A Very Brief Movie Review: Hanna

Grade: A



How can you go wrong with Cate Blanchett?


There was something rather unsettling about not really understanding what was going on in the movie, but I enjoyed that. The acting was superb, Cate Blanchett created an absolutely devilish and obsessive character who reminded me of the Brother Grimm’s Queen in the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The fairytale quality of the film makes this comparison quite palpable. Though the story itself was a little derivative–a little Dark Angel (Jessica Alba’s breakout role), a little Salt (Angelina Jolie’s latest action flick)–I liked the fact that our heroine was a 14 year old girl played by the beautifully strange looking, Sanoirse Ronan.

Feminist Reaction to the Audience’s Reaction

There is a homoerotic scene in the film which I won’t spoil, but which brought out the closet-homophobes (those are people say things like “ewww, that’s soooo gay” in a dark movie theater, but wouldn’t dare say it when people could see their face). Though I wasn’t surprised, I often hear folks say that homophobia is a symptom of the previous generation… but that’s just not true. Even in a scene that could be read a number of different ways, that perhaps wasn’t even meant to be “gay,” people still have nasty visceral reactions to anything they perceive as non-normative, anything that doesn’t fit a heteronormative script. Now you have to go see it to figure out what I’m talking about right?

Go see it in theaters because all good action movies are better that way.


A Brief Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Grade: C+/B-




It was okay. Something like a cross between The Bourne Identity and The Matrix, but without guns.  It moved fairly quickly, but it was not the movie I expected after watching the previews. It was nice seeing a brother on screen, Anthony Mackie, but overall I could have not seen this movie in the theater and been fine with my life.

It’s a Netflix watch instantly film.

The Feminist In Me, or a reason for the C+/B-

Emily Blunt is just taken along for the ride, as you can see in the movie poster. In the film she’s portrayed as passive where Damon has the privilege and knowledge of the “Bureau” and can decide his own fate, and hers. I wasn’t really into that. It could have been a movie about both of them, but it was a movie about him.

A Brief Movie Review: Sucker Punch

Grade: A


If your baby dolls kicked G.I. Joe’s fanny, then you’ll like this movie.


I really enjoyed this movie. I can’t say that there are many action heroine movies with women, who get to be sexy, but not have the camera linger over there bust line. This was a movie about the structures that men had created to exploit the minds and the sex of women and the lengths those women would go to escape, and the inspiration that they needed from one another to make it possible. The women in this movie had all the tools they needed to get out of the structures that bound them: they had the brains, they had the tools, and they had the skill. Their fantasy world, like mine growing up, was one where baby dolls shot G.I. Joe’s guns and rode around in an Apache with butterfly stickers on it.  The interesting part of this movie though is that their fantasies had power.  It gave them a way out in the real world. They had imagine a place where they were free, where they were in control of their fates, in order to do it make it possible in real life.

It was imaginative. It was layered. And the action was well choreographed. Those girls shot machine guns like no other.

Alternative Reading, or a sexy-woman positive feminist reading

I suppose, for some feminist, any depiction of women in anything other than a pair of jeans is hypersexual, and thus problematic. Not for me, and not for Celine Parreñas Shimizu. In her book the Hypersexuality of Race, she argues that those participating in “the study of hypersexual representation can unconsciously get caught up in an agenda of moralism and propriety if sexuality is not defined more precisely.” (2007: 18). For sure, these women are sexualized, but in the context of the film, they don’t have control over the way they look because they’re trapped in an insane asylum/brothel against their will. Despite that, Zack Snyder and the producer’s costume choices were tasteful. In their fantasy world, the women wore everything from armor and fishnets, leather and Japanese school girl outfits, heels and tall boots, and why wouldn’t they?  What kind of things do women fantasize about?  Too few feminist who ask questions of sexualized representations of women do work on women, sex, and pleasure to answer that question sufficiently.  Women should get to wear whatever they want, shot however big a gun they want, and if they don’t smoke, they should be able to suck on a lollipop instead of smoke a cigar.  Go see it.

Now if we could just get a sista in one of these action movies…