Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, March 21, 2011

A sorry current state of affairs for superheroines

With the rise and fall of comic book based superhero lore in film and television over the past few years,one constant remains the same;when it comes to quality,women are still last in line.

For example,a preview picture of what the new TV series version of Wonder Woman(to be played by Adrienne Palicki)will be costume clad in was posted online at Entertainment Weekly recently,causing a stir of the wrong sort.

As you can see,this outfit belies the assurances of producer David E. Kelley that this latest TV take on the Amazon Princess will be a serious,camp free production. Granted,the newest comic book redesign of WW's super heroine ensemble does have her in pants but not shiny blue ones!

It's bad enough that the major studios won't even consider a big budget Wonder Woman film(yet have no qualms about a Superman reboot)at this point without having a new small screen rendition give Diana Prince a tacky Halloween outlet store costume to wear into battle.*sigh* Where is Tim Gunn when you need him the most?:

Entertainment Weekly also ran a feature in their new print edition that gave actress Lindsey Hollister a chance to discuss her work as the leading lady of notoriously bad director Uwe Boll's alleged satire Blubberella.

The movie is supposed to be a parody of the Bloodrayne films that Boll also makes(Bloodrayne 3 was being filmed,along with a couple of other cinematic clunkers,at the same time as Blubberella)and naturally has an overabundance of fat jokes.

Hollister does come across as sincere when she says that the title bothers her and that she tried to inject some positive images of large sized women into the film. However,this is Uwe Boll at the helm and the man is not known for subtlety or restraint,not to mention taste of any sort.

As a plus size gal myself,I get why Hollister thought this project might give some sort of notice and from what little can be gleamed from the trailer,she seems to be making a real effort in giving an entertaining performance. I just hope that this film does lead Hollister to better things rather than become the sad highlight of her career:

It's amazing to me how even guys get better parodies than women,particularly in superhero fare. While I loved Kick Ass and the upcoming movie Super, the middle aged edition of that concept starring Rainn Wilson,looks pretty good,part of me can't help but say "Why can't we have something like that for female friendly audiences?"

Don't give me that "this is a male centric fantasy" argument,okay? I'm not eating that doublespeak,folks. I've been to my fair share of comic book/fantasy conventions and despite what some may think,not all of the ladies who go there in costume are doing that simply to impress the men.

We can do more both in the somewhat serious and downright silly film fronts on this subject than being sidekicks or damsels in distress,if only given half a chance. Hell,there are plenty of people who would love to see a Hit Girl movie,even more than will be checking out Super on opening weekend and that demographic is equal parts guy and girl:

There is one potential bright spot on the horizon,in the form of Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch,set to open up in a theater near you this Friday.

While the movie uses an original screenplay instead of being based on previous published material,it's fantasy/action themes of female empowerment and creative endurance of hardships is a pop culture path that's been walked down many a time. Snyder himself defines Sucker Punch as "Alice in Wonderland with machine guns."

How well Sucker Punch will do,in terms of profit as well as impact upon pop culture,may be too soon to tell yet it's not totally uncalled for to see this film as a promise of better things to come for superheroines. Snyder has had strong female characters in his earlier works and a bold visual flair combined with storytelling prowess that could herald the way for other fantasy female focused projects if it sets off the right sparks.

Let's keep our collective fingers crossed but even if this movie doesn't hit the mark here,holding on to hope is still our best option. Sooner or later,Hollywood will be sucker punched by superheroines,comic book or otherwise,and left in wonder at how they ever managed to overlook them before and then our victory will be truly of the sweet:

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