Sunday, May 22, 2016

That's Really Super, Supergirl

There is a reason why they call it "show business." It is as much about making money as it is about making a show. That's the thought I had as I sat on my couch and watched the trailer for the new Ghostbusters. Everything old is new again, and while I can certainly appreciate the idea that there should be more roles for women in Hollywood, but do they need to be the same ones that men had? I remember when Bridesmaids came out, and my wife and I were briefly swept up in the warm-hearted notion that finally girls were getting to be just as foul as the boys.
But with a heart, you know?
Gathering those same Bridesmaids and strapping proton packs on their backs does not constitute a new wave in cinema. It is repackaging. Now with ninety percent more estrogen. Is that a win? I'm sure that's what Gloria Steinem had in mind. And Susan B. Anthony. And Hillary Clinton. Is it a good thing when we end up being entertained/repulsed by men or women in a completely equitable fashion?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had a bit of its dirty laundry aired by Shane Black, writer and director of Iron Man 3. Apparently there was some concern in the merchandising department, about how nobody was going to by action figures of a female villain. This corresponded roughly to the fuss made over the past couple years about how nearly impossible it is to find a Black Widow action figure. Now, after appearing in half of the studio's super hero movies, it's become a little easier. Does having a poseable six-inch toy version of yourself to show how far we've come in the past fifty years? Probably not.
Meanwhile, I have a friend who recently suggested that his choice for the new James Bond would be nobody. A zero for the role of double zero seven. Just stop making them. But it's a business, after all, and as long as there are dollars in our pockets that can find their way to big studios' bank accounts, there will be more. Always more. So why not "Jane Bond?" I'm not the first to suggest it, of course, but when it becomes a great big hit and the toy sales go through the roof since the nerd-tribe who buys such things would be satisfied on a number of levels, maybe I could get just a sliver of a percentage of that action.

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