Jupiter Ascending, 50 Shades, the Hunger Games: Monday Movie Madness!

Hi Everyone,

I think Monday is just going to turn into Movie Monday, in which I discuss the movies I saw over the weekend. Because man oh man, do I see a lot of movies! And I like to talk about them 🙂

1. Jupiter Ascending. I have to say, I really enjoyed this! Like, non-ironically enjoyed it. Was some of the dialogue laughable? Absolutely. Were there some plot holes that left me scratching my head? Totally. But it was really, really pretty. The special effects were jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The 3D was perfect (and I don’t even like 3D). And it was fun! I laughed, I gasped, and occasionally got emotionally invested. Who could ask for anything more?

The husband was less enthusiastic. He thought it was super stupid. I pointed out that it was about as stupid at the Matrix or the Terminator, which made him really mad, to put it lightly. We almost had a little argument about it. It got me thinking–why is a movie that women are enjoying in far greater numbers than men derided as junk, while classic “guy” films like the terminator are sci-fi classics?

I could be going totally conspiracy theory here, but hear me out. I think that “Jupiter Ascending” may be an action movie aimed at women who like action movies. Lana Wachowski, a woman, is one half of the Wachowski siblings directing duo responsible for this film. Could it be that this movie, featuring a female protagonist who yes, does get rescued, but who also makes her own choices, does not have a gratuitous sex scene, and has secret powers, is the kind of thing a woman would make for other women? (As opposed to what Paul Feig or Joss Whedon think what women want?) Throughout the film, I did enjoy copious amounts of shirtless Channing Tatum. And I ogled the minute details on Mila Kunis’ several ornate ball gowns. These details were lost on my husband–because they were not put there for him. They were there for me. Is this why men are  by and large disliking this movie?

I invite your refutations and criticism. I don’t think that any man who dislikes this film is a misogynist. I just think that, given some of the details of this movie, that perhaps it is subtly subversive–a movie for women that’s not about “girl power” and female friendship, but about blowing stuff up and sci-fi majesty. It hits people in a weird place–they’re not sure why they don’t like it. Perhaps it’s because it wasn’t made–unlike most movies in Hollywood–for their enjoyment? What do you think, readers?

2. 50 Shades of Grey is coming out soon, have you heard? I just want to make something very clear about it, which I feel is a viewpoint that’s getting lost in the right vs. left shuffle. 50 Shades isn’t bad because it’s porny, or because it depicts a BDSM lifestyle. It is bad because it depicts an abusive relationship and pretends it’s romantic. There is nothing inherently bad with S&M, so long as it is “safe, sane, and CONSENSUAL.” (emphasis mine) There is nothing about this “relationship” that’s consensual–he ignores her safewords, belittles her feelings, threatens her, stalks her…this is Stockholm Syndrome if it’s anything. It is abuse–it is not love.

I am glad that some women (including women I know) enjoyed this book because it allowed them to be bold about sex. It introduced them to written erotica and made them feel like it was okay to like sex, to enjoy it, to be turned on by less than vanilla things. Anything that allows women to think positively about sex has at least some good in it. But I am very concerned about the harm this will do to a)women who look to this for romantic inspiration (it’s so hot when he ignores my safeword) and b)people in the BDSM community who will be ostracized by those who don’t understand that this book/movie is NOT an accurate representation of that community. So if you enjoy this book–enjoy it! None of my business what gets you off. But be aware of what it does and does not represent.

3. Hunger Games was on last night. HUNGER. GAMES. I love this book and this movie so darn much. Every time I see it/read it I find something new to love. Katniss Everdeen is a gosh-darn miracle and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. She is the real-est hero I’ve ever come across in YA lit. We’re talking Huck Finn levels of realness, here. And this series says so much about the political process, the power of the media, the people we follow, what it really takes to change things…sigh. So. darn. good. My only regret is that ABC did not show “Catching Fire” right afterwards, because I could have totally done a marathon. I would drop everything when this movie is on. That’s how much I love it.

What do you think, readers? Am I overselling Hunger Games? Or Jupiter Ascending? Let me know! I finished “Prisoner of Azkaban” last night, so there should be a Girl Meets Boy Who Lived post coming your way before Friday!

Love you all.

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