Heroine Content Links #22: Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, The Losers

because Hollywood is truly mystified that women might like Robert Downey Jr. by MaryAnn Johanson on FlickFilosopher:

Look: Lots of women identify as “geeky.” Lots of women are delighted to check out the latest comic-book superhero blow-’em-up cartoon action movie purely on the basis of its being the hot new comic-book superhero blow-’em-up cartoon action movie of the weekend. I realize that many many many people in Hollywood simply cannot comprehend this, but perhaps they should wake the fuck up and actually see their audiences instead of making up shit about whom they think is seeing a film.

Introducing the Black Widow – Did She Sink or Swim? at Best Action Heroines (hey look it’s ANOTHER blog that covers action heroines from a feminist perspective – our armies are gathering strength!):

When Black Widow finally has a job to do, her action scene is intense and exciting. Instead of just punching and kicking, she (thanks to an incredible stunt woman and some great work by Scarlett Johannson) has a fighting style all her own. It involves a lot of sliding around, a lot of graceful martial arts, some dirty tricks, and a good old fashioned can of mace.

The “finally” emphasis is hers, and I think it’s the key to understanding 90% of my frustration with the character’s appearance in this film.

8 Complaints About Iron Man 2 & Why We Disagree at All Things Fangirl (each bit here is by a different blogger):

ScarJo was removed and tightly reigned in, not flat. She was a bit icy and legitimately no-nonsense. Filmmakers always say that about their female action puppets, “she’s a no-nonsense, action oriented woman! Blah blah blah”, except here, that is ACTUALLY TRUE.

I love her ice cold delivery, and actually found myself unable to take my eyes off her when she was on screen. And I normally can’t STAND ScarJo, people. I was definitely left wanting more of her, but I have no problem with that. It just means I look forward to getting more of her during the rest of the franchise. As for Paltrow, sure she kind of annoyed me the first time through, but I got over it.

We will have to agree to disagree.

From Ironman 2: A Ladybrain Review:

Unfortunately, Pepper’s main purpose here is to glare at all the women Tony wants to sleep with–including hurling yet more insults at the reporter Tony slept with in the first tilm (Leslie Bibb), whose investigation played a key role in the plot. Her other competition in Ironman 2 is Natalie Rushman, whom Tony hires as his new assistant essentially just to look at her. After he meets Natalie for the first time, he declares, “I want one.”

And finally Gender 101 From Iron Man 2 by Natalie Wilson on the Ms Magazine blog. I feel like I should at least point it out, because, you know, it’s on the Ms Magazine blog, but it’s a very mixed bag. There were things she mention that I didn’t even bother to, like the dancers at the Stark Expo, because to me they seemed like such par for the course with Stark, and that was probably a failing on my part. On the other hand, “the iron suit allows for the fulfillment of the male body not only as weapon but as walking erection – hard and ready all the time” just seems a little over the top.

Alice in Wonderland by Maria at The Hathor Legacy:

Look, all I’m saying is that Alice is picking and choosing between types of femininity, and with integrating these different versions of self into one coherent person. She’s a bit of a dreamer, a bit like the gentle White Queen, and handy with a blade like dear sweet Red. None of this is contradictory.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is Almost a Great Feminist Fairytale by Erin Rickard at Gender Across Borders:

Returning to the feminist lens, there are a couple ways in which the film is disappointingly mired in the status quo of Disney films. Most obviously, as an adaptation of a story rooted in upper-class Victorian culture, the film lacks the racial and class consciousness a truly great feminist narrative would need. Burton bucks the Disney trend with his treatment of gender roles here, but he wasn’t ambitious enough to be revisionist with race and class issues (and Disney has shown its willingness to rewrite the history of these issues with last year’s The Princess and the Frog). Even more tellingly, there are shades of imperialism and colonialism in the film.

Alice Forgets What the Dormouse Said by Brodie H. Brockie at The Park Bench.

The problem is, what NO ONE wants her to do, above or below, is the one thing little Alice had been so good at. No one wants Alice to actually think for herself.

Found via Women & Hollywood, Alice in Lesboland: A Wonderland for Feminists, Revolutionaries & Your Mom! at Autostraddle:

Alice in Wonderland, in fact, does much better, it provides relevant (albeit at times hyperbolic) social commentary about oppressive government and the necessary banding together of the community around the hero….ine.

The Losers by Cynthia Fuchs at Pop Matters:

And so their unconvincing dance of deception begins. [Aisha]’s in place to make sure you know Clay is heterosexual – useful in a leader of a pack of men on their own, men who’ve shared long, intimate hours in jungles and war zones.

The Losers Review by Jen Yamato on Movies.com:

On The Subject Of Actresses Fighting In Their Underwear: If you’ve seen the previews for The Losers, then you probably already know that at some point — okay, a couple of times — you’re going to see Zoe Saldana throwing punches, shooting guns, and dodging bullets while scantily clad. At first, the feminist in me objected to such a thing.

This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.