According to blogger accounts, when director Andrew Stanton talked about the
movie in London, he admitted to changing the title of the source material, the
classic Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, twice. "A Princess of Mars" became "John
Carter of Mars" and then just "John Carter," because "not a single boy would go
to a movie" with princess in the title and "no girl would go see 'John Carter of
The inevitable conclusion of thinking like this is that all movies will
someday have titles like "Explosions and Kissing" or "Decapitation and He
Remembered Our Anniversary." Because that covers everything both sides care
Stanton deserves some credit for at least thinking about the opinions and
tastes of women, even if he's wrong about it.
The disturbing truth is, the force of cooties runs much stronger with boys,
who are widely known to stay away from things simply because there is
a female main character, and there is a huge difference between rejecting
something because it's Martian vs. rejecting it because it's seen as female.
The cootie factor has some people questioning whether "The Hunger Games" is going to succeed on its
It's kind of nuts. First, that there is any doubt that the movie will
succeed. It's going to be huge.
It's already a major pop culture phenomenon. More than 25 million copies of
the book trilogy have sold. Fandango, the online ticket seller, reports higher
presales for this movie than any in its 12-year history. What's more, 47 of
those really expensive IMAX shows have sold out already for opening night.
What's more, the premise is excellent. Set in a future world where the United
States has been divided into 13 districts (including one that has been bombed to
oblivion), two dozen teens are "volunteered" each year to fight to the death on
TV. Katniss Everdeen, played by Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, is one of the
tributes and the story's heroine.
Unlike the "Twilight" books and movies, which were beloved
despite their sometimes unintentionally funny faults, the "Hunger Games" books
are very well crafted. The writing is tight and gritty, the characters sharply
drawn, and the themes -- of the corrupting forces of power and money, of the
sacrifices people are willing to make for those they love -- are both ancient
and broadly appealing.
Also unlike "Twilight," "The Hunger Games" has rabid fans of both sexes.
And finally, from all appearances, the producers have taken care with the
story to make it translate well from the page to the screen.
It's almost irrelevant that Katniss is female. And yet, there is considerable
paranoia about the matter anyway.
The Wall Street Journal, for example, reported that Lionsgate has been
"picking its way through a minefield of gender issues" in how it marketed the
movie. The story went on to show the many ways the product had been shaped to
downplay any girliness, including the love triangle that runs throughout all
three books in the series.
This squeamishness is almost laughable. Kids are fighting each other to the
death and they're worried that boys won't want to watch because there's some
And since when does it matter if boys don't watch? By any measure, the
"Twilight" movies have been a huge box-office smash.
What it means is that it's not considered an unqualified success if men don't
like it, as if somehow popularity among men is the thing that matters most.
Even more startling, people talk about this openly without talking about
wanting to fix the problem. Imagine people talking so casually about their
fear that a black character would drive audiences away. No one would do so
And this isn't to say that Hollywood doesn't have a race problem. Oh, how it
does. But sexism is so entrenched and so accepted, people can talk about it like
it's an unchangeable fact of business.
Sadly, even the best moviemakers are playing the game. Pixar, where Stanton
spent much of his career, has never had a movie with a female character in its
center. Yes, Pixar has great female characters. But every single
story has revolved around a male character. Every. Single. One. The subtext of
this is that even the best and smartest women belong on the sidelines.
This year, Pixar will release "Brave," its first movie with a female central
character, although the woman who wrote it and was originally tapped to direct
it, Brenda Chapman, was booted off the movie in 2010 over "creative
Will it be popular? Probably. But why does that matter so much more than the
movie simply being excellent?
A society's pop culture reflects aspects of its soul, and this twisted and
sad situation says some pretty ugly stuff about ours. The ugliness is best
reflected in the continuing popularity of Rush Limbaugh in the wake of
"slutgate." It was great that so many advertisers dumped him after he called a
woman a slut on the air and asked to see her in sex tapes as compensation if the
state covered the cost of her contraceptives.
But where is the responsibility of the listener? And why is no one asking
that question? People stay tuned in because they think this sort of thing is
funny. That this is so indicates just how much hostility there is toward women
in the world. Making jokes out of it provides a certain release.
It's not like this in many other parts of the world. In 1997, Hayao
Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" was the top film in Japan. It
didn't do as well here during its 1999 release, outside of the art-house and
anime audiences, possibly because of the princess title, or because Disney
didn't put the money behind marketing it.
But even in America, it hasn't always been this way with our pop culture. In
1895, for example, Louisa May Alcott's extremely girly-sounding novel "Little Women" was serialized in newspapers.
A Victorian-era reader described the watercooler reaction of the day: "Grave
merchants and lawyers meeting on their way downtown in the morning said to each
other, 'Have you read "Little Women"?' and laughed as they said it. The clerks
in my office read it, so also did the civil engineer, and the boy in the
The novel was clearly written for a young, female audience, but men at the
time read it anyway. Happily.
What this suggests is that all the marketing pandering is making things
worse. And, as evidenced by "John Carter," it's not paying off anyway.
This is why the hoped-for success of Katniss Everdeen is such a heartening
thing. She's not a girl in a boy movie. She's a human being in a compelling
story about things that should matter to all of us. Here's hoping she can
help make that the thing that really matters in the movies.
I agree. But let's not just single out Rush. Bill Maher is a pig and has been making derogatory, sexually explicit comments about women in politics and media for years. Just because you don't agree with a woman doesn't make her a slut, c*nt, or any other pejorative.
If people weren't so to busy seeing how much tripe they can let the media shove down their throughts, they could spend more time living their lives in a world where chicks have been kicking @$$ at archery and hunting for some time, now. Y'all seen those chicks who can hit a bulls-eye using just their feet, right?
hey mudrake2 no offense but Really? really. first off the movie is someone`s depiction of the book ok? so the actors are not going to actually be who they`re playing, maybe the actress has never been hunting but KATNISS, the true character, has. Sheesh. And i bet you know less about archery and hunting than she does.
Tralfazz you freakin rock. yes us girls are wicked with a bow or gun.
I loved the books and even though the movie isn`t exactly what i imagined when i read them they still did an awesome job considering they`re not magicians. And really girls and guys are not that different, there are sensitive girls and there are sensitive guys. and yes there are some chicks who are into the whole "guy thing" as some people call it and some of are a better than a lot of guys. and there are guys who totally rock too.
personally, i think its stupid that people still have to change their thinking of someone just because they`re a girl or guy.
and just between us? (i`d rather blow stuff up than play with dolls any day)
If you read the book you would have realized that Katniss isn't just the supporter in the house but that she also goes over and beyond to make sure that her little sister never had to do more than her share. Katniss had been supporting her family for 4 years when she started at the hunger games. Her father had made her bows and arrows since she was a little girl and then her father died when she was twelve. Katniss was physically fit because she spent 4 years with bows and arrows out in the woods to do what she had to do in order to keep her family safe. So, yes she was physically fit and she was poor, you can be both in panem.(panem is the world she lives in if you dont know) She also has so good of aim because she has spent the past four years shooting and trapping animals in order to survive.
Geeking Out On...J.J. Abrams Directing 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars'
J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek Into Darkness' is set to open this week, then begins the task of directing a new 'Star Wars' film for 2015. Check out this episode where Kurt argues why he's the man for the job and how it's enough already about the lens flares. Also, a few other "double dippers" in the dueling franchises as well as a few others.