kshandra: Graffiti of hands ripping open a dress shirt, Superman fashion, to reveal the word FAIL (FAIL)
[personal profile] kshandra
Write-up courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire:

The setup of the movie is thus: four magicians, all of whom are awesome in their solo acts, are Recruited To Do Something. This isn't a spoiler; it's the premise, which leads to them teaming up and being awesome and also robbing banks and shit (all in the trailers). We have a mentalist, a classic slight-of-hand trickster, an escape artist, and a pickpocket/misdirectionist. As they start to do their shit, they are pursued by an FBI agent, an Interpol agent, a professional debunker, and a dude who got robbed.

Of the characters listed above, two are female. They never speak to each other. No, never. No, not even then. There are two secondary female characters, who also never speak to each other (one is there purely to be a pretty status symbol). The female magician is the only one who never gets an awesome moment where her field of magic, her specialization is both key to the plan and saves the day. Literally the first thing one of the other magicians says to her is "you're pretty."


More at the link.
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.
kareila: a view of the moon from Earth orbit (moonrise)
[personal profile] kareila
The Tom Cruise character has a female partner, Victoria or "Vicka". Their supervisor appears to be a woman named Sally, who communicates exclusively with Vicka over a video link from an orbiting space station. They discuss the mission assignments and related requests.

Later in the movie, they rescue a woman named Julia who has been in deep sleep for sixty years. Vicka and Julia have a couple of scenes together where they discuss the events that led to their current situation.
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.

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.
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.
noblealice: iris west against a pink background with hearts (Default)
[personal profile] noblealice
In Time is a futuristic world where time has become currency. While I really liked the movie, and there were many female characters with names, they never speak to one another.

spoilers )

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.
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. :)
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[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.

Whip It

Apr. 11th, 2010 08:25 am
briarwood: (Alias Abduction)
[personal profile] briarwood
I saw Whip It yesterday and it's a mega pass. All about women's roller derby, it stars Ellen Page as Bliss aka Babe Ruthless, a small town girl, veteran of numerous beauty pagents courtesy of her mother's obsession who becomes a star of the local roller derby scene. Women majorly outnumber men in this movie, and they all have names! And real personalities! And real conversations! Conversations about sport, and college and money and each other and family...and yeah, sure, about boys, too, but mostly not.

It's a pretty good film, too. I have a fondness for the whole coming-of-age-movie trope, so I'm a little biased, but I really enjoyed it. The relationships Bliss has with her friends and family have real depth. The rivalry between teams works well, though the more personal rivalry between Bliss and Iron Maven felt a bit contrived. There's a central love interest, too, which ironically has less depth, but I liked the way that played out: he was important, but never central to Bliss' life. The one black mark on the film is that despite the mega-pass and the underlying girl-power theme, the movie still manages to leave an impression that the women can only succeed through the intervention of men: the male coach (would it have been so hard to put a woman in that role?) and the inevitable fatherly support which enables Bliss to skate in the final match.

A great movie!
ar: "It's a lot easier to tell the truth usually." - Elliott Smith (temrer - the chinese celestial dragoncat)
[personal profile] ar
How to Train Your Dragon has two supporting female characters: Astrid, the love interest, and Ruffnut, one of the comic relief characters. Despite the fact that they are both in dragon fighting classes together, I can't recall a single instance in which they ever speak to each other. Astrid speaks almost solely to the hero, Hiccup, and Ruffnut to her male twin brother, Tuffnut. The film is very much a horse-and-his-boy story, substituting "dragon" for "horse;" what dialogue doesn't involve Hiccup in some way isn't very substantial, no matter who's saying it.

That said, I personally found the film enjoyable despite the fact that it fails the Bechdel Test at rule 2, and I hold out hope that if it does well enough to garner sequels, future movies might be Bechdel passes.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
[personal profile] holyschist
The new one: passes very well!

Alice is very much the central character (Mad Hatter ads to the contrary), and most of her conversations in the movie are with the Red Queen (antagonist) and the White Queen (helper)*. Conversations with her mother and sister did focus a lot on marriage, although Alice tried to talk about her own, non-man-centered wishes for her future. The White Queen and the Red Queen also had a conversation that had nothing to do with men.

(I actually felt kind of lukewarm about the movie overall, but did love that Alice was the center of it and an active protagonist who never lost sight of her own desires even when other people tried to project theirs onto her.)

*They did have names, but were mostly referred to by their titles.
valtyr: (Wanda)
[personal profile] valtyr
The Princess and the Frog has four named female characters that I recall - Tiana, the heroine, Eudora, her mother, Lottie, her best friend, and Mama Odie, a vaudaun priestess who lives in the swamp.

Tiana talks to all three other women, and Eudora and Lottie also talk briefly. Tiana and Eudora talk about Tiana's dreams and ambitions, Tiana and Lottie primarily talk about men but touch on other topics, and Tiana and Mama Odie talk about Tiana's ambition and turning Tiana from a frog to a human. Eudora and Lottie talk about fairytales, and Lottie's long-suffering cat. So this film passes easily.

I also appreciated the friendship between Lottie and Tiana; Lottie is clearly horrendously spoiled, but she also has a sweet nature. Once or twice I winced, expecting her to throw a tantrum at Tiana, but no, when Tiana makes a terrible mess at Lottie's dream party, Lottie's response is to cluck over her and whisk her away to put on one of Lottie's own dresses, and late in the movie when Lottie is disappointed greatly, she only looked sad for a moment before throwing herself whole-heartedly into Tiana's cause. Likewise, though Tiana is confused by Lottie's ambitions, she's supportive and doesn't think less of her for them. This is an awesome female friendship.


Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:28 pm
kareila: "Are we having fun yet?" Starbuck grins. (funyet)
[personal profile] kareila
Avatar passes, barely! There are many women (human and otherwise) who talk about many things, but the primary female-to-female interaction consists of discussions concerning the primary male character. However, I'm recalling enough the-world-is-in-peril dialogue to squeak it through.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Spoilers below. If you go see this movie, don't go seeing it under the illusion that it's likely to pass the test. This is an action movie about the original detective buddy pair, set in London of the late 1800s, so it failing the test is unsurprising.

I mentioned spoilers, right? )
esoterrica: (BSG - Starbuck - Badass)
[personal profile] esoterrica
Sunshine Cleaning passes. The leading lady even ends up single in the end and is still happy. Be still my heart!