Thursday, 26 May 2016

Summer Movies 2016: Bromance Edition

Yet again sequels, reboots, and comic book movies are all the rage this summer but either by coincidence or design, two very distinct themes have emerged.

The first is the much talked about Feminist Movies. When I say "Feminist," however, I don't speak necessarily about equal rights and treatments among men and women (both in front of and behind the camera) but rather this faux Spice Girls-esque "Girl Power" Feminism that's pervaded the movie landscape.

I won't debate what constitutes true Feminism but this year's two main culprits, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Ghostbusters are textbook examples on what not to do. They have amazing casts, huge budgets, and have completely alienated movie-goers with lacklustre trailers, poor publicity, and this overly-aggressive "Feminist" tone.

My perception regarding Feminism is about creating pragmatic equality with the hope that someday this discussion will not even be necessary. Ghostbusters, however, commits essentially the exact same crime as their predecessors: including only one gender (one of whom is their token Black). It's blatant and didn't do them any favours.

Another culprit is the long overdue sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland where Alice is now a sea captain which, while obviously not impossible for her gender, is impossible given her time period. After stumbling through heavy, beat-you-over-the-head Feminism, she and her mom open a company because women can't do these things alone in Hollywoodland.

Despite (and in spite of) this heavy-handed handling of modern "Feminism," many fans have turned nasty towards the movies while other fans have taken to attack those fans, calling them misogynists for not eating up shitty product. In the end, nobody wins.

On the absolute (and unexpected) flipside, we see the evolution of the bromance blossom into a return to Manlove. See, before last century, men loooved each other. Not in a Brokeback Mountain or ancient Roman baths sense, but best friends were very affectionate and it wasn't considered faggy.

With the advent of Metrosexuals and bromances and whatever other terms the kids are coining now, the love of men amidst other men is becoming less of a gay thing and more of a natural progression among good male friends. This is especially prevalent in Captain America: Civil War where, despite fans wanting to ship Cap and Bucky, it was really just their pure friendly love for one another that bonded them. The same rings true in X-Men: Apocalypse where only Charles could bring Erik back from his killing spree. The most famous Manlove couple out there threw down and forged and early bond in Batman v. Superman and don't you dare tell me that Finn and Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens aren't adorable.

The moral of this story? I don't really have one. Hollywood's having a bit of a gender crisis, trying to sell us strong, independent women that are predisposed to fail while men (once again) get the real benefit this summer to extremely surprising results! It's as through writers and directors have subconsciously tapped into the gender crisis quietly facing our times and are trying to make sense of it behind CGI spectacles. It's all deeply confusing but vaguely exciting to see how this unfolds, especially with 2017's Wonder Woman and Black Panther to really shake things up!

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