Patsy Walker Hellcat 1@PJosh Tyler’s sexist, illogical, rambling, shrill screed over why we don’t need more female superheroes is getting all the disdain it deserves, but a little link blogging has revealed that this is the same guy who kind of went mental over any critic who didn’t think THE DARK KNIGHT was the greatest piece of art ever created by humankind:

Alarmed by what he deems insufficient obeisance to director Christopher Nolan’s movie in annual honors announced so far , Josh Tyler at CinemaBlend has been moved to issue movie critics an ultimatum: “Ignore ‘The Dark Knight’ at your peril.” Actually, he issues several ultimata, in various forms, including this one, vague but menacing: In any year, but especially in this, a particularly weak year, there’s nothing out there which compares to “The Dark Knight.” It must transcend your petty big box office biases since it has already changed the way we think about movies forever. It’s more than the best movie of the year, it’s one of the best movies ever made. Snub it and there will be consequences.


So, the guy clearly has…strongly felt opinions. He also thought WALL*E was stupid:

I liked WALL-E, but the movie gets more credit than it deserves. It’s almost overly simplistic, a lot of the stuff on the human ship didn’t do much for me, and it’s too preachy in a really clumsy way. It’s like science fiction for dummies.


Although Tyler is the editor-in-chief at Cinemablend, the movie-based site apparently doesn’t have such a great reputation:

I’ve had my problems with the hack site Cinema Blend for quite some time now. They use to be a website I would visit regularly but over the past 18 months, well, their actions have been despicable. I have never seen a website be so desperate for hits that it takes EVERY single rumor e-mail they receive as a legit bit of movie news. That’s even if they receive the e-mails they claim. Outrageous casting after outrageous casting they told us about over 2008, none of them ever came true.

I remember at the height of the JUSTICE LEAGUE fan frenzy, they would continue to post on a daily basis another piece of bullshit news. All to generate traffic. That site has absolutely no credibility with me, I have stopped visiting it for a long time now. I hate sites that post anything (the recent Batman rumors) just to capitalise on what is popular to bring more clicks to their page.


Clearly, Tyler’s pigtail-tugging piece piece (and his slapstick attempts to back up his views in the comments section) is just another traffic boosting ploy. It has drawn much interesting response, like this from Kate Willaert:Cootie-Free Zone, No Girls Allowed:

But what really is hilarious is the comments section, how he keeps continually moving the bar anytime a female commenter tries to argue that he’s wrong. He’s only talking about general movie audiences, female comic fans don’t count. Buffy doesn’t count because it wasn’t hugely successful (how many shows starring *male* action heroes can you name that lasted as long as seven seasons?), and because she’s not really a superhero anyways (because she doesn’t wear a costume?). Similarly, Sarah Connor and Kim Possible don’t count because he was talking about superheroes, not action heroes (nevermind that he *was* saying that only boys fantasize being action heroes).

Sure, women went to Spider-Man and The Dark Knight, but did you notice only one in five people were women at the midnight showing? Wait, you mean it ended up being more 50/50 on days after the midnight showing? Er, well…I don’t think TDK was really a superhero movie anyways, just a great movie. And women only went to Spider-man because it had romance. So there.


Willaert makes a good point, in that a lot of people engaging in this debate need to read up on the meaning of “socialization” and to back up her point, she links to this truly mind-boggling piece on historical sex-assigned colors:

“There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” [Ladies Home Journal, June, 1918] http://histclo.hispeed.com/gender/color.html – “Gender Specific Colors”


Which begs the question….what if EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE IS WRONG?????????

1 COMMENT

  1. Where does he say WallE was stupid? His review is dead-on. The first half is great, but the second half IS simplistic, preachy and clumsy. The most overrated movie of the year easily.

  2. Heidi, are you sure this guy is for real? I just read the anti-women-superheroes post and it seems like he’s having a laugh. The thing about “some men enjoying touchy-feely musicals — but they’re mostly British” has got to be a joke… right?

  3. But… WALL-E *was* painfully preachy.
    What ever stupid things he might have said, he was actually right in what you quoted as the proof of his insanity.

  4. Around these parts WALL*E and RATATOUILE are considered the Gold Standard. “The Dark Knight”, if you will. Diss them at your peril. So that was my little bit of hyperbole.

  5. well, then, isn’t your bit of hyperbole about wall*e and ratatouile as silly as Josh’s bit of hyperbole about the dark knight?

    is this a ‘tit for tat’ joke, or is this guy really ‘jerk of the year’ for offering stupid online opinions. If that was the jerkiest thing you saw all year, you are lucky.

  6. None of this surprises me somehow. When I read his superheroine piece, I got the impression he was really looking for more visitors. Whether he was really serious about the whole anti-superheroine movie thing or not, I’m pretty sure he knew that was a way to get attention.

  7. Thanks for the link. :-)

    Wow, after hearing about other comments on this guy’s reputation, I’m starting to wonder how much of what he wrote he really believes, and how much was just to generate hits.

    On a random note, I guess in between your reading my blog post and posting a quote, I made a few little edits to clarify things. Like changing “moving the bar” to “moving the goalpost.” I think that’s the correct phrase, right? I think I’d gotten “moving the goalpost” and “raising the bar” mixed up. Whatev.

  8. If everything we believe is wrong, then nobody is right, so everyone’s opinion is equally invalid.
    I enjoyed WALL-E. I also enjoyed Enchanted, yet am not homosexual or British. Dark Knight… no opinion. Saw it in a packed Imax theater a week after it opened, and was surprised to see so many (many = half of audience) women.

  9. Josh Tyler may be an ass and may be given to overstatement, but he is not the one moving the goalposts. He starts out clearly implying that he’s talking about a very specific kind of superheroine: costume, powers, secret identity, secret hideout, etc. — e.g., all of the Marvel/DC tropes.

    When you bring up Buffy or want to claim that every female action heroine is a superheroine, you’re the one moving the goalposts.

  10. HAHAHAHA!!!!!! seriously? Jerk of the Year? Apparently all it takes to receive that title is to say something involving gender differences that you don’t like. His post is hardly inflammatory, and if he’s guilty of anything at all, it’s writing in a conversational style which removes any opportunity to provide tone and convey sarcasm and intentional exaggerations for the sake of humor. It’s not an article. It’s an 0p-ed blog; just like this one. Where he falters, so does this blog. Making generalizations and discussing stereotypes are not justifiable reasons for crucifying the guy. Certain people need to get over their hang-ups about the topic of gender before going after people. The internet has become a grade school lunchroom where everybody sticks to their own until someone flings some mashed potatoes at someone in another group and then chaos ensues.

    I seriously doubt the reading abilities of humanity, now. It seems like most of you are at or below 8th grade level, and nobody seems to care. I’d say Josh Tyler needs to learn how to write better, but it doesn’t matter. In this–the world of the lowest common denomenator, why should anyone put in the effort to improve their “skills”. When literate guys like Steven Grant get hassled for their well-written and intelligent COLUMNS…. oh, what’s the point.

  11. So that’s what you need to do to get a link from Heidi, eh? Say something really absurd and moronic?

    Heidi, stay tuned for my blog’s next essay,

    “Dave Sim is Absolutely Right About Everything.”

  12. Gene, I guess that was supposed to be a joke, but Tyler’s essay has touched off a nerve in a lot of people. I find the reactions far more valuable that the provocation — kinda like a pearl forming around a bit of grit.

    What’s the point, are you going to make any points or just be a troll?

  13. I don’t know if Josh or Heidi are arseholes (sooo harsh), but none of us are above hyperbole -and really advertising is an art form. Opinion is opium for the masses:)
    In the mist of all this noise we’ve got comicbook ladies that are idealistically trying to carve out a whole new popular genre of female superheroes, they are actively creating female superheroines and putting these stories on the web and anywhere you can read them (I’m assuming) -not necesarily better or less sexist: just different with a different bent, and I for one feel for them and hope to help in any way great or small for them to succeed. There’s no reason if handled correctly and spun the right way they can’t be crazy succesful -or so I would hope.
    They could be stories about looking for a man who reminds them of their father, but alas she’s now the millioner and breadwinner and coming to grips of redifing what she sees as feminine, it could be about why or why she does not choose to have pink as her costume color… she just can’t be perfect, did we learn nothing from Stan Lee? There’s a lot of possibilities to play off expectations on top of it just being a darn good yarn.

  14. Franklin: He starts out talking about superheroes, yes, but states the reason for this is because:

    “Men are interested in imagining themselves as ass-kicking heroes. Women are interested in movies about relationships and romance and love.”

    Buffy, Kim Possible, Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc. are examples of ass-kicking heroes that many girls and women enjoy, given to disprove his argument. If he’d said women don’t like superheroes because of the silly outfits, then those particular examples wouldn’t be relevant, true…but that’s not what he said. He said imagining yourself as an ass-kicking hero is something only males do, so he receives relevant examples countering that. You can’t then say “those don’t count, because I can’t admit I was wrong!”

  15. People who don’t like Wall*E are dead inside because someone has replaced their heart with something ashen and cold…

    And I’m willing to grant Tyler Jerk of the Year. Well, the year so far anyway…

  16. Goalposts don’t move, do they? (Except that game in Buffalo a few weeks ago where the wind was blowing so hard that they tilted.)

    Raising the Bar, I understand, since i assume it’s a high jump metaphor.

    (speaking of which, I’ve been watching Leni Riefenstahl’s Oympia this week and boy, it’s hard seeing people do the high jump and use the scissor kick and not the Fosbury Flop.)

  17. I agree with those here that think that Wall-E is over-rated. Actually I didn’t like Ratatouli either, nor did I like Slumdog Millionaire (two other highly rated movies that didn’t do anything for me). I do love Pushing Daises though so no one can say that my heart is old and ashen!

  18. One of the reasons blue was considered a girls’ color is that it was the official color of the Virgin Mary.

    The way girls/boys are brainwashed these days to love/hate pink makes me sad.

  19. A Big 2 writer and Big 2 readers don’t like Wall-E? Why am I not surprised?

    My point is that people wonder why reading superhero comics is less popular than model trains, and I’m saying this is why. Superhero comics are written by people who don’t get pop culture for people who aren’t in tune with pop culture. That’s the thing about this exchange that strikes me – it’s not that Josh Tyler is a desperate man, it’s that I finally see that missing link in superhero comics. If anyone writing work they consider “mainstream” doesn’t want to own a universally loved and highly profitable movie like Wall-E, then they’re fooling themselves about the appeal their work has.

    Sorry, I realize this is a huge tangent….

  20. Just to flesh out my rambling “you’re not mainstream if you don’t like Wall-E” comment….

    Wall-E has an 8.6/10 rating on IMDB good for #35 all time.
    It’s made $223 million in the US alone.
    It scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    So, yeah, if you’re working for an alleged “mainstream” company writing a “mainstream” book and you don’t study Wall-E religiously? You’re fooling yourself.

    If you don’t enjoy Wall-E, while there’s nothing wrong with that, you’re not part of the “mainstream.” While not being part of the mainstream can be fun and good, it’s no wonder why no one’s reading the comics you’re reading – unless you count 200,000 other people as the “mainstream.”

    Long story short – comics will never sell beyond the little niche they sell to now, because the little niche is out of touch with what the larger population likes.

  21. I couldn’t sit through the trailer of RATATOUILLE and WALL-E, that’s how little I wanted to go and see them. So far I’ve avoided both. Some people insisted THE INCREDIBLES was so well-written and hilarious. I saw parts of it over Thanksgiving when they showed it on NBC (two nights in a row!) and it looks like the same ol’ Pixar shit with the hammy, over-acting actors shouting at each other and lots of things going boom. sorry, but these Pixar films are not quality filmmaking, they’re video babysitters. There’s absolutely no subtlety to these movies, and while I don’t agree or support anything about this Tyler guy’s behavior, he and the others on this post are probably right when they say that the stuff in WALL-E is obvious and preachy. That’s kind of my gut reaction based on what’ve I’ve seen/heard about it.

  22. “What’s the point, are you going to make any points or just be a troll? ”

    I made several points, but yet again a need for better reading skills becomes apparent. Here, I’ll dumb it down for you:

    Point 1–You don’t like people who talk about gender roles when they’re men saying anything at all about women.

    Point 2–Josh Tyler is not the jerk of the year because his post is pretty much the norm. You just don’t like him. (See Point 1)

    Point 3–Josh Tyler needs to learn how to write a better post or at least one that isn’t so full of generalizations and exaggerations that he just opens himself up to a shit-storm from those he’s talking about.

    Point 4–Blogs blow. Bloggers who blog in glass blogging establishments shouldn’t throw stones. All blogs suffer the same illness: Exaggeration bordering on sensationalism and a refusal to listen to anyone with a contrary opinion. All 3 blogs cited in this story (were there more than three? sheesh, who can keep track of this bullshit.) are guilty and suffer this same illness.

    Point 5–It’s possible that humanity is incapable of understanding something as simple as a blog now because all too often I see rebuttal posts which seem almost as if the person hadn’t even read the original post but even then I have to give the benefit of the doubt because that original blog post was so terribly written as well.

    Point 6–When someone makes a generalization about women and that generalization doesn’t fit YOU, then you should simply understand that the person isn’t TALKING ABOUT YOU and get on with your life.

    Point 7–What’s the point IS actually one of my points. When Steven Grant is for all intents and purposes on the same level as this and other blogs, why bother giving a crap. What’s the point in arguing about this stuff when anyone who makes a comment using generalizations about women based on stereotypes or humorous exaggerations or even experience will have to put up with the old stand-by counter-argument of sexism and misogyny regardless of whethet it’s actually warranted–it’s the standard, like when the insurance company denies all first claims in the hopes that people will get discouraged and stop sending them in. Consequently, anyone who disagrees with a woman’s claim of sexism and misogyny is also sexist and misogynistic. The word “void” springs to mind for some reason.

    Point 8–It’s funny to be called a “troll” by someone who runs a blog. Blog–the term alone conjures images of projectile vomiting, and considering what most of them consist of, it’s not an unwarranted comparison. If I’m a troll, does that make you a harpy?

    Merry Gender War to all.

  23. …and another thing. “Moving the goalposts” is a football reference which basically means that a person making a statement creates the playing field where others that wish to participate may do so but because the opposition keeps scoring points you move the goalposts to make it harder for them or in an attempt to invalidate their previous points. Basically, you’re cheating in order to avoid losing.

    “Raising the bar” is in reference to setting a higher goal or standard which everyone should try to reach. It’s a phrase which will never be applied to blogs due to the overall low standards that everyone seems content with.

    If Josh Tyler was doing either of these, it was “moving the goalposts”, but it seemed to me what he was really doing was trying to clarify his post or redefine his generalizations in subsequent comments rather than look back at the original post and do a better job of it at the start. I would be happy to go at him for his errors in his post, but considering the opening line of The Beat’s post about it “Josh Tyler’s sexist, illogical, rambling, shrill screed”, I doubt anything less than torches and a noose would be welcomed. I saw no sexism (just generalizing about stereotypes), no absense of logic (actually, it was very logical… as far as generalizing goes), no rambling (looked pretty clear-cut to me), and nothing shrill about it (maybe it’s because I don’t find the male voice I assign to male-written words to be shrill… same can’t be said for other blogs).

    It’s just a stupid blog, people. Same as this one. So, what’s the point….

  24. So Heidi, you going to keep bringing this back up every couple of days? The guy couldnt pay for the sort of publicity youre generating for his site.

    Btw Wall E isnt the masterpiece youre making it out to be and theres nothing wrong with Julia Roberts.

  25. Hey Kenny. Thanks for Wall*E breakdown. But if you want to talk success, you can’t leave out profitability. Yes, the film made over 223 million domestically. BUT it cost 180 million to produce/market. It was also a ‘G’ rated ‘all ages film’

    By the same token Rush Hour 2 made over 226 million dollars (about 3 million more than Wall*E). BUT it cost only 70 million to produce/market. It wasn’t marketed/intended to be ‘all ages’, as it had a PG-13 rating.

    i guess people who work for a mainstream company, (to use your words) ‘ would be a fool not to study’ Rush Hour 2, either, since it made back its budget 3 times over.

    My point is, that just because a lot of people pay money to see it, doesn’t mean that everyone of them is going to walk out of the theater loving it.
    One has to pay to see it in order to determine whether or not they liked the film.

    Just like in comics, a high sales number on a book, does not guarantee that every person who purchased it loved it.

  26. Kenny says,
    “Superhero comics are written by people who don’t get pop culture for people who aren’t in tune with pop culture. ”

    I’m left speechless, my mouth agape…….

  27. Three points

    “So go ahead, make more movies about female superheroes.”
    Where are these existing movies about female superheroes, were they direct to DVD or something?

    WALL*E was a brilliant silent film (I just mentally snip out all the humans talking in the third act:)

    Buffy is a superhero: she has superpowers and she’s the hero of her own TV series, stop redefining the definition of ‘superhero’ to fit your own agenda.

  28. Three points

    “So go ahead, make more movies about female superheroes.”
    Where are these existing movies about female superheroes, were they direct to DVD or something?

    WALL*E was a brilliant silent film (I just mentally snip out all the humans talking in the third act:)

    Buffy is a superhero: she has superpowers and she’s the hero of her own TV series, stop redefining the definition of ‘superhero’ to fit your own agenda.

  29. If you truly believe that stuff like THE INCREDIBLES and FINDING NEMO represents good writing and filmmaking, then, yes, WALL-E is probably “brilliant.” For the rest of us, it’s very well-made eye-candy for tots. There’s some truly brilliant writing out there in our own backyard (ie. ’70s Hollywood). Maybe some day, you guys will discover filmmakers such as Hal Ashby and Sam Peckinpah, among others.

  30. Every great movie has its critics (Birth of a Nation, for example). Pixar movies are as good as the best Disney animated features. Are they as good as Beauty and the Beast? Hard to compare, since Pixar hasn’t made a musical.
    but this has gotten way off topic. What we need first is a female Watchmen, a book with a female protagonist which generates sales and conversations. V for Vendetta comes close, but Evie is overshdowed by V.

  31. When you raise the bar, some people try to clear it, some use it for pull-ups, others hang drapery, and some use it as a limbo stick.
    To further mix the metaphor, you can raise the crossbar on the goalposts, also making it harder to score. Or narrow the uprights. Or use a mule as a placekicker. Or keep raising the grapes until the fox can’t reach them.

  32. When you raise the bar, some people try to clear it, some use it for pull-ups, others hang drapery, and some use it as a limbo stick.
    To further mix the metaphor, you can raise the crossbar on the goalposts, also making it harder to score. Or narrow the uprights. Or use a mule as a placekicker. Or keep raising the grapes until the fox can’t reach them.

  33. >>>nothing shrill about it (maybe it’s because I don’t find the male voice I assign to male-written words to be shrill… same can’t be said for other blogs).

    D’oh I forgot, only women can be shrill. Gotta get my sexist code words right.

  34. You know what I like, meaning that I find it amusing in an annoying way? When discussions about a subject:

    1. Elicit snarky one-line comments that add nothing to any kind of conversation.
    2. Go off on a tangent about an incidental subject.
    3. Go into familiar “You’re just giving what you disapprove of attention.”

    I think the point was that this writer, who has already gotten a lot of attention, has a pattern of being provocative in kind of insupportable ways. (Except, of course, if you also did not like Wall-E – if that is the case, then the rest the point must fall by the wayside as you choose to discuss that instead.) Considering all the keyboard-tapping in response to him, it’s informative to have some context.

    The allegations of stealing stories are pretty serious, actually. Are we talking plagiarism or just ideas?

  35. I’ve been wondering what storylines people would prefer for a superheroine starring in a movie. Coming up with one that would appeal to both men and women, particularly ones who don’t read comics regularly, wouldn’t be easy, IMO. Wonder Woman has been mentioned repeatedly by bloggers, but, judging by her Wikipedia entry, the character concept is in far worse shape than I thought, with a jumble of abilities that, collectively, make no sense, and multiple conflicting versions. Having her oppose a male villain would probably be weighed down by sexual issues; a villainess would repel male viewers. Opposing Nazis would be dated. She-Hulk wouldn’t work. How many people would pay to see a movie starring Buffy?

    Wanting to see a superheroine in a movie, without having a specific storyline in mind, seems no different from wishing that a favorite superheroine in a group would become a solo star or blow everyone else away with the magnificence of her power unleashed. If people can’t come up with heroines other than ones who have already failed (Supergirl, Elektra, Catwoman) as potential movie stars, the outlook for a solo starring turn seems pretty bleak.

    SRS

  36. Jennifer, thank you! I was thinking precisely the same thing. We could go back and forth about who likes Wall-E and if that makes you a better or worse person (or in at least one commenters opinion someone who just doesn’t get film at all) but that was hardly the point of Heidi’s post.

    The problem with the original article is that this is a pervading opinion, I don’t really care if this guy was just trying to garner hits or not. It’s an opinion held by enough studios and execs that it colors what movies we get, and I think that’s proven by Elektra and Catwoman. That is what we were given, men and women, as “superheroine” movies. Most movies aren’t made to fail, unless they’re trying for a tax write off, so I can only assume that either someone thought these were -good-, or just didn’t care enough to find good screenplays and produce them with anything even remotely close to the time and energy put into other properties.

    That’s worth discussing, no matter how unimportant other people may feel it is. Because I (and I suspect many other women) are extremely tired of being condescended to and treated as if we either A. don’t exist or B. don’t know what we’re talking about. Shifting arguments like what went on in the comments sections of that article are even more insulting than the original. Why does Tyler get to define what a superhero movie is? Or what an action-adventure story is? Especially when they refuse to actually define their terms so they can make huge claims that require no backing up, actual evidence, or hold up to any scrutiny…yet somehow those of us who take issue with it are the ones with the problem? Please.

    The sad fact is that this kind of convenient generalizing will always happen. And it should be taken down every time it does. I simply believe the stories we tell are too important not to.

    Steven: We don’t need special storylines for female super-heroes, we just need GOOD stories told about them. They need to be as nuances and layered as any male superhero story, as any STORY. We don’t need special treatment nor are we asking for it. We’re simply asking for people to stop treating it like some kind of impossible mystery to tell a good story about a female character. It’s been before, it shouldn’t be so difficult to continue to do it. This is why we keep bringing up examples like Ripley, Buffy, Kill Bill, Sarah Connor, etc. It is completely possible to do.

    And I think many of us have in fact suggested some female supeheroes that would be great IF handled correctly. Storm, Rogue, Black Canary, and even Catwoman. Catwoman suffered from a terrible story, there are good ones they didn’t choose. And Wonder Woman is still completely viable. What superheroes -don’t- have some of that confusing, conflicting info about powers or bad storylines? Hadn’t stopped anyone from making adaptions of the good ones.

  37. “D’oh I forgot, only women can be shrill. Gotta get my sexist code words right. ”

    That would be your inference of my statement. I tend to insert low-pitch drunken mumbles for men, but to each their own. I wasn’t saying “only” anything. I disagreed with your comment from a personal standpoint. If you found it shrill, that’s your view and no one can say any different. When thinking of shrill, I would also think there would have been more exclamation points and caps in his post which there weren’t, but you’re free to ignore those facts about his post and use any type of voice you want. When you then insist the way you read it is exactly the way it’s written, don’t be surprised when some people disagree.

    I don’t find your blog shrill either, Heidi. Some of them can be, including some written by men.

  38. Heidi said:

    “What’s the point, are you going to make any points or just be a troll?”

    I already made my points about Tyler on the other thread, and if I’ve a point here, I guess it’s that nobody’s subjective tastes are precisely **wrong.** Tyler’s piece doesn’t seem to me to have very much substance, but if you feel it makes a good jumping-off-point, then that’s your call, even as it’s Tyler’s call on his own blog to make the statement he made about DARK KNIGHT.

    I might indulge in a little gentle mockery here or there but c’mon, a “troll?” How many trolls quote Desiderata???

  39. Also, I think a LOT of people would pay to see a new Buffy movie. Everyone who watched the show, for a start. And anyone currently making the comic book Season 8 one of the top selling comics/tpb’s out there. And since Underworld is a popular enough franchise to warrant 3 movies, I think a Vampire Slayer movie would also appeal to horror/vampire fans in general.

    Wonder Woman fighting Nazi’s is no more dated than Hellboy doing it, or Indiana Jones (how much better would Crystal Skull have been if the story had not strayed from the formula that worked ie. Nazi fighting?)

    Why wouldn’t She-Hulk work? Her story isn’t any less far-fetched than The Hulk and the comic has had some excellent storylines.

    Most of the things you think would work against a female superheroine all depend on the execution. Fighting a male villian doesn’t have to have sexual issues, nor would a female villain necessarily “repel” male viewers. All that depends on who is writing and directing the film. And whether they pay attention to the issues you mentioned and work them consciously and carefully into the story.

    Convoluted continuities haven’t stopped ANY of the male superhero movies from being made. Why is that a problem for a female superheroine like Wonder Woman, but not Batman or Superman or Wolverine or any of the others?

    It’s beginning to look like people just want these things to be true, or “different” for female characters. And I think this might be part of the actual problem, that somehow female characters require some special, magically different treatment. They don’t. They just need to be treated with the same time and care, instead of relying on tired stereotypes that lack dimension.

  40. Jerk of the Year? Nah, just another Internet asshole with a megaphone. By all means give him the mocking he deserves, but we’ll probably see worse in the next 354 days.

  41. “Pixar movies are as good as the best Disney animated features. Are they as good as Beauty and the Beast? Hard to compare, since Pixar hasn’t made a musical.”

    While they aren’t musicals, isn’t there plenty of singing in the Toy Story movies? Haven’t theis songs been nominated for Oscars?

  42. I’ve been SHOCKED by the award hype for Wall-E.

    Although I enjoyed most of the movie and loved the characters, I was pulled out of the movie and really disappointed by two things:

    First, there’s a scene aboard humanity’s space ship in which our heroes land in a gigantic garbage pit. Hundreds of years in space, and humanity hasn’t learned to recycle? Some environmental message.

    Secondly, the movie ends after the humans return to earth. When they disembark, although the planet is still putrid, NO ONE IS WEARING ANY BREATHING APPARATUS. There is no way that, after centuries of there being no plant life on Earth other than one recently discovered seedling, enough oxygen has been produced to make that possible.

    People think I’m crazy when I bring these points up, but for me it keeps Wall-E from the upper echelon of Pixar Movies (Toy Story 1-2 being my faves).

  43. “First, there’s a scene aboard humanity’s space ship in which our heroes land in a gigantic garbage pit. Hundreds of years in space, and humanity hasn’t learned to recycle? Some environmental message.”

  44. “First, there’s a scene aboard humanity’s space ship in which our heroes land in a gigantic garbage pit. Hundreds of years in space, and humanity hasn’t learned to recycle? Some environmental message.”

    (About to say something…)

    (Stops.)

    (Shakes head and walks away.)

  45. To The Beat: Am I being ISP checked? Wow. That’s like being carded, Internet style! ;)

    I betcha if you trace the IPs of all those anti-Pixar posts, you’ll find Jeffrey Katzenberg’s computer.

  46. No worries.

    It also drives me nuts that Ratatouille ends with a postscript in which Remy the Rat is running a successful Parisian restaurant with all his rat friends. Why? Because five minutes earlier, the health department had shut down Gusteau’s for this very same reason.

    And here’s the thing for both movies: If you’re going to create a fictional world, you can’t violate the rules you create for it.

  47. Just a NB to Gene: Heidi wasn’t calling you a troll, she was asking commenter “whatsthepoint” whether HE was one, and paused to punctuate his username. That confused me on first reading as well.

  48. Heidi,

    As a public service, perhaps you could tell us which posts are coming from one person. Sockpuppetry needs to see the light of day!

    I have 2 ISPs, but, fortunately, there is only one me.

  49. Russell,

    It’s not any more ridiculous to have a postscript with a successfully run restaurant with a rat chef as it is to have a rat chef to begin with. Or a talking rat. Or one that wants to cook and steers a human by a code of hair pulling. It doesn’t actually violate the rules because the first restaurant was closed because the health inspector found discovered the rat “infestation”. That’s clearly not common knowledge at the second place or no one but the food critic would eat there. It might be slightly bending the rules, but it’s not violating them. It’s just assuming the audience will follow the string of logic.

    As for Wall-E…uhm, those are sort of personal peeves that aren’t the films responsibility to address. They could have garbage for any number of reasons, it’s not a narrative or plot hole. I get your issue with the air, but the reality is we only see one part of the planet, which is clearly a wasteland. But we don’t know if thats literally everywhere. The land clearly isn’t arable, but there may be enough oxygen for some kind of life…afterall, there is the cockroach. So it’s a bending of the rules of the world, not breaking.

  50. People who get into characters, whether they appear on soap operas or on the pages of comic books, tend to forget that the characters aren’t real, that they exist only within the context of a story being told, and that the value of the character depends (should depend) on the success of the story. Serial storytelling isn’t the natural order of things. Close-ended storytelling is. The characters are linked to the plot, setting, and theme, the characters fulfill their purpose within the story being told — and that’s it. The writer goes on and writes another story, with different characters appropriate for the plot, setting, and theme.

    If readers/viewers “get into” characters too much, they’ll tolerate stories that range from mediocre to garbage simply for the pleasure of seeing their favorites doing things. They’ll hope that better stories come along, they’ll tolerate obvious repetition in plots and/or character bits and/or themes and rationalize that a string of bad stories are aberrations; they might be strung along for years.

    IMO, anyone who’s going to argue for seeing a particular character on the big screen should be able to identify the character’s natural theme(s) and generate a plot for a story that would treat the character well. If he doesn’t know the character well enough to know his/her history, lacks the writing/editorial ability to generate story ideas, or is just too passive to make the effort, he’s not positioned well to argue anything. He’s much more likely to wait and wait until (if) something does come out, and then complain because the treatment didn’t satisfy his fantasies of what the character should do, even if those fantasies don’t lend themselves to stories.

    When I look at She-Hulk and Wonder Woman as character concepts, I see junk. When I look at the X-women, I see characters with limited powers and limited roles in ensembles. I don’t see characters that would be worth betting millions of dollars on as box office draws.

    I don’t expect anyone to spend a lot of time trying to convince me that (fill in the blank) is a potential star, but — if you had the chance to tell one story about any hero or heroine, at any point in his or her continuity, what would that story be?

    SRS

  51. Didn’t those dopey Charlie’s Angels movies make a shitload of money? Who the heck would have ever guessed that based on their knowledge of the wretched TV show? Didn’t The Avengers make more standard messageboard sense as a property to turn into a movie than Charlie’s Angels? The Avengers made like 45 cents.

    I would have to imagine that there are a lot of properties that you could suggest *would* make money and almost none you can reverse engineer into a sure thing by using type-shouty logic on a message board. What a bizarre standard.

    Also, I think people forget that there’s already been a successful Wonder Woman movie — the best superhero movie of all time.

  52. Steven,

    That’s your opinion, and that’s fine, but I don’t see what about Wonder Woman, Catwoman or She-Hulk’s stories, when taking in the entire continuity of each…is so subpar to Batman or Iron Man or Hulk or Superman. Or why, as a concept, they are less sound with which to base a successful property. All have been handled poorly at one point or other, all have been handled excellently at another. You might not think so, but that’s your opinion. And one doesn’t have to rely on what’s been in the comics to tell a good story, but it helps to start there.

    Also, it’s insulting to insinuate that the reason we’re discussing this is because we can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality. I don’t think any of these characters are real. That’s ridiculous. Only a crazy person would think that. Different stories resonate differently for different people. We could talk about what makes a “good” story, in terms of structure, maybe…but beyond that you’re using your personal distaste for these stories as a blanket judgment of the characters worth as a story. And I’m really not sure what it’s based on.

    I don’t need to prove to you why Wonder Woman or any of the others are “worth” telling stories about, anymore than I need to prove why Batman or Superman are. The very fact that you’re demanding we do so speaks volumes about where you’re coming from on this subject.

    So…we have to all be story editors with story opinions that match yours in order to argue that a character has not been handled well, and could be handled better? Wow. What is there to say to that? You’re clearly not interested in a discussion.

    I also disagree that a characters worth is based solely on the quality of the story they’re in. In a finite story that might be true, but it isn’t in continuing storylines. Applying that to comics is dismissing the form and seems pointless to me to even discuss. You’re arguing that comics shouldn’t be comics. Large continuities are part of the medium, like it or not.

    But again, I don’t see how Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, or the X women are “junk”…and I notice you didn’t include the men. If that’s true, shouldn’t Batman and Superman and Wolverine and Professor X also be junk? What is it about the female characters that bothers you so much? Their concepts are no different than their male counterparts. Why are the women singled out as “junk”? And why must we provide a “good” story for you? Who put you in the position to demand anything from the discussion?

    Anyone who demands that others follow arbitrary and ill-defined story rules of their own making in order to have an informed opinion isn’t really going to listen to anything anyone else has to say. It’s combative and counter productive as an approach as well.

  53. Steven said:

    “Serial storytelling isn’t the natural order of things. Close-ended storytelling is. The characters are linked to the plot, setting, and theme, the characters fulfill their purpose within the story being told — and that’s it. The writer goes on and writes another story, with different characters appropriate for the plot, setting, and theme.”

    Nonsense. The oldest extant forms of storytelling we have are extremely fragmentary tales of popular myth-figures like Baal and Enki; tales which could only be understood if the audience possessed prior knowledge of their history in other tales. The famous Gilgamesh Epic is a comparatively-late development which does have a beginning, middle and end, but one may surmise that it’s a work done for an educated class and as such is an exception to the general rule.

    “If readers/viewers “get into” characters too much, they’ll tolerate stories that range from mediocre to garbage simply for the pleasure of seeing their favorites doing things. They’ll hope that better stories come along, they’ll tolerate obvious repetition in plots and/or character bits and/or themes and rationalize that a string of bad stories are aberrations; they might be strung along for years.’

    That’s true so far as it goes, but you overlook the fact that occasionally you do get a Steve Englehart who can spin other authors’ straw into gold. That’s the name of the continuity game, and if it’s not worth the candle to you, then don’t play. But there’s no reason to think that what you conceive to be “better works” will please everyone else.

  54. “If people can’t come up with heroines other than ones who have already failed (Supergirl, Elektra, Catwoman) as potential movie stars, the outlook for a solo starring turn seems pretty bleak.”

    I have an idea … let’s make movies of Supergirl, Elektra and Catwoman … only this time, make them GOOD.

  55. “IMO, anyone who’s going to argue for seeing a particular character on the big screen should be able to identify the character’s natural theme(s) and generate a plot for a story that would treat the character well.”

    I have to call BS on that … casual fans, sitting around chatting about which characters they’d like to see on the screen, shouldn’t be required to produce graphs, statistics and pie-charts. And She-Hulk would rock as a film …

  56. This guy Rich has lost it! She-Hulk would NOT rock as a film. It’s about as dumb a concept as ever there was on in comics, and it makes Spider-Woman look original. This is a concept that would only work in comics (if that) and not in a medium where even Catwoman and Elektra could not be developed into decent pictures (Besides, given how long it took for them to get a HULK movie right, I hate to think what getting She-Hulk “right’ would entail).

    I don’t think those superheroine movies were bad because they’re female or the characters suck, I just think the filmmakers involved didn’t know how to make a good film out of them.

    As for WALL-E, The Beat has become quite smug and fascist in its recommendation of stuff it favors in recent years. WALL-E is a good example of that “with us or against us” attitude. Personally, there are about 50 films I want to see before I even consider watching WALL-E (hopefully for free on TV over some future Thanksgiving holiday…yes, I can wait that long for it).

    WHITE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: And everyone knows but will not admit that the design of WALL_E looks like a rejected concept sketch from THE BLACK HOLE. There, I’ve said it!

  57. “1. Elicit snarky one-line comments that add nothing to any kind of conversation.”

    Yes, that would be me.

    But isn’t brevity supposed to be the soul of wit?

    You know what part I liked best about Wall-E? It’s the part when the new Peter Gabriel song kicks in!

    Isn’t that somewhere in the end credits?

    ~

    Coat

  58. My name is Josh Tyler and I liked Batman: TDK alot I thought it was a great movie. I liked Wall – E alot too in fact my wife just the other day did the Wall E voice with the EEEEEVAAA thing just to make a point. It was a cool movie sooo screw this fake josh tyler.