'Sex and the City 2' trailer boogaloo

Posted at 7:30 AM Apr 15, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

We knew this already: Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are headed to Abu Dhabi, and they will be wearing ridiculous clothing, drinking champagne and talking about men. But a new Sex and the City 2 trailer was released last Thursday, cluing us in to all kinds of additional spoilers and happenings in the lives of the girls.

"What happens after you say 'I do'?" Carrie asks in the new trailer. To which I reply, "In what universe am I meant to be interested in Sex and the City answering that question for me?"

Read more 'Sex and the City... >>

Do rom-coms make us crazy?

Posted at 2:00 PM Apr 08, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Last night, I settled in with a giant cheese plate and a glass of Franzia (Sunset Blush, natch) to watch some Insta-Netflix. Lucky for me--or so I thought--the Ryan Reynolds-Sandra Bullock rom-com The Proposal was available, and I settled in for what I hoped would be copious shots of Reynolds with his shirt off.

Sadly, the shirtless Reynolds shots were less than copious. But the crazy I was driven by this one single romantic comedy was extensive. At the end of the film, I found myself both bawling and feminist-furious: the movie's romantic logic made absolutely no sense, yet I was pissed off that this nonsensical bullshit romance was not present in my own life. Why was I, as a thinking feminist lady, so nutballed by this stupid, stupid film?

There seems to have been a lot of feminist rom-com pooh-poohing going on on the ladyt00bz of late, and so after watching The Proposal, I couldn't help but wonder: do rom-coms make us crazy?

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Would you watch a gender-neutral Oscars?

Posted at 1:24 PM Feb 18, 2010

By Andrea Grimes


Today on NPR.com, Bob Mondello wonders if we should make the Oscars gender-neutral. As in, should we put men and women on the same emotive playing field in the acting categories?

Nobody separates best director from best directress (directrix?), or best editor from best editress, so why best actor and best actress? Combine them, and let the best "performer" win.

Seriously. Colin Firth versus George Clooney isn't half as intriguing a match-up as the brawl of-the-drawls you'd get if The Blind Side's Sandra Bullock were allowed to compete with Crazy Heart's Jeff Bridges. Imagine Meryl Streep's Julia Child going up against Morgan Freeman's Nelson Mandela -- now that'd be a contest.

The answer to his question (yes) seems a little obvious to me, but I'm not exactly what you'd call a movie buff. (Give me good television, or give me death!) I feel the same way about the Oscars as I do about Olympic curling--I'm not all that interested, but all the same, I can't really think of the point of separating male and female competitors. Mondello, however, predicts some resistance to his plea:

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Things women love, according to the 'Leap Year' movie trailer

Posted at 10:26 AM Jan 07, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

I've been addicted to the Scrabble-impersonating iPhone app Words With Friends for the past several days, and while I really like it, I don't like that it forces me to watch ads for Leap Year, the wacky new romantic comedy starring Amy Adams and that guy from Damages and some foreign dude or something. It's hard to think about words that have "Q" that don't have "U" when you're facepalming every other minute. (Yeah, I could buy the app without the ads, but that requires money. Who pays money for things?)

There are many things to learn from this trailer. Men, take note. This is what women want:

Read more Things women love,... >>

'SATC2' getting "Carried away" with the bling

Posted at 12:30 PM Jan 04, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

I am a pretty serious fan of Sex and the City, even as I am aware of its many white-centric, queer-stereotyping, consumerist issues. Regardless, I believe the show did a lot for opening up a conversation about female sexuality and the different kinds of relationships women want and have. I remain consistently entertained by it.

However, the bling-tastic, brand-blow-job bullshit that seems to have totally overtaken the films is kind of killing me. There was a lot of designer worship in the series, but the movies have taken this crap to a whole new level. Yes, Carrie was fashion-conscious on television, but she was also broke sometimes and lived in a studio apartment. I'm not sure I even want to try to identify with her as a globe-trotting, penthouse-dwelling lady these days.

I don't begrudge Carrie the success, but I am irritated by the emphasis on its money- and class-oriented advantages, as seen here in the new film's trailer:

(And for the record ... #TeamAidan right here.)

Women we would rather see in Pride And Prejudice and Zombies

Posted at 9:20 AM Dec 11, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


Natalie Portman is set to star in the film adaptation of a zombie-filled adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I speak, of course, of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. According to Variety:

Given Natalie Portman's elegant demeanor, a turn in a period Jane Austen adaptation was inevitable. Portman will star in and produce "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," a film that is based on the bestselling book written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Austen. Lionsgate will finance and distribute. Quirk Books published the tome.

Though Austen's name is on the book, Grahame-Smith took the liberty of adding bloodthirsty flesh-eating zombies to the mix.
I would be more inclined to describe Portman's demeanor as "rape apologist," but fine, I guess I'll take "elegant." (Remember kids, meat is rape!) Anyway, I was more than disappointed with Portman's lame-ass period attempt in The Other Boleyn Girl, and can think of some women I would way rather see slay zombies in empire-waisted gowns:

Read more Women we would rather... >>

Shoot me now, 'cause Diablo Cody is writing the Sweet Valley High movie

Posted at 11:24 AM Sep 23, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


The crazy bitch has the run of the realm. Diablo Cody is penning a Sweet Valley High feature film.

I'm not calling Diablo Cody the crazy bitch. Not knowing her, I can't attest either to her mental state or her demeanor. But I do know that if it's crazy bitches you want, Diablo Cody has cornered the market on providing them. Her female characters range from mainly bitchy (Jennifer's Body) to mainly crazy (United States of Tara) to equal parts bitchy and crazy (Juno). So, maybe it's no wonder she'll be working on Sweet Valley, a series containing a thoroughly '80s crazy bitch, Jessica Wakefield. If it's an intriguing, engaging, non-crazy bitch female character you're looking for, don't tap Diablo Cody. (There's a joke here to be made about a one-trick pony and how much Cody's name sounds like that of a racehorse, and I am too classy to make it. Almost.)

I don't mind the odd crazy bitch, but "bitchy" and "crazy" are possibly two of the most tired female stereotypes in pop culture today--or ever. I'll be ecstatic when we can move on to a world of female characters who are neither of, or at the very least not mostly, these two things. (Leading the way: Mad Men, 30 Rock, Dexter.) Add to this that Cody's main claim to fame is that she used to be a stripper, and you've pretty much got the ultimate lady stereotype trifecta. 

Over at Jezebel, Dodai is actually enthused about the Sweet Valley development:

Read more Shoot me now, 'cause... >>

Zombie Girl wants to eat your brains, make an awesome movie

Posted at 4:25 PM Aug 14, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


Today Urlesque brings us a link to Zombie Girl, a docu-indie about a 12-year-old Austin girl named Emily Hagins who's making a zombie movie. We're not talking about a little five-minute Handicam flick. Her mom's on the crew, her dad's in the cast, and they are clearly their daughter's biggest fans. Here's the trailer:

The entire documentary is an hour and a half long and is worth watching even if you just skim through periodically during your work day to catch the hijinx, including an awesome awkward scene where she asks her hot boy neighbor to be in the film.

I'm pretty sure we should let Emily do the next Twilight.

Ellen Page returns as sassy outcast

Posted at 2:43 PM Jul 15, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

If you've been in Sassy Outsider Teen withdrawal since Juno, know that your fix is coming in October when Whip It, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut starring none other than Ellen Page, opens in theaters. The trailer's just out:

Reasons to be pessimistic: didn't this miss the roller derby train by about five years? Also, is that overly clever, back-patting dialogue I hear?

Reasons to be optimistic: there's no "redeeming" romance featured heavily in the trailer! Could this be a "makeover" movie that isn't about becoming super-prepster, a mean girl or Cinderella? Also, Kristen Wiig! And Austin, Texas!

A troubling documentary about teen modeling

Posted at 1:15 PM Jun 10, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

When I was in junior high school, there was a girl in our class who was, supposedly, a model. She would bring her photos to the lunchroom and show them off: there she was, reclining in black and white, in a field and wearing a low-cut shirt, embodying whatever some suburban "fashion photographer" imagined as the Calvin Klein heroin chic look. Yes, we were plenty jealous of her, but we were also a little disturbed: we weren't having sex, but here she was, being sexy.

A new documentary about the teen modeling industry, Picture Me, is now appearing in film festivals. The film's director and former model Sara Ziff gave an eye-opening interview to The Guardian last weekend:

Sara Ziff was 14 when she first began modelling. Her third casting was in the East Village in New York. "We had to go in one by one. The photographer said he wanted to see me without my shirt on. Then he told me that it was still hard to imagine me for the story so could I take my trousers off. I was standing there in a pair of Mickey Mouse knickers and a sports bra. I didn't even have breasts yet. 'We might need to see you without your bra,' he told me. It was like he was a shark circling me, walking around and around, looking me up and down without saying anything. I did what he told me to. I was just eager to be liked and get the job. I didn't know any better." Teenage girls, she says, are being persuaded to pose in a sexual way when they don't even know what it means yet.

As a model, Ziff earned hundreds of thousands of dollars--more than her parents--and was taking women's studies courses at college while modeling. Intellectual disconnect, much? But still, the money didn't translate to power:

"The irony is that the women in Picture Me may be earning large amounts of money - Schell laughingly recalls piles of cash like you see in movie scenes - but they seem to have little power over their lives. "You become this living doll," says Ziff. Every decision is made by someone else. They remain somehow like the girls they were when they first entered the profession, encouraged not to think about their futures, anxious to remain the same body shape they were when they were teenagers.

Ziff is now 27 and a student at Cornell. Here's the trailer:

Picture Me Trailer

Whither the non-princess heroines?

Posted at 10:30 AM Jun 08, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

I haven't seen Pixar's latest adorable jaunt into adorable jaunts, Up, but word on the street is that it's yet another excellent Pixar product. And it comes from a long line of excellent Pixar products, with Toy Story and Ratatouille being two particular favorites of this Doll's. Everyone loves Pixar. But that doesn't mean the ladies don't want a little more from them. NPR's Linda Holmes says what many a film-going girl has wondered over the years: where are the girls like me on screen?

In an open letter to Pixar, Holmes makes a simple plea: "Please, please make one about a girl who isn't a princess."

I don't like to make movies political, especially kids' movies, if I can help it. Sometimes a princess is just a princess and should be taken as such.

At the same time, little Russell, in Up, is Asian-American, right? And that's not a big plot point; presumably, he just is because there's no particular reason he shouldn't be. You don't need him to be, but you don't need him not to be, either. It's not politics; it's just seeing the whole big world.

Well, the whole big world has a lot of little girls in it, too. And not all of them are princesses -- and the ones who are princesses have plenty of movies to watch.

Holmes makes a great point, here. There's nothing wrong with princess movies. But can't we give little girls another narrative? Kids who consume popular culture use films like Up as take-off points for their own imaginative play; don't we owe it to little girls to give them a character besides "princess," however spunky and self-sufficient said princess might be?

Angelina banned in Britain

Posted at 3:01 PM Mar 20, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

Damn you, England! Sometimes you are so, so awesome, and then sometimes, you do weird things like ban movie ads for "glamorising violence." I see that sexy little "s" you put in "glamorizing," England, and I am not swayed. You cannot use your cute spelling to talk me out of giving the (big, American) single finger to censorship. And that is the last time I will ever refer with pride to my big, American anything. Hold on, I'm gonna go give some money to the ACLU or something.

Sigh, not that Wanted is any kind of movie I'd ever want to be on the defensive side of. I'm not even sure Johnnie Cochran wants to take up that case. What in the world could one say? Well, Universal Pictures knows, and they wasted no time in playing the misogyny card against the UK's Advertising Standards Authority:

Universal Pictures was told the advert must not be broadcast again in its current form. But the studio hit back and said "some people did not like to see a woman in a strong lead role."

Ooohoo! Well played, Universal. Their argument: a movie with a bunch of dudes shootin' it up is just fine, but put a gun in a lady's hand--especially Jolie's hands--and suddenly everything's out of control. I would be touched by their dedication to feminism if they weren't blatantly trying to sell films. (Also, dear Universal, this kind of weakens your argument about strong female leads. But then again, you also produced Serenity. Ahhhh, brainsplode!) There was also a problem with some of the language in the ad:

Universal said the line "the coolest movie of the year" had been used in other adverts that included guns and high speed chases, without complaint.

I think this gets to the very heart of the problem. The coolest movie of the year: the superlative means there can be only one! Time to duke it out, 2008 action films. First up: Wanted vs. ... Get Smart? Oh, dear. Hold on to your wacky personality, Steve Carell!

Watch the banned ad after the cut ...

Read more Angelina banned... >>

Dakota Fanning to play Jane in New Moon

Posted at 1:00 PM Mar 09, 2009

By Sharon Steel

It's officially official: 15-year-old Dakota Fanning is joining the cast of New Moon as Jane, the super-creepy, angelically pretty, completely lethal vampire twin who works for the Volturi.

According to People, New Moon is set to start filming in Vancouver later on this month, and Summit Entertainment plans to set the Twilight sequel lose in theaters this November. We're pleased with this recent casting development. And to add to our renewed sense of confidence in the production, Nikki Reed, who will reprise her role as Rosalie Hale, even had a few good words to say about the director switch: "(Director) Chris Weitz is amazing and I think it's going to be wonderful."

We sincerely want to believe she isn't just saying that, although spending the next six months or so in blissful Twilight 2 denial wouldn't be such a bad thing. Especially since the possibility of Drew Barrymore taking the director's chair for Eclipse still exists.

[Image via Flickr]

Oscar speeches made by women: do, or don't?

Posted at 1:33 PM Feb 19, 2009

By Sharon Steel

Remember the hubbub surrounding Kate Winslet's tearful Golden Globe acceptance speeches, which seemed to infuriate and personally offend many members of the British press? With the Academy Awards looming, The Daily Beast has kindly assembled a guide of dos and don'ts in hopes the honored celebrities will take heed and behave correctly:

"I wish the nominees would at least prepare," says LeeAundra Temescu, a Los Angeles-based political-speech analyst who also helps celebrities craft non-stultifying awards remarks for $450 an hour. "They've spent days planning their outfits, their hair, but they don't think for a minute about what's going to come out of their mouth."
The Beast's recommendations focus on spontaneity, brevity, natural choke-ups of emotion, humility, and humor. And their avoid-at-all-costs? Acknowledging lawyers, political references, ornate Almighty metaphors, arrogance, and furniture trampling. Tallying up the numbers, they've got four dudes doing it right, and only one woman playing it to their satisfaction -- the inimitable Audrey Hepburn, as seen above. While the femmes-fatale don't necessarily dominate the screw-up category, we ask: do the critics just have it in for the ladies?

One of our favorite acceptance speeches of all time, which is sadly not mentioned in this round-up, has Once star Marketa Irglova delivering an unforgettable few lines about hope, love, and indie music after winning best song for "Falling Slowly." Our additional do: charmingly state your thanks, unperturbed, even after you're rudely cut off for a commercial break.

Sneak-peek at Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight diary

Posted at 11:36 AM Feb 16, 2009

By Sharon Steel

Still no rumblings in Stephanie Meyer-land about the possibility of a legitimately edited-and-bound Midnight Sun, but Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight's director, is releasing a book of her own next month. Entertainment Weekly's Twilight Central has an exclusive online snippet of her Twilight: Director's Notebook, which Little, Brown is formally publishing on March 17. EW notes it's less like a diary than a scrapbook, with plenty of drawings, storyboards, sketches, and photos. This includes one of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart rehearsing the parking-lot-car-crash scene, in which Pattinson is wearing a harness that, from the camera angle, kind of resembles a diaper. He pulls it off quite well, thanks to the broody-intense look that's permanently plastered on his face throughout the film. He was, at that moment, probably busy thinking of another way to fake-propose to Stewart on set.

Hardwicke also teases that the Twilight DVD (March 21) will include deleted scenes of Bella and Edward making out. Let the endless YouTube montages set to Paramore's soundtrack begin.

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