Battle of the Action Chick Flicks

Battle of the Action Chick Flicks (photo)

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Sometimes the director does the film critic’s job for him. Appearing at San Francisco’s WonderCon convention last weekend, Joe Wright — the director of “Atonement” and “The Soloist” as well as the upcoming “Hanna,” which opens this Friday — planted the seeds of a thousand thinkpieces by publicly calling out Zack Snyder’s recently released “Sucker Punch” for its — his words, now — “bullshit” combination of sexist imagery and female empowerment messages. More of Wright’s words from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog:

While not naming names, [Wright] attacked a recent movie with young female characters in crop tops and short skirts, scoffing that the movie’s makers were “calling it ‘female empowerment.'”

“Sucker Punch,” Snyder’s latest film for Warner Bros., features five young female protagonists who escape their brutal existence in a mental institution by slipping into a fantasy world where a brothel and dancing for men are key components. The film did stir up some talk about its depictions of young women and sex, with Snyder and the producers calling it female empowerment, noting sex is a weapon in the characters’ arsenal and that the scenes were not shot in a titillating way.

“I think that’s bullshit,” Wright said.

Publicly bashing the competition is a smart move for a couple of reasons for Wright. For one thing, “Sucker Punch” isn’t exactly putting asses in the seats (Just $30 million in two weeks at the domestic box office). Since “Hanna” does tread similar thematic territory — young ass-kicking girls dominated by powerful male authority figures — it couldn’t hurt to distinguish itself from its relatively unpopular contemporary. And obviously a little controversy never hurt anyone (except maybe Snyder, who seems like the sort of man who means his overtly sexualized female empowerment very sincerely). A couple well-placed considerations of both films could encourage skeptical viewers to try out the entire double feature.

So there you have it, pop culture theorists, laid out for you on a platter. The representation of female empowerment in “Hanna” versus “Sucker Punch.” On your mark, get set: go for 2,000 words. I haven’t seen either film yet, so I’m afraid it won’t be me to do the analyzing, at least not right away. But maybe I’ll round up the best pieces that come out of the controversy in a few days.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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