Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Coming Attractions

That was a fun night of science fiction Christmas TV (as a person who considers Gremlins one of the best Christmas movies ever, I can appreciate the odd mash-ups). The people behind the Eureka episode must have found some really good drugs. I actually like It's a Wonderful Life (though a lot of that has to do with my deep and abiding affection for Jimmy Stewart) and I thought the Warehouse 13 episode was a fun take on that motif. I liked that they were able to show someone the impact he has on others without him having to be in the pit of despair first. And then Haven inverted the It's a Wonderful Life motif by showing Our Heroine how the other people in her life affect her.

When I was discussing movies, I forgot to mention the trailers that I found interesting. There's an upcoming Snow White movie called Mirror, Mirror that looks a lot like a movie version of the Snow White backstory as seen in Once Upon a Time, but with the evil queen (played by Julia Roberts) as the central character. The trailer had a lot of good laughs in it, and one of my friends suggested that as a good girls' night out movie. I normally am not a fan of Julia Roberts, but I'm okay with her being evil and getting her comeuppance. I also, for personal reasons that should be pretty obvious, have a keen interest in fantasy comedies doing very well at the box office.

Then there was the upcoming Pixar movie, Brave, which is getting buzz as the first "girl" Pixar movie. If that's going to be the focus of any analysis of the success/failure of the film, that makes me kind of nervous because it means that if it doesn't make money on a par with previous films, they'll consider it proof that "girl" stuff doesn't sell. I actually hadn't noticed that the previous Pixar films were all "boy" movies centered around male main characters because I was too caught up in the story and characters to do the statistical analysis (and wasn't it the mom in The Incredibles who really saved the day?). But apparently that matters to some people, and now they're making a conscious effort to break the mold. The thing is, "boy" stuff is generally going to do better than "girl" stuff because while girls will go see "boy" movies (and may not even notice that they're "boy" movies), boys are less willing to go see movies perceived as "girl" stuff. That means "girl" movies automatically have a smaller potential audience (especially when they're aimed at an age group too young for boys to be forced to take their dates to them). Some of that is cultural expectations -- there's far less stigma to girls doing "boy" stuff than there is to boys doing "girl" stuff . Some of it is availability -- there's traditionally been less "girl" stuff available, especially of a fun and adventurous sort, so girls had to resort to "boy" stuff if they wanted anything other than "Princess Sparkles Plans Her Wedding," while there's been enough good "boy" stuff that boys don't have to broaden their reach to have things to enjoy. In the book world, it's shifting, to the point they're now worried about there being next to nothing aimed at boys. While there is a lot of the "Princess Sparkles Plans Her Vampire Wedding" type stuff in books, there is more girl-oriented action and adventure these days. Movies, though, are more focused on the male demographic.

Anyway, Brave is about a female main character and still looks like a good action movie. My other concern with this film is the hair. In the trailer, she has wild, curly hair that looks a lot like mine, only a bit redder, and since I've seen movies before, I have this dread that at the Happy Ending when she's accepted as the great warrior princess, or whatever, that they'll make her "beautiful" by giving her sleek, glossy, straight hair. I'm not sure even the storytelling geniuses at Pixar will be able to escape that particular cultural image.

Meanwhile, I had a very vivid dream last night in which I was served this absolutely divine chocolate cake/pie/cheesecake type dessert, and now I will have to dedicate my life to actually creating this recipe.

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