks of man and God. (Male Gods.)