Escape to the Movies: Beautiful Creatures

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plugav:
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this. It might not be groundbreaking, but it's still way smarter and better written than the Twilight movies it follows.

Gorfias:
I am shocked at the whole, guys decide what they want to be, girls do not. Bu this was written by two women Karmi Garcia and Margaret Stohl. What were they thinking?

I think this was intended as a metaphor of the conservative view of gender roles, which defines men by their actions but women by their biology.

Of course, my reading may be supported or contradicted by further stories.

Excellent analysis. Thanks. This fits given who the story develops. But frighteningly still:

tangoprime:

How much they, and all their female friends love 50 Shades of Grey?

And Twilight itself. Movie Bob was always slamming that series (among other detractors). Bella is some kind of fantasy character, but what kind? Kind of an empty, malleable vessel willing to die in child birth, etc.

The sleeper has awakened!!!

but on topic, what really turned me off is the whole pure evil/pure good thing the witches has going on, it is really lazy to have bad guy who are evil just because they are. it might do something interesting with it but it would seem it doesnt.

00m:
Now I am not expert (unlike Crispin Freeman http://www.mythologyandmeaning.com/), but this seems to be the myth of the women as hero taken to its logical conclusion, which says to me that not only is this film wrong, but a lot of human culture's myths and ideas of man and women are patriarchal and screwed up.

What do I mean:

Link and Luke choose to take up the sword when offered.

Serena (Sailor Moon) and Sakura (Card Captors) have magical powers bestowed on them whether they like it or not.

*just watched the finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic where that also happened to Twilight Sparkle*

Uh oh.

Gizmo1990:

Mumorpuger:

Gizmo1990:
I have no idea what Bob was saying Fox should not play but as she is bad in everything it is probably good advice. Can anyone enlighten me as to who it was?

I'm guessing "1990" is your birth year. I feel sad now at April being unrecognized.

Yes it is my birth year and TMNT was not as big over here as it was in the US. There were re runs and stuff but I spent most of my childhood watching Batman TAS, Superman, Fantastic Four, The Amazing spiderman, Ironman and X-men.

Definitely good shows, there. I guess because when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was popular I was at a age where my life was engrossed in all thing turtles (as were my friends from that generation), so coming across folks who don't recognize it seems unfathomable.

Interesting side note though: I have a friend who is about your age who grew up in Singapore, and somehow, she ended up growing up watching the same cartoons as I did growing up, at around the same age due to the broadcasting/syndication schedule over there. It was surreal having a nostalgic conversation with someone who wasn't even born while I was enjoying the topic of conversation.

You don't like the nose pad?

I kinda figured it wouldn't be very good. Not just because of the obvious Twilight overtones, but because as a rule of thumb any movie they set in the painfully stereotypical is usually quite groan worthy; especially since that's the area of the country I call home. (hint: most of us sound and act nothing like that) Dear god and those outfits, when is this movie set the f'ing 50's? Nobody, and I mean nobody, dresses like that down here anymore except the very old people who were alive during WWII. The clothes those girls were wearing at school? You'll maybe see some people dress like that on Easter Sunday or for a wedding.

Use that "gothic south" look all you want Hollywood, I actually rather like it, but for the love of his noodly appendage develop a view of the south that isn't poorly impersonated accents, ultra religiousness, or cousin fucking swamp dwellers.

THEY HAD JANE LEVY IN TALKS YET THEY WENT WITH MEGAN FOX?!?! *blood everywhere*

OT: Balls is a surprising thing from a movie like that but, if I do get dragged to see this movie, I'll be awaiting Jeremy Irons in all his glory. I'll even refer to him as Pope Scar in my head.

Bob, I'm going to address you directly again. I agree with a lot of what you have to say, but I think it might help a bit if you actually read more female-oriented literature. Stuff written by women for women, it might help a bit when your evaluating certain aspects of this kind of movie. I've been in positions a few times in my life where I've wound up reading to occupy my mind and not really had much of a choice of what to read (whatever is at hand) so I have a fairly good grasp of some of this.

You keep mentioning sexist retro-morality when you talk about things like "Twilight" or how female "Casters" don't get a choice in their alligience. But I'd point out that the genders do have some differances in terms of what appeals to them and how they think, there are entire books like "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" and similar things which go into this. The details aren't important for the most part, but has it ever occured to you that lack of control is part of the appeal, and that a lot of women might agree with some of this morality instinctively? It's something to consider when looking at books written by women, for women, which become popular enough to have things like a movie franchise made about them. As a guy some things that you find anathema or apalling, might not be seen that way by the other side of the gender equasion, rationalism as opposed to relationalism and such.

To put things into a perspective that will probably piss you and some other people off before you really think about it, sometime consider the differance between someone being "ravished" and "raped". To you, there really is no differance, your talking about forced, not entirely willing sexual contact. To a girl though there is a HUGE degree of differance, and that comes out in romance novels and such, where the male lead, who might be represented by a guy like Fabio on the cover, basically rapes the female lead, but she ultimatly wants to be dominated that way by this studmuffin so it's okay. Something which I think leads to a lot of the problems in real life where guys who read this tend to think "this is what women want" when really it comes down to what they think of someone beforehand, and in general... don't go there. The point being though that women find the ideal of giving up control that way sppealing enough under the right circumstances for it to fuel the sales of hundreds upon hundreds of books doing exactly the same basic thing, exactly the same basic way.

While it's not sexual, being caught up in something important, but beyond her control, is part of the sppeal of something like "caster" or other novels where the female protaganist spends a lot of the time more or less out of sorts or out of control, even if they wind up playing a crucial role towards the end of the story.

Ask yourself seriously, if this is actually sexist, or if it's a big part of why something like this gets enough attention to get a movie, and this basic theme gets recycled by women for women through lots of books. Not really getting this kind of thing is in part why a lot of guys are dismissive of "chic lit", and probably also why a lot of women aren't all that attracted to the stuff guys read (though it does happen, along with guys reading the stuff aimed at girls) because they just don't "get" a lot of the conventions, like the protaganist always being in as much control as possible, the same way guys don't see the appeal in it being any other way.

You might think this in of itself sounds sexist, and I suppose from a certain perspective it might be, but that's why I'm suggesting you might want to broaden your reading horizons a bit more, it might help in understanding the appeal of certain things your not really the target audience for.

-

Otherwise I'll say that I agree especially with the point about good and evil in the media. In most cases to create a sense of jeopardy, good needs to have some excuse to be sitting on it's hands, while evil does pretty much whatever it wants. If the "demons" are rampaging it's more dramatic for a group of heroes to face them against incredible odds than to have the "angels" show up and pretty much wave everyone else to the sideline. It DOES tend to get old, but at the same time in storylines where things are supposed to be relatively secret, and normal seeming to everyone else in the majority of the world, you can't have this kind of thing otherwise good and evil would be going at it 24/7 in the middle of Times Square and none of it would be secret and the world would be very differant from our own.... you know pretty much exactly like comic books where exactly that happens, and good guys and bad guys literally do punch it out in the middle of cities all day while regular folks look on from the sidelines.

In recent memory the most obnoxious example of this recently has probably been "Supernatural" though, for years now they have had the plot revolving around what amounts to a Biblical apocolypse and it's aftermath. With Angels, Demons, and later Leviathans all basically being their own special breed of douchebags while humans get covertly mass murdered as irrelevent on all sides. For this to happen of course the first thing they had to do was sideline God on the weak justification of "he's not getting involved", which raises the whole "WTF why" question, any answer to which will make no sense other than "because we wouldn't have a show otherwise... and aren't all these duelling angels, demons, and monsters so much fuuuun, why should we ruin the endlss carnage by actually having the guy who is supposed to prevent this doing his job for a change". :)

In short, it's something that has been an issue in fiction (except maybe comics) for as long as it's existed, sacrifices to common sense for dramatic tension. It even happens with multi-year long series running on Primetime TV (frequently, in one form or another) why would movies be immune? That said calling a movie out for a lack of logical sense is a good thing, in hopes of getting better writing, but there is no need to harp on the good guys not doing their thing this much, when you could pretty much just leave it with a briefer mention and say that it follows the same old crappy trope of good basically not giving a crap.

Hollywood goes for all the wrong book series when trying to make movies. What do I have to pay for a good Kate Daniels movie?

This plot sounds like every anime I never finished watching.

WhiteTigerShiro:
Uh-oh! MovieBob said something about a Sony product that wasn't completely positive, time to queue-up the "Figures, he always was a Nintendo fanboy" comments. Because Heaven forbid that we should be getting bored of a design that's nearly 2 decades old.

How is the controller the same as it has been? It has made the necessary updates, nothing more. Why change something that isn't broken?

varmintx:

Gizmo1990:
I have no idea what Bob was saying Fox should not play but as she is bad in everything it is probably good advice. Can anyone enlighten me as to who it was?

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/22/megan-fox-joining-michael-bays-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles

Chock up one more place that needs copious amounts of thermite. Purge that shit with holy fire.

OT: Figured it wasn't gonna be good, glad I don't have any reason to watch it.

I guess this is the film equivalent of NeverDead. It has an interesting premise (especially for me, since the "Deep South" is close to home but far enough to scoff at), and it squanders the opportunity by stamping on contemporary tropes that don't fit in and by simply failing at the execution of the unique mechanic/intrigue.

TheNaut131:
...April O'Neil played by Megan Fox?

I-what in the-but how-didn't her and Michael Bay have a spat or...WHAT?

No amount of NO is large enough.

Yeah. But all the "No"'s probably won't stop them from making ANOTHER half a billion dollars world wide. Gosh! Who could stand for that green horror!

seiler88:
Am I the only Christian conservitive that is confused by this recent trend in fiction? I thought this line of thought had fallen out of the mainstream and was relegated to the minority.

You're joking, right?

seiler88:

Second why is Hollywood turning this stuff out shouldn't they be opposed to this stuff on principle?

Yeah, of course you are.

Gorfias:
I am shocked at the whole, guys decide what they want to be, girls do not. Bu this was written by two women Karmi Garcia and Margaret Stohl. What were they thinking?

Women can be sexist against their own gender. Just like I can be bigoted against other LGBTs, even though I'm part of that group.

Apart from that, it might just be how the movie represents it. I don't know the story, so for all I know it could be a curse or some other magic reason behind it. Honestly I don't see much wrong with it, because it's more of a matter of how much thought you put into it. This is something Bob does, he reads into things and he might be overdoing it.

"Bob only finds metaphors for sexism against women in his reviews, I guess he has something against men."

If popular opinion wasn't so heavily in favor of womens rights, that wouldn't sound so blatantly stupid, but that's a fairly comparable statement, to Bobs' sarcastic reaction.
Since things are as they are, people will react everytime there *might* be something sexist about it and immediately jump to conclusions.
My point being that you probably haven seen the movie, so how do you know that you would agree with his opinion? :)

@Snowalker, thanks for that fix, and thanks for letting me know the rest of what I said in not so off base...

so, unlike the thing it's ripping off there's actually sprinklings of goodness in the setting and premise, they just never sack up and go all the way with it?

that's kinda sad, but then, Michel Bay still has a job so its not un-expected

@ Steve the Pocket. Yep...

All we can do is not write like this, and promote those who do likewise, at least that I where I start...

http://magicalgirlman.blogspot.com/

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/magicalgirlman

You actually had my interest up to "instant crush".

As someone who has a hard time with extremist, close-minded thinking, can we please stop pretending it's "gutsy" to attack it? Hollywood is already there. They've been there for like 30 years. Certainly they've always sugar-coated the message with "or, you know, not, if you disagree," so that they wouldn't lose paying customers. And that's apparently what they've done here (I won't be watching the movie to find out, so I'll have to take your word for it). But just the idea that for Hollywood to attack the far right is still "brave" in any meaningful way is demonstrably false.

Hilarious video, Bob! The best part was where you named all those good/bad factions from pop culture, and I thought you were going to stop at griffindor/slytherin, but I lost it at G.I.JOE/COBRA! I knew you'd rip this flick a few new ones since that one preview episode of yours, and you did not dissapoint!

Is it just me, or do I only know Emmy Rossum from complete cinematic trainwrecks?

"Cause wymmin. Am I right fellas?"

Women write it. Women love it. But let me berate men anyway.

Yet another book/movie series that takes female choice and murders it.

Sigh.

Personally, I'm glad that they're getting Megan Fox to play April. It was pretty much a forgone conclusion since the moment Michael Bay became involved with the project that the new Ninja Turtles movie was going to suck, but there was still a risk that it would end up as the jjTrek kind of suck where the movie still ends up making a lot of money and is allowed to define the franchise going forward. News like this just increases the chances of the movie being a complete and utter failure that can be written off and forgotten about like The Next Mutation was.

seiler88:
Am I the only Christian conservitive that is confused by this recent trend in fiction? I thought this line of thought had fallen out of the mainstream and was relegated to the minority.

Second why is Hollywood turning this stuff out shouldn't they be opposed to this stuff on principle?

Magical hook-ups specifically or gothic fantasy in general?

Gothic and urban fantasy has been popular for ages - it's just that Twilight pushed it to world-conquering levels of popularity. People (of all ages) love the idea of a secret world hidden within our own world. It's like a special club you can join, but one where people have magical powers. The Harry Potter books are another good example.

Hook-ups between magical beings and mortal humans have been popular in fiction for centuries. Like Romeo and Juliet, there's an inherent melodrama in the idea of two people desperately in love, but forced apart by some unchangeable difference. And from another (more titillating) angle, gods/immortals sleeping with human women is a subject that artists have adored since Classical times! Check out the number of paintings and sculptures depicting Zeus seducing Europa.

Therumancer:
Bob, I'm going to address you directly again.

You would address him more directly by just sending him a message. ;)

woops double post

MetalMagpie:

seiler88:
Am I the only Christian conservitive that is confused by this recent trend in fiction? I thought this line of thought had fallen out of the mainstream and was relegated to the minority.

Second why is Hollywood turning this stuff out shouldn't they be opposed to this stuff on principle?

Magical hook-ups specifically or gothic fantasy in general?

Gothic and urban fantasy has been popular for ages - it's just that Twilight pushed it to world-conquering levels of popularity. People (of all ages) love the idea of a secret world hidden within our own world. It's like a special club you can join, but one where people have magical powers. The Harry Potter books are another good example.

Hook-ups between magical beings and mortal humans have been popular in fiction for centuries. Like Romeo and Juliet, there's an inherent melodrama in the idea of two people desperately in love, but forced apart by some unchangeable difference. And from another (more titillating) angle, gods/immortals sleeping with human women is a subject that artists have adored since Classical times! Check out the number of paintings and sculptures depicting Zeus seducing Europa.

Am I the only one who really hates those secret world story's?

There's nothing that can break my suspension of disbelief faster I don't care how many amnesia spells you use the existence of the internet means that people will discover this secret world.

And let's not even get into the sheer stupidity of the government not knowing about something as big as the fact that magic exists.

Markunator:

WhiteTigerShiro:
Uh-oh! MovieBob said something about a Sony product that wasn't completely positive, time to queue-up the "Figures, he always was a Nintendo fanboy" comments. Because Heaven forbid that we should be getting bored of a design that's nearly 2 decades old.

How is the controller the same as it has been? It has made the necessary updates, nothing more. Why change something that isn't broken?

Because it IS broken. The Sony controller was originally designed without the analog sticks. After the N64 came out, Sony decided to slap a couple of analog sticks on there, because even back then they were copying everything Nintendo did, and the lack of planning shows. The analog sticks are simply too clunky to use with their current positioning unless you have abnormally long thumbs.

00m:
Bob, and whomever else it may concern.

Now I am not expert (unlike Crispin Freeman http://www.mythologyandmeaning.com/), but this seems to be the myth of the women as hero taken to its logical conclusion, which says to me that not only is this film wrong, but a lot of human culture's myths and ideas of man and women are patriarchal and screwed up.

What do I mean:

Link and Luke choose to take up the sword when offered.

Serena (Sailor Moon) and Sakura (Card Captors) have magical powers bestowed on them whether they like it or not.

Beatiful Creatures is just the extreme of this sexist myth that only insecure dudes, and those under their influence (lots of people) would come up with in response to something obvious:

"Why is she suddenly bleeding? That's so weird! Oh wait, it may be weird but now she can, and will, seed my immortality." Actually from the biological perspective the women is the default body plan, so no it is not, and don't even get me started on the rest of that...

Anyway, those are just the thoughts of some random rich athletic straight white Christian man, aware and trying to do something about his own power and privilege. Your thoughts?

I feel strongly against your hypothesis.
1. Link was either a) barely a character or b) predestined/forced to act (Ocarina of time and majora's mask). Rarely was he given a legitimate choice to just walk away (He did in Wind Waker, right?). Luke was genetically predisposed to his path, was actively looked after by the guy who would become his guide, and there was that whole jedi prophecy thing. While he could have turned evil, so could have buffy as faith pointed out. The great powers/position of greatness was not a choice.
2. Many popular and old male heroes in the west were predisposed to greatness such as Hercules or Achiles and even Harry Potter through birth. Not all, but many.
3. You picked two Japanese characters and then talk about white christian men? Lets talk about characters created by white men before discussing the Japanese which have their own particular cultural understanding of women

So the ball is in your court if you wish to continue to defend your point of view, I'd love to see what you have to say

I saw the April O'Neil thing earlier... it begins people, lets get ready to ride this Trainwreck all over again.

Why was the borderline sexist magic rule brought up as an issue, but the blanket stereotype of southerners never addressed? As an Asian who grew up in Georgia I can attest the vast majority southerners are sincerely kind people. Different political views does not a bigot make :T

00m:

What do I mean:

Link and Luke choose to take up the sword when offered.

Serena (Sailor Moon) and Sakura (Card Captors) have magical powers bestowed on them whether they like it or not.

That's sort of not the same thing, there are plenty of situations in anime and video games of male characters being put in situations beyond their control or given powers without their choice. Cherry-picking examples from an almost infinite base of fictional media to make a specific point about something almost completely unrelated isn't really helpful.

The problem here, as Bob pointed out, was the fact that somehow female casters in this universe can't choose their morality or decisions. Both Serena and Sakura are fully capable of acting badly or immorally, they're given the powers, but not really dictated to on how to use them. I know it's almost cliched to bring it up at this point, but Madoka does a really good job of exploring the idea of accepting that kind of power, for what reason they might accept it and what they end up doing with it.

Thanks for the heads up, Bob. I was going to go see this next week with my best friend and now I can safely give it a pass. And hah, silly me, thinking that because this time it was the dude who was plain and powerless while the girl was the powerful supernatural creature, that it'd be a feminist-positive film.

Ugh, I can only imagine how furious I would've left the theatre. I would've ranted about the sexist magic rules for hours afterwards.

Therumancer:
*snip*

Hey. What you're talking about is rape culture. The social message that men are supposed to be powerful, aggressive and dominant, while women are supposed to be passive, delicate and enjoy being "ravished" (that is, raped), is a very deeply rooted bit of misogyny that we still can't shake off as a society. Rape culture isn't just that, it's far broader, deeper and encompasses more aspects of daily life (that's why it's termed rape culture), but the gist of it is that women are taught to embrace rape and abuse as desirable things, and to surrender their sexuality, agency and power to the patriarchy.

Thankfully, we are slowly working on getting rid of this really harmful societal message, but it's going to take time and a lot of effort. And in the meantime, we're going to get horrible, horrible things like fetishised rape and abuse.

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