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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » OSC Reviews: Jack and Oz (Page 2)

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Author Topic: OSC Reviews: Jack and Oz
scifibum
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"I have no idea if James Franco is actually attractive or not"

a) really? You have no idea
b) why is it relevant

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
rather say a lot with a little than a little with a lot. [Kiss]

When this is the response it gets, it really says more than I could ever say about it, in a way which reinforces the point, sooooo
When you think a feminist is wrong, that just reinforces that she is right.

This is the standard strategy, so I don't really blame you for employing it, Sam. But it's the reason stuff like that gets the response it did. Any argument that one might give against it just reinforces that it's actually right, and the people arguing against it are blind because they're part of the patriarchy. So... groan.

Modern feminism has worked hard at being largely impervious to criticism in exactly this way.

Groan.
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umberhulk
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I think it's fair to say it's sexist. I just think it's a good movie.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
"I have no idea if James Franco is actually attractive or not"

a) really? You have no idea
b) why is it relevant

I rarely am able to tell if men are attractive. I guessed that Matthew McConaughey was pretty ugly in "A Time to Kill". I guessed wrong. ROFL

Why is Franco's attractiveness relevant? It matters for the same reason that Mila Kunis or any female movie stars' attractiveness matters.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
rather say a lot with a little than a little with a lot. [Kiss]

When this is the response it gets, it really says more than I could ever say about it, in a way which reinforces the point, sooooo
When you think a feminist is wrong, that just reinforces that she is right.

This is the standard strategy, so I don't really blame you for employing it, Sam. But it's the reason stuff like that gets the response it did. Any argument that one might give against it just reinforces that it's actually right, and the people arguing against it are blind because they're part of the patriarchy. So... groan.

Modern feminism has worked hard at being largely impervious to criticism in exactly this way.

Groan.
Quick Sam, tell us how proud you are of this post!
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Parkour
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So did you get your misreading of modern feminism from Breitbart and The Tea Party, or did you culture it independently?
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Samprimary
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Yo i'm going to let this spitzfest calm down in the interim, but "I think a <feminist argument> is wrong" is a long way from just going 'groan' and leaving one's position at that for a pretty valid critique of what has been done to this dude's work to make it palatable to mainstream ticketing.

Like, dan, your baseline isn't "stupid and uncritical." you are wildly capable of doing better than what you just offered me, but that's what it is. "the people arguing against it" doesn't apply here, because "groan" is not an argument. It's a tediously predictable dismissal.

I think you should come back and offer better, because I don't think you should write yourself off like you are.

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Samprimary
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(i also didn't think the movie was very good irrespective to these "uppity feminist rants" and their obviously illigitemate concerns)
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Tittles
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We need to stop being so sexist, all of this catering to women by evil men is bringing the world down.
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Tittles
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Yes Dan please make a long and well thought out argument, I am absolutely certain that Sampar will give it deep thought and a courteous reply.
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Samprimary
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and there's the spitzfest

though I am doubly amused with dan finding some sort of solidarity with tittles as well as being called "Sampar"

(of orincolo)

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Tittles
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What's a spitzfest?
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Tittles
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And stop insulting Dan, I'M finding solidarity with HIM.
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umberhulk
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I feel responsible for this.
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Chris Bridges
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quote:
So the movie casts some pretty boy actor in a wedged in role in order to put female asses in seats, and this is evil men's fault now?
Movie takes beloved stories that are known for featuring strong female characters and produces yet another movie with a male hero and somewhat useless women. Who the actor is is besides the point. You don't have to be a feminist to wonder what the hell they were thinking. Being a fan of the original novels is enough.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
So did you get your misreading of modern feminism from Breitbart and The Tea Party, or did you culture it independently?

I don't know what this means. Breitbart bitched about the media a lot, but I don't recall him having a spiel about feminism per se. Maybe I missed that?

Anyway I get this from being extremely familiar with modern feminism in various forms!

In fairness, though, the "If you disagree with me that proves I am right" argument seems to mostly just be employed by young radfems/tumblrfems/social justiciars. Typically folks born no earlier than the 80s, I'd guess.

Most women who've actually lived through a bit more real misogyny (e.g. I have a sister in her forties) are more willing to listen to potential criticisms when they voice an argument. And tend to raise arguments against things that are semi-legitimate in the first place.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Yo i'm going to let this spitzfest calm down in the interim, but "I think a <feminist argument> is wrong" is a long way from just going 'groan' and leaving one's position at that for a pretty valid critique of what has been done to this dude's work to make it palatable to mainstream ticketing.

Like, dan, your baseline isn't "stupid and uncritical." you are wildly capable of doing better than what you just offered me, but that's what it is. "the people arguing against it" doesn't apply here, because "groan" is not an argument. It's a tediously predictable dismissal.

Yeah, I'll cop to that. I was posting from my phone and the groan was sincere, but it certainly doesn't count as an argument.

As for the thing that made me groan... well, I'll run down a couple reasons, but I'm going to try not to spend too much time on it. Also, I'll admit that I haven't actually seen the movie, so I s'pose it's possible the feminist critique is actually spot-on. But I doubt it.

Here's a few reasons why:
quote:
Though Baum brushed off claims that Oz was at all political, he made a decided choice to make women front and center of the series.
This is a really bad start, and a warning sign. The format of the sentence indicates that the author has a hard time believing that Baum sincerely didn't intend Oz to be political. So they have a hard time believing a story featuring women front and center is not political? Yikes.

This is probably because they read political meaning into everything, and infer intent that isn't there. Not a good sign for the rest of the critique. This alone would lead me to be somewhat skeptical of their interpretation.

But there's more! They go on to write about all the changes to the characters. Interestingly, I don't think this matters much at all. I believe her. They changed the characters, making Oz a better character and the witches worse ones. Okay! So?

The writer of this critique gives no actual arguments for why the text needs to be changed to be palatable for moviegoers. Here's what she says:
quote:
No doubt the focus group responsible for "Great and Powerful" convinced themselves that female protagonists weren't marketable (odd coming from the studio of Disney Princesses), and that a pouty, doubting hero would draw in a wider range of moviegoers.
It's simply assumed that this is the only plausible reason. Wow! Really? It is odd to assume this from the studio of Disney Princesses. Also in the same basic world as The Wizard of Oz and Wicked. It seems to me that audiences would have no inherent problem with female characters having a larger role.

In fact, it seems rather implausible that they would change the material due to sexism, given the above examples.

I would only accept the author's explanation for the changes if there were no other plausible alternatives. But here's another possible explanation: They wanted the movie to be about Oz. Oz, in the book, mostly just screws stuff up and is not terribly sympathetic. So they changed the material to make the story more about the titular character.

Is this what happened? Hell if I know. Don't care much either. But I don't see any argument for why the version of reality presented in the article is more plausible. And when someone is raising a fuss over a version of events they invented, with no idea how accurate it is... Yeah. That makes me groan. Especially when they trot out classic feminist hyperbole like this:

quote:
Actually, all the female dialogue seems to be on the wobbly verge of tears).
quote:
silly witches, always making a mess of their kingdoms!).
quote:
Who knew three sorceresses –- who were all-seeing and all-knowing in prior Oz tales -– were actually helpless compared to a man from Kansas?
quote:
"Great and Powerful" corrects Baum's grievous abstinence, and reminds us all women must fall for a handsome traveler.
Yeah. I don't think this article was written from a place of measured, rational consideration.

quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
And stop insulting Dan, I'M finding solidarity with HIM.

This actually made me laugh quite a bit.
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Dan_Frank
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Just to be extra clear, if the gripe is that they butchered the source material, I'm not going to argue with it. That's sort of shrugworthy to me.

It's only when one takes it the step further and says they butchered the source material because they're a bunch of nasty sexists that I start groaning.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Anyway I get this from being extremely familiar with modern feminism in various forms!

I find myself empathizing with you quite a bit here, Dan. More than once you've been criticized or outright attacked because of something some libertarian sort said, whether they were more respectable or genuine riff raff, and you went on to explain that the person attacking might not understand the material as well as they think they do.

When you say things like 'extremely familiar with modern feminism in various forms', I think I'm feeling a lot like you do when you get tarred with the 'boo libertarians!' brush in that my response is to raise an eyebrow and say to myself, "Man, it doesn't really sound like you do!"

quote:
In fairness, though, the "If you disagree with me that proves I am right" argument seems to mostly just be employed by young radfems/tumblrfems/social justiciars. Typically folks born no earlier than the 80s, I'd guess.

I mean, heck, why is this attitude being assigned some special province of newer feminists? You can find that kind of thinking anywhere, for any belief system, even belief systems that have as a central component the rejection of that kind of circular argument. Or rather, people claiming to adhere to such a system. If it wasn't your intent to discuss this as though it were particularly aligned with modern feminism, I think you might have miscommunicated.

quote:
This is probably because they read political meaning into everything, and infer intent that isn't there. Not a good sign for the rest of the critique. This alone would lead me to be somewhat skeptical of their interpretation.

Eh, The Wizard of Oz was a first in American storytelling in quite a few ways, and with a little information about Baum's background-particularly his closeness with early women's suffrage activists, one of whom was his mother or aunt I believe, will shed some light a bit I think.

But the fact that this completely sails over most people's heads is rather the point, isn't it? That is, in the original Wizard of Oz film, all of the main characters are women. Dorothy, Glinda, the Wicked Witch. There are plenty of men, of course, but they orbit around the women in some way or another. Even Oz himself. Not in the usual sense either, where the orbiting takes the shape of 'waiting while the women decide which man to swoon over and marry, and when'.

Not only that, it's an adventure story. Out of curiosity, how many mainstream wildly popular adventure stories can you think of where the leading role is occupied by a female, and wasn't told in the past say twenty years? While you're struggling to get to, say, less than five, I've already reached about twenty and haven't even needed to start really thinking about it for male leads.

Given all of that it doesn't seem particularly out of bounds for someone from a feminist outlook to be a little peeved.

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steven
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I think the article is 80% BS. All the witches had major magic powers. Oz was just a guy with some clever contraptions. In addition, one of the witches saved Oz's life with her magic powers. I see the author carefully ignored both of those mitigating factors. Oh well. Poorly-thought-through screed is poorly-thought-through.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I see the author carefully ignored both of those mitigating factors.
Except they're not "mitigating." One of the common -- and valid -- complaints from feminists has to do with scenarios in which female characters are presented as being enormously powerful in their own right, and yet sit around and do nothing until a man with gumption and drive shows up to help them.

The "screed" is perfectly on target.

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Chris Bridges
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It's really very simple. Women can be powerful as long as there's a man to direct them. They can talk among themselves, but only about men. They can have little triumphs and everything, but the man will save the day at the end, that's just how things work.

I don't know why feminists get all weird about it.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Anyway I get this from being extremely familiar with modern feminism in various forms!
What I get from this statement is probably akin to what, when you still professed support for the Tea Party as a movement, you would have gotten if I said "I am extremely familiar with the Tea Party" when I am busy talking about it as a ridiculous and regressive group. You would have thought that I was familiar with a BS crafted idea of what the tea party is, as written by its enemies.

It's the same thing here, when you are speaking to the apparent strategies of feminism, full sale. It inspires the same sort of skepticism from us that you can speak to us, on behalf of feminism, on their techniques.

quote:
Yeah. I don't think this article was written from a place of measured, rational consideration.
Well, honestly, when someone is picking apart the changes that happened to Baum's source work that rendered the women into apparatuses which could be described pretty much like they are in that "feminist hyperbole," and all you needed were those instances of sardonic language to conclude the article 'wasn't written from a place of measured, rational consideration' — it indicates plainly you probably weren't too interested in considering its considerations in the first place. The initial, reflexive response of "groan" also indicated this. That's where the 'this is pretty telling' bit came from, especially when I get to watch it reduced to a "feminist rant" with "feminist hyperbole" or a "screed."

quote:
quote:
Though Baum brushed off claims that Oz was at all political, he made a decided choice to make women front and center of the series.
This is a really bad start, and a warning sign. The format of the sentence indicates that the author has a hard time believing that Baum sincerely didn't intend Oz to be political. So they have a hard time believing a story featuring women front and center is not political? Yikes.
No, they don't have a hard time believing a story featuring women front and center is not political. However, pretty much anyone who has actually studied Baum and his works has trouble believing that there were no concerted political and social messages/elements in his work. Because there were. The article writer goes through a lot of this and expands on the subject conspicuously, so it doesn't need to be (incorrectly) traduced to what you're making it out to be. No, they don't think Baum's story has a large social/political message and element simply for virtue of the women being lead characters in the Oz stories.

quote:
I would only accept the author's explanation for the changes if there were no other plausible alternatives. But here's another possible explanation: They wanted the movie to be about Oz. Oz, in the book, mostly just screws stuff up and is not terribly sympathetic. So they changed the material to make the story more about the titular character.
Why yes, yes they did. They changed the story to be about Oz. To accessorize this, they changed the women heroes, of Baum's stories about women heroes, and the story of Baum's Oz, to be pretty typical female movie apparatuses. And they really, really piled it on thick, especially with the new backstory of the wicked witches. The question is — do you see no validity to the observation and frustration over exactly what's been done here, both in how typically women's roles have been written, and with the added issue that this was how hollywood has concertedly rewritten a work, based on what it used to be?

Like, right now your position seems like it is summarized with "You can't prove for sure it was done with sexist intent, so ... groan, and meh."

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Lyrhawn
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Out of curiosity, have there been recent cases in the last decade or so where a traditionally male hero role was changed so it was a female lead, and women complained?

It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?

On the other hand, since most hero roles of the past have been men, I suppose we have a lot of ground to make up for.

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Samprimary
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quote:
It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?
It's actually relatively very rare, when we're talking adaptation of source work. And I don't think it's only okay one way. The way in which it was done here just conspicuously sucks.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Out of curiosity, have there been recent cases in the last decade or so where a traditionally male hero role was changed so it was a female lead, and women complained?

It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?

On the other hand, since most hero roles of the past have been men, I suppose we have a lot of ground to make up for.

I can't think of any, though that doesn't mean much of course.

That said for the sake of argument, let's say there had been a spate of such things...I mean alright, not necessarily good thing, but part of what makes the Oz treatment distasteful is *because* of the disparity. There are plenty of films and stories with female leads. Proportionally a tiny minority of adventure stories with female leads-with a risk-taking, world-saving, danger-defying lead.

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umberhulk
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It's the disparity thats the bigger problem though. Whats more distatefull is the wide-spread lack of alternatives to male flagship characters (flagship characters, where the it's implied that the good side would clearly lose without them, is a trope that will never disapear). Oz, while having some exceptional elements to it, is only responsible for a portion of it. I would argue that Oz has no more moral responsibility to be counter-sexist than any other movie, even though I understand why someone would think it would.
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Bella Bee
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I'm pretty sure that when Starbuck's sex change happened there were female fans of the original show complaining.

I΄m not a great fan of the last live action Alice movie, but at least they didn't make the Hatter the main character. I was a big fan of the Oz stories when I was a littlie, I loved them for being about girls being awesome (no Aslan doesn't want girls to fight here) and this movie still has the power to make what is left of seven year old me quite cross.

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steven
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I personally think the very average quality of the movie as a whole is far more disappointing than the slight offense of taking focus away from female characters.

Of course, the author of the article is a dyed-in-the-wool partisan. Little things like "good art" aren't of any real interest to someone like her. That makes it easy to nitpick a minor gender issue and ignore the disappointment of such a very blah prequel to the amazing original musical.

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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Out of curiosity, have there been recent cases in the last decade or so where a traditionally male hero role was changed so it was a female lead, and women complained?

Found one!

quote:
It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?

On the other hand, since most hero roles of the past have been men, I suppose we have a lot of ground to make up for.

I had real trouble even thinking of a gender-swapped male role. Snow White and the Huntsman isn't a "real" gender-swap, but almost.

-------

My main problem with Oz comes a lot from my love of the books, and for some reason thinking this shlock would recreate the magic.

Which is such a bummer because Raimi is one of my favorite directors, generally his special effects have always been top notch. I had just watched Spider-Man 2, and the special effects were significantly better.

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
I personally think the very average quality of the movie as a whole is far more disappointing than the slight offense of taking focus away from female characters.

Of course, the author of the article is a dyed-in-the-wool partisan. Little things like "good art" aren't of any real interest to someone like her. That makes it easy to nitpick a minor gender issue and ignore the disappointment of such a very blah prequel to the amazing original musical.

yeah, we know about feminists and how their partisanship makes them blind to real art.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by steven:
I personally think the very average quality of the movie as a whole is far more disappointing than the slight offense of taking focus away from female characters.

Of course, the author of the article is a dyed-in-the-wool partisan. Little things like "good art" aren't of any real interest to someone like her. That makes it easy to nitpick a minor gender issue and ignore the disappointment of such a very blah prequel to the amazing original musical.

yeah, we know about feminists and how their partisanship makes them blind to real art.
It's much the same thing when a religious extremist holds a book burning. They overreact to one very specific aspect of the art, and don't even bother to think about the overall quality or message of the work, or what it has to teach, or can be used to teach.

I still say I'm far more offended that Disney wanted a pretty-looking movie with pretty people than a worthy successor to the original film.

Look, just because a feminist put hands to keyboard doesn't mean that it's automatically worth discussing. It's a shallow article. The author knows the Oz books well, and her feminist history well. However, she apparently knows squat about film, and any article about film no matter WHAT it's about that's worth discussing should ideally be by someone who...knows film.

I'm a drummer, so I could write an article about the movie "Drum Line" that complains about the relatively low level of snare drumming by the main character. But who cares?

[ March 31, 2013, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: steven ]

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TomDavidson
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Seems to me that her observations are far less shallow than "Disney wanted a pretty movie."
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Seems to me that her observations are far less shallow than "Disney wanted a pretty movie."

She doesn't know film. She knows her feminist history, at least a little bit, and she DEFINITELY knows her OZ books. To paraphrase my edit above, would you like to read an article (by me, or any drummer who knows little about film) about the film "Drumline", that mainly just criticizes the poor quality of the main character's snare drumming?

There's way more wrong with that movie than the snare drumming.

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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Out of curiosity, have there been recent cases in the last decade or so where a traditionally male hero role was changed so it was a female lead, and women complained?

Found one!

quote:
It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?

On the other hand, since most hero roles of the past have been men, I suppose we have a lot of ground to make up for.

I had real trouble even thinking of a gender-swapped male role. Snow White and the Huntsman isn't a "real" gender-swap, but almost.

-------

My main problem with Oz comes a lot from my love of the books, and for some reason thinking this shlock would recreate the magic.

Which is such a bummer because Raimi is one of my favorite directors, generally his special effects have always been top notch. I had just watched Spider-Man 2, and the special effects were significantly better.

spider-man 2 is god awful though.
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Jeff C.
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I thought Spiderman 2 was pretty good. Sure, it had some corny parts to it, but it was still one of the best comic book movies at the time.

Of course, Marvel and Nolan raised the bar when they made their respective films.

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Orincoro
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For my money, the Batman films can't be spoken of in the same vein as any other comic book film series. I include Iron Man and all the rest.

First it's apples and oranges in terms of what the films deal with, theme-wise. Second, the quality of the Nolan series, in every other regard, is superior in every single way to any other series in that genre.

You can accuse me of being essentially a snob about how comic book movies "aren't real movies," so Nolan's Batman can't be a comic book movie in the same light. And if I'm being honest, that's exactly right.

There's an element of genre-pandering that goes on with most comic book movies that, for me, ruins the experience by taking me out of it. Every appeal to a genre fanboy that is anything other than entirely relevant and material to the film itself, takes me right out of the experience and tells me these films are for insiders, and not for me. What I loved about the Batman films, is that everything in them was totally absent of a promise that comic book insiders would be rewarded for their loyalty in the fandom. These were not movies *for* anybody- which is the best kind of movie that can be made.

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Blayne Bradley
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I always thought Oz had a subtext of female empowerment, afterall the Witches hold the real power; Oz is just a wild card.
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Orincoro
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I think it was full blown text, really.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Seems to me that her observations are far less shallow than "Disney wanted a pretty movie."

She doesn't know film. She knows her feminist history, at least a little bit, and she DEFINITELY knows her OZ books. To paraphrase my edit above, would you like to read an article (by me, or any drummer who knows little about film) about the film "Drumline", that mainly just criticizes the poor quality of the main character's snare drumming?
Man, I honestly do not know what you are on about.

1. the author has been involved in writing about film for chud, cinematical, flickcast, reel loop, the spectator, film.com, and other outlets for many years now. she expands on one (very valid) feminist complaint with an eye for the problematic female tropes in cinema, and it's "she doesn't know film."

2. it is probably likely that gender provides for a lot more significant underlying force in tropes and a generally much more significant issue of concern and consideration than drumlines are in movies

just, slightly.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Out of curiosity, have there been recent cases in the last decade or so where a traditionally male hero role was changed so it was a female lead, and women complained?

It seems like gender swapping in hero roles is a pretty common occurrence these days. But apparently it's only okay when it goes one way?

On the other hand, since most hero roles of the past have been men, I suppose we have a lot of ground to make up for.

Doesn't need to be a case of an actual gender swap. Just a twist to the story that gives a female character a larger role than in the original story. So Snow White and the Huntsman absolutely applies. Hell, Fellowship of the Ring applies. They gave Arwen an actual scene, and something useful to do. That sure wasn't in the book.

People sometimes complain when this sort of thing is done. But as far as I've seen they mostly just complain because the source material is being changed. Not because the creators are misandrists who thought the film wouldn't be popular enough unless it pandered to female viewers.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Anyway I get this from being extremely familiar with modern feminism in various forms!
What I get from this statement is probably akin to what, when you still professed support for the Tea Party as a movement, you would have gotten if I said "I am extremely familiar with the Tea Party" when I am busy talking about it as a ridiculous and regressive group. You would have thought that I was familiar with a BS crafted idea of what the tea party is, as written by its enemies.

It's the same thing here, when you are speaking to the apparent strategies of feminism, full sale. It inspires the same sort of skepticism from us that you can speak to us, on behalf of feminism, on their techniques.

That's definitely fair. Good point! (You too, Rakeesh, you made a similar point in your post.)

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Yeah. I don't think this article was written from a place of measured, rational consideration.
Well, honestly, when someone is picking apart the changes that happened to Baum's source work that rendered the women into apparatuses which could be described pretty much like they are in that "feminist hyperbole," and all you needed were those instances of sardonic language to conclude the article 'wasn't written from a place of measured, rational consideration' — it indicates plainly you probably weren't too interested in considering its considerations in the first place. The initial, reflexive response of "groan" also indicated this. That's where the 'this is pretty telling' bit came from, especially when I get to watch it reduced to a "feminist rant" with "feminist hyperbole" or a "screed."
Pretty sure "rant" and "screed" weren't said by me. But anyway...

The initial groan was precisely because of the language she used in the quotes. There is a pattern of response common to feminists about stuff like this, a sort of sarcastic exaggeration that is utterly unhelpful for any rational, critical analysis. Here's a great example of what I mean:
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
It's really very simple. Women can be powerful as long as there's a man to direct them. They can talk among themselves, but only about men. They can have little triumphs and everything, but the man will save the day at the end, that's just how things work.

I don't know why feminists get all weird about it.

Yeah. I utterly disagree that most writers, or most movie execs, or most people actually think this way. And I've never seen a good argument for it.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
I would only accept the author's explanation for the changes if there were no other plausible alternatives. But here's another possible explanation: They wanted the movie to be about Oz. Oz, in the book, mostly just screws stuff up and is not terribly sympathetic. So they changed the material to make the story more about the titular character.
Why yes, yes they did. They changed the story to be about Oz. To accessorize this, they changed the women heroes, of Baum's stories about women heroes, and the story of Baum's Oz, to be pretty typical female movie apparatuses. And they really, really piled it on thick, especially with the new backstory of the wicked witches. The question is — do you see no validity to the observation and frustration over exactly what's been done here, both in how typically women's roles have been written, and with the added issue that this was how hollywood has concertedly rewritten a work, based on what it used to be?

Like, right now your position seems like it is summarized with "You can't prove for sure it was done with sexist intent, so ... groan, and meh."

Okay, so this is interesting. Tom and others have made some comments about Baum that I, not being a fan of Oz, didn't particularly know.

If the position is: Baum was an avowed feminist who wrote feminist work. His work was changed, so now it's not an explicit feminist story, it's just a typical movie...

Then I don't really disagree, or care, and I fundamentally misunderstood the complaint. This is much more like the type of complaint I already explicitly said made sense to me, namely:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Just to be extra clear, if the gripe is that they butchered the source material, I'm not going to argue with it. That's sort of shrugworthy to me.

It's only when one takes it the step further and says they butchered the source material because they're a bunch of nasty sexists that I start groaning.


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scifibum
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Dan, I think you're discounting unconscious (because of cultural pervasiveness) perpetuation of harmful sexist tropes.

Here's a good example:

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
It's really very simple. Women can be powerful as long as there's a man to direct them. They can talk among themselves, but only about men. They can have little triumphs and everything, but the man will save the day at the end, that's just how things work.

I don't know why feminists get all weird about it.

Yeah. I utterly disagree that most writers, or most movie execs, or most people actually think this way. And I've never seen a good argument for it.
You're right. Hardly anyone (maybe nobody) actually thinks these things out loud. But the way a ton of movies, books, and TV shows turn out is hard to distinguish from ones that would be produced by people who did think that way. There is a lot of stuff out there that fits the tropes that Chris described. Sure, it's not quite that obvious unless you're looking for it, but that just demonstrates the problem: that which is pervasive is hard to notice, and especially hard to change. Sometimes it makes you look like a raving lunatic to people who aren't looking at things the same way.

I imagine this is pretty much similar to the experience from an Objectivist standpoint when people don't seem to think they have traded away anything important in relation to an omnipresent and enormous nanny state.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Doesn't need to be a case of an actual gender swap. Just a twist to the story that gives a female character a larger role than in the original story. So Snow White and the Huntsman absolutely applies. Hell, Fellowship of the Ring applies. They gave Arwen an actual scene, and something useful to do. That sure wasn't in the book.

I don't see how this follows. In the film we're discussing, there's a complete gender swap in a series known for reversing traditional gender-hero assignments. How holding up the screen time Arwen gets in LotR, what perhaps 10m in like 450000 minutes, squares that circle isn't clear to me. Perhaps because it's nearly zero in the source material, and therefore it was in fact multiplied by an enormous amount? [Wink]

quote:
Yeah. I utterly disagree that most writers, or most movie execs, or most people actually think this way. And I've never seen a good argument for it.

I'm not sure if it'll just get another groan, but if this were as true as you think it was, stories passing the Bechdel test would be the rule rather than the exception. C'mon, Dan, you're asserting that movie executives don't concern themselves carefully with the usual gender roles in their intended audiences? Of course they do.
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umberhulk
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They do, but that doesn't mean the movie is intended as a claim of an argument. I think that what Dan means by saying "think this way". They don't believe in the subliminal message being sent. And to degree Chris' post, what Dan was responding to, appears to be talking for a movie exec, in the way he or she would actually say it.
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Tuukka
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Are there other recent movies based on pre-existing material, where the emphasis was clearly changed from female leads to male leads?

I thought the Galactica example was a good one. One of the bigger shows of the last 10 years, based on a classic property, and arguably Starbucks is the character with the most screen time. Fans complained about the female Starbucks, but the complaints died pretty soon after the show actually started airing.

I would also bring up the new Evil Dead remake, where the classic character of Ash has been replaced by a pretty girl. Surprisingly, the film has been getting strong reactions from test screenings. The fans of the original have been happy so far.

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BlackBlade
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Well, there's God being played by Allanis Morrisette in Kevin Smith's Dogma...
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Elison R. Salazar
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King Arthur was changed to female in Nasu's Fate/Stay Night.
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Tuukka
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So it could maybe be argued, that it's a lot more common to change pre-established male characters into female characters?
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Aros
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I love soapbox arguments.

Note: There was no change from source material. This was an original prequel to the book series -- it was not an adaption. Furthermore, male characters were the main protagonists in the later Oz novels. The books weren't a gleaming banner of feminism -- the earlier novels just happened to feature a couple major female protagonists (Dorothy, Ozma).

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"King Arthur was changed to female in Nasu's Fate/Stay Night."
Though that was because it was made as a h-game (it was only afterwards made into an anime), where the typically male viewpoint protagonist gets a harem of women for him to potentially ****.
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Elison R. Salazar
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It's still a work of literature and the original story as envisioned by Nasu had the protagonist as female and Arthur male.

Also there's always the characterization of Tohsaka whom most of the people I know who've played tended to root for her instead of Shiro; the "Good" ending for Unlimited Blade Works seems to imply you and Saber are her harem. So its not so simple.

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