Pop Culture Princess

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Monday, April 11, 2016

A trio of female focused films to look forward to at the Movie Trailer Park

With Melissa McCarthy's The Boss taking down Batman V Superman this past weekend at the box office, another sure step has been taken for female centric films on the pop culture ladder to reach the respective heights that their male cinematic counterparts have.

Sure, The Boss didn't get great critical reviews all around but that movie sounds like a better bang for your buck than that superhero slug fest is. However, April at the movies is in a bit of a holding pattern as the latter half of the spring season tends to be more of a launching pad for major league film fare.

So, it's best to look ahead for more leading lady material and May does promise us Jane Austen fans a most unexpected treat with Love & Friendship, an adaptation of one of Austen's early works. Kate Beckinsale(who has played Emma Woodhouse in the past) stars as Lady Susan, a ruthlessly charming woman who is determined to marry her meek and mild daughter Frederica off to the first rich man that crosses their path.

 With the reluctant aid of an old friend(Chloe Sevingy), Lady Susan plots and schemes her way throughout so-called "good society" in order to get an ill gotten gain for her own ends. There is an Austen story entitled Love and Freindship(yes, that spelling is deliberate) but this film,written and directed by Walt Stillman, is more based upon Lady Susan, a novella that is delightfully snarky with a truly unrepentant heroine. For those who love Jane Austen's satirical side, this is quite the cup of poisonously pleasant tea to sip:

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until September to see the birth of Bridget Jones's Baby, the third film which does not appear to be an adaptation of author Helen Fielding's third Bridget Jones novel.

That's not a complete surprise, given that many of the fans were disappointed to see Mark Darcy killed off in the book. Here, Bridget and Mark failed to get married but still run into each other. However, our Miss Jones now has an American boyfriend(Patrick Dempsey) and when she discovers that she is pregnant, there's a fifty-fifty chance that Mark could be the father.

Part of the appeal of the Bridget Jones books was their loose connection to Jane Austen, with P&P for the first one and Persuasion for it's follow-up, The Edge of Reason. There doesn't seem to be any Austen ties to this latest one but I'm sure that Austenites as well as romcom lovers will still want to check this new chapter out:

While Bridget Jones may not be as connected to Jane Austen as she once was, you might be surprised to learn that Star Wars now is. Felicity Jones,who played Catherine Morland in 2007's Northanger Abbey, is the leading woman warrior in Rogue One, that debuts in December.

This Miss Jones plays Jyn Erso, a rebel even among her fellow Rebels who is tapped to lead a secret mission to uncover plans for a new weapon that the Empire is building(and yes, it's the Death Star). The movie is subtitled "A Star Wars story", which means that it's a prequel of sorts.

The setting of the story may be pre-Luke Skywalker era but the tone clearly denotes the current influences that have begun to reshape the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens and that's a good thing. I don't know if anything in this film will be linked to the new trilogy but it does seem to show the strong type of female fighter that we have already seen with Leia and Rey,displaying the power of the female side of the Force to full effect:

I'm sure that more female driven flicks will arrive on the cinematic horizon and hopefully, Hollywood at the very least will be motivated by money to do more than just the standard gal pal/damsel in distress story on screen.

In the meantime, the movie other than The Boss that is female focused for the mainstream this month is The Huntsman: Winter's War, which is both a prequel and a sequel.  Wicked Queen Ravenna(Charlize Theron) apparently had a sister Freya(Emily Blunt) who developed ice powers a la Elsa upon the death of her child and after big sister was taken out by Snow White, Freya claims the Magic Mirror for herself.

This all leads to Ravenna being freed from the Mirror and getting into a witchy girl fight with her sis, that uses Helmworth's huntsman and believed to be dead wife Jessica Chastain as pawns in their game. Sounds crazy over the top but hey, I might see it(my birthday comes up around that release time). It's too bad that better female focused fantasy fare isn't due anytime soon but perhaps this may be good for a laugh:

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