Saturday, June 27, 2009

Keepin' It Really Reel Award - June '09

Well, it’s here. Summer is finally here! And that means movies; tons and tons of blockbuster movies. Grab your popcorn and strap in for eye popping, heart pounding, ear deafining action this summer. Not long ago Terry and I discussed our veiws on the modern action hero and the state of today’s action films. On our podcast, which you can listen to here, we talked about men like John McClane, John Connor, and Indiana Jones. What you won’t hear or read is anything about the female hero. Who was she and what, if anything, happened to her? Who was the lady John McClane? The answer is this month’s recipient of the Keepin’ It Really Reel tip of the hat – Sigourney Weaver/Ellen Ripley.

The other day I was watching Aliens on AMC and I was forced - once again - to reflect on the movies of old (by old I mean 70’s and 80’s; yeah, I’m not yet 30). There is just something about the state of movies today that…well, to put it simply: if movies were food they’d be White Castle. You always think you’re getting more than you pay for, you think, “this time around I won’t be disappointed.” But damn it if you don’t always end up on the toilet holding a roll of two-ply like it’s the bible bargaining with the heavens “please make it stop!” That was me after a long list of quickly forgotten action flicks, but this was not the case after my viewing of Aliens. As I said it got me thinking about action, heroes, women in movies and specifically women as heroes.

Lets get it out the way now – a woman is just as able to be a convincing action hero as a man. Of course, they may have to do it in a different way, but I believe in Ellen Ripley as much as I do John McClane. Maybe she needs body armour resembling that of a forklift and McClane chooses C4 and a machine gun, but she is very capable.

My real problem with today’s female heroes is that they’re too glamourized. If you watch Charlie’s Angels or Mr. and Mrs. Smith these women are flying through the air, fighting tons of dudes, all while rarely bleeding and they always manage to keep their air-brushed, blown out, revlon look. Forget that BS! Ellen Ripley torched acid bleeding aliens and got her ass kicked all while in her underwear. Now THAT is sexy! I challenge the man or woman who says they can find something sexier to some form of duel...or at least a heated game of connect four.

Women are naturally beautiful and everyone knows they don’t take crap; it’s the perfect formula for an action hero! Hollywood doesn’t need to force these women to all conform to this same idea of beauty. And don’t tell me or anyone else what beautiful is. I mean if – and no disrespect here - Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti can pull off the ladies man (see Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead and Sideways), then shouldn’t women have a little more leeway and varied appearance? I don’t want Charlize Thereon (Aeon Flux) or Charlie’s Angel’s or anymore of Angelina Jolie’s garbage (unless she’s bringin back the Hackers look). Just give me another great female hero who only knows how to kick ass and take names. Everything else will fall into place after that. So let the hair get messy, let the makeup run, and just give us – all of us – more Sarah Connor, more Trinity...dammit, we want more Ripley!

Thank you Sigourney Weaver/Ellen Ripley for always Keepin’ it Really Reel. We tip our hat to you this month June 2009.

1 comment:

oliverwhchan said...

What about Rachel McAdams in "Red Eye"?