Drying out my Eyeballs via the Suicide Squad while Ghostbusting all the Misogyny

 I did it; Despite the wonderful advice of many critics and websites I follow, I decided to watch the Suicide Squad. Correction. I tried to watch it.
I gave up after 35 mins.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-13-at-8.15.48-PM-1024x639The film is visually dark and narratively muddy. Don’t misunderstand me; the actual video quality is so discombobulated,  it genuinely didn’t make sense.
I had one recurring question– “Ok,  but why?”
In short I can see fuck all – and what I can see & hear makes little sense.
Unlike a lot of people who found a fleeting thin beam of light from Harley Quinn, the overt and constant misogyny and hyper sexulisation of her in the bit I saw was too depressing for me. Her giggles and gags failed to make an impact or hit the right note.Harley_Quinn
15 mins in and I am not sure why this good ol’ Band of Misfits were put together – is World War 3 about to happen?
Grave-faced puppet master Viola Davis seems hell bent to convince the (white) menfolk it is the best case scenario. No really she presents on it 3 times…. and yet Im still vague on the reasons
Even bringing a witch’s heart? (Or was it the Scientists’ whom the witch invaded heart?) to the table to prove her eh… Power or was it Control of the “maddest most dangerous criminals?” I genuinely am not sure & I am rapidly loosing the will to care.
maxresdefault
The Joker. Oh the Joker. Leto over acts a sort of version of Madness – akin to  1950s post-reefer-madness (non)understanding of madness almost with Jazz hands… more concerning he was ultimately was as threatening as a china doll. I mean it was unsettling much like Harley Quinn was off kilter but not in the way they or anyone had intended.

Honestly, I am not overly sure dark & gritty was the way to go for Batman’s universe and by extension DC. Least not in a pseudo-realistic world setting way.

I should get this out of the way – I grew up watching reruns of the Batman TV show from the 60s & the cartoon series in the 90s. I think Burton’s Batmans’ are the best versions on film thus far. Thats right: I don’t care for Nolan’s version.
Gotham is camp. The Joker is camp. It’s all over the top. Panto-esque.
It only really works in a camp setting, you cannot put this Joker next to realistic criminal (racist) tropes & expect a lurid green haired hopped up drama student to come off as credible. Its incongruous…and people calling him J? No.
Also why would someone – “criminally unhinged” or not spend ALL that time laying out all those knives, and computers and baby clothes etc in perfect concentric circles only to lie in the middle alone and laugh maniacally?
Or have the glib self awareness to get “Damaged” tattooed on their forehead? That is not how I remember any of the Jokers canon. He’s unhinged, ruthless, incapable of empathy – psychotic. However, he’s intelligent and angry. Not someone who would want something so obvious tattooed on his face.
Even Ledgers holy grail Joker was more pared back. He was unhinged, but he was in control.
Also, the grill. But WHY?
Cara Delevingne… I was not convinced she can act. I am still not. I mean I can’t either so that’s cool. Her story line is super lame & feels tacked on Even if it had been in deft hands of an experienced actress, it was thin & an devoid of any meaning.
If the Enchantress can nip off and get a classified file from another countries in a second. How has Viola Davis evaded her taking back her own Heart? Apparently with an alarm… Oh sure. But she’s an enchantress right? A witch? Not just the Flash…?
Presumably she has more abilities?
Also why do her and her brother want to KILL ALL HUMANS? BUT WHY? COS SPIRITS?
Villains apparently do not need exposition. The answer is always : Cos EVIL.
(This is actually true of most Comic Book movies)

The Japanese character is named Katana. BUT WHY? It’s so literal. Ok, I know that comes from the Comics. But come on! Its derivative. By this naming convention Deadshot should be called – Gun or Glock??(Her name is Tatsu Yamashiro)
I waited for Will Smith to be as luminous as everyone said he was – the only one “on form” in the film. Sadly it was just Will Smith playing Will Smith with a beard & less smiling…(and in a Kicky Red outfit with endless amo?!?)

Alas, that wasn’t what made me leave.

I hung in for as long as I could, I thought “if Joel Kinnaman can do it I can. 

Rick_Flag_-_Suicide_Squad_Movie

But then after the 234th Harley Quinn objectification scene, the 56th poorly executed joke clanged in my ear came the guns…And I mean Came.
Given the amount of gun Violence in the world at the moment, especially in (fortunately) non-war zones I was horrified at what can only be called Gun Porn. They were caressed, licked, held aloft – engorged, worshiped, smiled at, lovingly greeted like old friends – flames even… 

It was chilling.

All along I suspected that I; a 30-x year old Vagina-owner was not the target market.
A 12-15 yr old boy was. And for that I must ask the filmmakers what the fuck were you thinking
The adoration & worship of guns? REALLY? Women as sex objects? REALLY?
(By the way, women in revealing clothing doesn’t bother me. The reason for the revealing clothing is where the issue lies, I am questioning why performative sexual confidence is prized above everything else. In this case it is not for herself. She is on display. It’s for the enjoyment of any male gaze around her – especially through the lens. Margot Robbie is a good capable actress. I am sure of it. I just wish someone would let her perform a role as a rounded human being.)

Dehumanising treatment of prisoners because “they deserve it?” REALLY? Have you not seen Orange is the new Black? WHAT IS THIS?giphy-facebook_s
I am not saying other films have not and are not guilty of this but I have never seen it so shamelessly overt. Perhaps devoid of any cogent storyline it stood out?
I don’t think for a second that films or video games cause violence. However I do think they shape our views about things in our real worlds. Films are stories and stories are reflective of where we are as a society. One feeds the other.
Its why diverse and broad representation matters for genders, race sexual orientation.

Smoking has been removed from movies. Why cant Gun humping be also?

12 yr old boys are gonna think from watching this that guns and shooting shit “cos violence” is COOL and girls are going to think that Harley Quinn’s confidence is real and from the attention she gets. Dang.

It could have been great. DC has a rich canon & tapestry of characters.
They have hired some of the best actors there are. And yet this is a steaming congealed, bleak pathetic mess.

Before you all attack me – SO was Age of Ultron! It was awful however the first Avengers Movie was a fun caper.
Your first movie should be fun. This wasn’t.

“Hey lady clearly you were always going to hate this FU”
I strongly disagree, I have generally liked comic book films. I like Die Hard and other such testosterone driven action fare. I enjoy zeitgeist pop culture.

Why did I bother?jonw

 

 

Because I witnessed what transpired in the lead up to and just after the release of the film.

  • The trolling.
  • The vitriol.
  • The demand for Rotten Tomatoes to be taken down.
  • The verbal online attacks on movie critics.

And all this a few weeks AFTER the attack on Ghostbusters – before it was released. The sheer and utter palpable hatred for something just because it starred women.
Was the ying to the Suicide Squad’s Yang – bigged up to the highest pre-release. Fan confidence off the charts it was going to be epic. Sadly, beloved texts are transferred to screen and they just never quite live up to the material for many reasons all the time.

funko-pop-harry-potter-blogHarry Potter:
I love JK Rowlings imagination. Harry Potter’s universe is where I would live happily.
I saw all the movies in the cinema, some several times and got swept up in the later years in reading the books and queuing for the release of book 7. Which I read in 1 day.
However and I will say  this to JK Rowling herself, the films decline sharply from 5 onward. I wont watch movies 7 & 8. Movie 6 had moments. But ultimately broke my heart.
These were not movies that were lovingly crafted from rich source material.
These were rushed, and the rushing wasn’t even clever. If you hadn’t read the books the narrative gets sloppier and sloppier in 6,7,& 8. Maddeningly the put scenes IN that were not in the book while also leaving out key plot points. The main thing missing from the movies versus the books:

magic

I as a Harry Potter Fan can admit that openly. I can give them honest scores on Rotten Tomatoes and accept that that is just how it is.
All this without threatening to burn someones house down. I wouldn’t punch the director or screenplay writer in the street. I wouldn’t buy them a coffee either…

The_Hobbit_trilogy_dvd_cover

The Hobbit:-

I have seen the Lord of the Rings Trilogy over 100 times. Seriously its a religion to me.
I would happily visit Middle Earth over and over. Or at least I would have.

  • The 1st Hobbit movie was Ok.
  • The 2nd was passable.
  • The 3rd was painful.

I saw all 3 in the cinema. In 3D. I re-watched 1 and 2 a few times at home but not 3 never 3. As a fan I can freely admit that without getting angry. Its unfortunate, a beloved book is a long lagging cg fever dream that even Ian McKellens off the charts majesty cannot save. Really though, it isn’t the end of the world is it?
no no no

Equally if I meet someone who says “the Lord of the rings is a bag of Shit” I do not incite violence or scream “A Pox on your House Sir” I don’t even try to change their minds. That’s their opinion it has no bearing on mine.
For another example I love Bill Murray in all his endeavors. My best friend doesn’t. She dislikes him intensely. She’s still my best friend. I don’t like Alien – she’s seen it 80 times… It’s all good.


We can be connected by what we like. We can be connected by what we dislike, but if our opinions differ or public opinion of a cultural happening your care about is negative – you don’t need to rail against it and everyone to a) change peoples minds or b) exact revenge on everyone who doesn’t agree with you. Differences of opinion are a part what makes the world go round.
After all they are only opinions. They are not rights. Being in disagreement or being offended does not extend special rights. Over the years online this fact seems to have been eroded by endless waves of indignation and hate

ghostbusters-figures

 

For now back to Ghostbusting:-
I was born in in the 80s. I grew up with the Ghostbusters. I had Ghostbusters bedding – resplendent with a glow in the dark  GB symbol pillow case & a Winston action figure. I saw all the episodes of the cartoon.
I like 1 & 2 equally. I re-watch them every year at Halloween. I have had deep seated love & respect for the originals. They are part of the fabric of my life and who I am. I shed a few tears when Harold Ramis died.
liIvUlu
I was initially excited about the reboot. Aykroyd Murray & Hudson gave it their (long coveted) blessing!
When I saw the trailer for the reboot. I was sad & disappointed. I was sad because I felt the 1 real mistake the originals made was the racist sidelining of the wonderful Ernie Hudson and yet
 here they were making it again with Lesley Jones.
I decided on the back of it that I probably wouldn’t bother going to the cinema to see it.
Then the internet went APE shit.
I have seen most of Wiig’s sketches from SNL. I have loved Melissa McCarthy since the Gilmore Girls. I was less familiar with Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones.
The abuse heightened. The hate for it online was palpable almost visible.
(It’s a movie guys? For kids. chill out)
A movie in which females of various body types, colour, sexual orientation are the
Heros.
Oh but wait, in film Women aren’t heroes. Women aren’t Scientists or Engineers. Women aren’t funny.
Women are: fuckable or annoying or mothers. That’s it.
So I decided to see it. And it was fine, not perfect, but what is? It was funny and witty and it looked good. I liked it.
(I am sure if I had seen the original Ghostbusters aged 34 I’d have thought the same of it.)adventuretime

Always remember: Nostalgia blurs imperfections, rounds corners & paints everything in a more flattering light.

 

All was well in the world! I was delighted seeing how McKinnon was so warmly received. People LOVE her. I thought – its changing, misogyny is finally loosing.4cHGa4e

I was so wrong.

Leslie Jones was resoundingly targeted and attacked on Twitter by all the Trolls.
That’s right in a film with 4 female leads. 3 white: 1 & straight, one large & married with kids, 1 gay. The Black woman got cruelly pointedly attacked on social media.
Intersectionality at play everyone.

So I went to see it a 2nd time. Cos Fuck the Trolls.

It is only a movie. But if the reaction to it is so benevolent. So full of hate. Then it’s important. Its Political, as a woman it’s personal. As a feminist it’s tiring & predictable.
I cannot help but mull that there’s more than likely a crossover between the pre-release haters of the GB and the pre-release obsessive love of SS….
Either way it’s sad. Sad for humanity. The internet was set out to be a place of ultimate collaboration. Sharing, cat pictures, funny videos. That’s the internet in my heart. Utopian fantasy though it may be.
Unfortunately the internet has actually become a dystopian “Opinion Machine hive-mind.
Sorry “My Opinion”  where, if people don’t agree & validate your exact view, you can troll or insight a band of trolls, well no PEOPLE to reign down a deluge of the foulest hate upon any detractor perceived or otherwise.
Especially if the dissension of a held opinion comes from a Woman and even more acutely a woman of colour
Where “freedom of speech” gets molested to authenticate hate speech.
Where people feel emboldened behind their screens & keyboards to say the darkest things. Things you would never say to someone’s actual face. But it’s only online.

The internet has let the hate-genie out of the bottle…

The only thing that gives me heart is that there were so many little girl ghostbusters at Comic Con.

I don’t care what the box office takings were. That is significant enough.

GhostGusterGirls_CityCon2016-2