Best Of The Web
“When the noxious fanboys who howl about movies being too “PC” and “woke” inevitably revved up after the recent announcements of a female Thor and a potential female 007, I did what I always do: roll my eyes. There will always be an element of toxic fandom that will whine about the dreaded womanliness being foisted upon their beloved male heroes.
But on another level, I found myself agreeing — not that such movies are “too woke,” but that perhaps it would be best if they didn’t exist at all. Just as it’s important to call out the backwards fans who don’t want to see any leading women on screen, it’s also important to call out the self-congratulatory pander that fuels many studios’ gender-swap projects, too. Rather than invest in new stories about women, Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder and a forthcoming Bond film appear to cautiously tie new female-fronted stories to already established male-led stories. It’s a decision that makes the gender swap element of the plots not only cowardly, but insultingly lazy.
Gender-swap stories have long been a staple of theater and film, but recently ratcheted up in Hollywood, from the female-fronted Ghostbusters in 2016 to Ocean’s 8 in 2018, and Men in Black: International and What Men Want this year. Many similar projects are also in the works, with the CW launching a Batwoman TV series this fall and Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell starring in reversed roles in a remake of the mermaid (merman?) film Splash, “happening soon.” Most recently and egregiously, though, Marvel announced that Natalie Portman will be “the female Thor” in a film set for release in 2021. Likewise, while the forthcoming untitled Bond 25 will still star Daniel Craig as the Martini-drinking British spy, The Daily Mail leaked as-of-yet unconfirmed rumors that in the movie, James Bond will retire and a character played by actress Lashana Lynch will be given Bond’s codename, 007, potentially opening up Ian Fleming’s universe to female-fronted spin-offs.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."
"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."
"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."
"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."
"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."
"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."
"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."