Tag Archives: women

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One of the best movies this summer far and away has been “Wonder Woman.”

The movie stars Gal Gadot, who is not just a pretty face.

She’s got poise, comic sensibilities, acrobatic fight moves and a presence that really lights up a screen.

And a special bonus:  The movie is now the highest-grossing live-action film to be directed by a woman.

The superhero adventure eclipsed the $609.8 million racked up by “Mamma Mia!,” the Abba musical that was directed by Phyllida Lloyd,  Variety reports.

“Wonder Woman” was directed by Patty Jenkins, who previously oversaw the Oscar-winning “Monster.”

So what’s not to like?

Well, for those misogynistic knuckle-draggers out there who don’t want to see women succeed — in Hollywood or anywhere else — there is lots to complain about.

In this episode, Pedro and Chris sing the praises of “Wonder Woman” and explore whether it marks a turning point in movie-making’s male-dominated culture or whether this was merely a one-off occurrence.

They also push back against at the groundless criticism of the movie, especially by one guy who objected to an all-female screening at a theater in Austin, Tex.

Give a listen and tell us what you think.  Express yourself on our Facebook page or write us at amr@aboutmenshow.com.

No superhero skills required.

An Open Letter of Apology to Carrie Fisher

Dear Ms. Fisher:

I feel I owe you an apology. And while I say this speaking strictly for myself, I suspect there is a wider swath of men who might feel the way I do.

You recently came under attack by social media trolls who criticized you for — gasp! — having the temerity to look older since the last time you appeared in a “Star Wars” movie.

The shaming you were subjected to came after your appearances as General Leia Organa in “The Force Awakens.”

Some of the comments, which I read on Twitter, were vitriolic. I was stunned at how base some people were.

But then again, I should have known better: That’s because I’m guilty of contributing to this kind of mentality.

There’s a generation of us men who grew up unenlightened about women. In our childhood and adolescence, we knew Hollywood actresses only to be young and pretty.

I’m thinking here of an age of “Charlie’s Angels” or “Wonder Woman,” for example.

I suppose Hollywood has always placed a premium on youth and good looks, with the scales unfairly tilted against actresses.

My wife and I have had this discussion numerous times, with her pointing out that beyond a certain age, the opportunities for an actress shrink as her perceived value (read good looks) fades.

For a long time I argued – in a Pollyannaish way – that was not the case. I realize, of course, that is very much the reality and that guys like me have contributed to that ethos.

It is a culture that the comedian Amy Schumer so perfectly skewed in a sketch on her show that parodied “Twelve Angry Men.” The all-male jury’s deliberations focused on whether Schumer was “hot enough” to have her own show.

While the sketch was brilliantly subversive and spot-on hilarious, it also exposed an uncomfortable truth:

Terms like “objectify” are not part of the cultural vocabulary of many men when it comes to women. Instead, we use descriptions like “hot,” “cute,” “babe” or worse.

I’ve been a fan of yours since “Star Wars” came out in 1977 and, yes, as an 18-year-old when “Return of the Jedi” was released, lusted after you when you appeared in that bikini outfit.

But that’s a long time ago and it’s belatedly clear to me that women in general and particularly in Hollywood are held to a different set of standards that are linked almost exclusively to their appearances.

Your response to the social media trolls struck a nerve with me:

“Please stop debating about whether or not [I] aged well. Unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.”

Those comments were an epiphany.

I sensed a genuine hurt beneath the layer of sarcasm. Also, there’s something about the fact that I grew up with you, my admiration for your forthright public battle with mental illness and addictions and the head-on way you addressed the trolls that spoke to me.

On screen, you’ve played a princess and a general and in real life you are a mother, daughter, author and actress.

To me, though, you’re smart and brave.

Thank you for that.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Mele

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“Fifty Shades of Grey”: A Review From A Guy’s Point of View

​As my wife and I sat in the movie theater waiting for “Fifty Shades of Grey” to begin, she squeezed my hand and said:

“Are you excited?”

“I’m going to be open-minded,” I replied.

“Careful,” she teased, “or your brains might fall out.”

If only they had. Then my head would have been as vacuous as this movie.

To be clear, I am no prude when it comes to sex or nudity.

As part of a misspent youth, I visited many theaters worthy of the trench-coat crowd and have seen some pretty far-out stuff, sexually speaking.

What goes on between two consenting adults? Get your freak on, folks.

Clown make-up, scuba suits, dripping candle wax: Whatever curls your toes, have at it.

But this movie did almost the impossible: It made sex scenes that were antiseptic, turgid and utterly lacking in heat.

In sum, it made for boring boning.

Christian Grey makes Anastasia Steele go through what amounts to some kinky “Simon Says” exercises. (The difference being that when she failed to follow the specific instructions, she got spanked.)

But there was zero spark or chemistry between the lead characters. It was like they were acting in two different movies, each shot separately against a blue screen and then spliced together.

My problems with the movie ranged from irritation (ridiculous over-the-top product placements for Apple) to disbelief (Anastasia is a modern-day college senior and she is using a flip-phone, plus she’s a virgin?) to exasperating (she is supposed to be falling in love with this creepy borderline stalker-abuser but she seems mostly uncomfortable in his company).

But most of all, I found “Fifty” demeaning to women to the point that it made my blood boil.

Anastasia is on the cusp of graduating college but she appears not to have a brain cell in her head and is painted as a total dolt, following Christian around like some hapless puppy.

Add to that a paddling scene that looks more like a vicious beating by an abusive spouse or boyfriend and a sex scene bordering on rape.

It felt like two hours and five minutes of “torture porn” masquerading as mainstream movie-making.

At one point, Christian says: “I don’t make love…I fuck. Hard.”

I *get* dirty talk, and I’m all for it, but in the context of this movie, it sounded silly, at best, and like an excuse for engaging in misogyny at worst.

My wife and I debated the attraction of “Fifty” to women, who made up nearly two-thirds of the ticket-buyers in the movie’s opening weekend.

I don’t understand it, though there is no denying that actor Jamie Dornan is a hunka-hunk of burning love.

What I do know is that, as a man who is open-minded about sex and who likes a hot depiction of it as much as the next guy, I found this movie degrading and insulting.

There is a scene in which Christian says: “I’m 50 shades of fucked-up.”

Yep. So is this movie.

Do yourself a favor and just say “Laters, baby” to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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