Saturday, July 23, 2011

Transformers 3: Michael Bay's Wet Dream for the Male Masses

It's no surprise to anyone that Michael Bay makes misogynistic movies. So I'm not going to waste everyone's time trying to explain why. I'm not his mommy and it's not my job to teach him better (but I wouldn't mind volunteering).

I went to see Transformers 3 with a good friend of mine and her seven year old son. After leaving the theatre I had the strong temptation to sit the boy down and have a long talk with him about women's worth as human beings (rather than as objects of sex, malice and/or disdain). Is it too early to teach him how to spell misogyny? I also wanted to teach him that women do have the power and ability to save themselves and that, while it is always cool to step in and save a woman who has run out of self-saving options, he should never ever assume that a woman doesn't have any ability to save herself if she does indeed require saving. Also, the sharing of weapons with a woman while in the midst of a worldwide take-over by Decepticons is a thoughtful way to let her know that you think she matters.

The first thing I noticed about this movie was that there weren't a lot of women in it. The few women they had sprinkled throughout the early scenes as extras were all hot. One got in trouble for dressing as a hoochie mama at work. Damn her for being sexy and distracting these men from their "very important jobs". Another got in trouble for using a red coffee cup on the yellow floor (each floor of the building was apparently color coded). Upon being chastised for her poor choice of self-expression she fled the room in tears. Apparently Michael Bay doesn't get about much in the real world, where such abuse would have garnered him a red coffee mug imbedded in his skull. Or maybe that's the whole point: Michael Bay is obviously trying to portray a fantasy world where men rule (and drool) and women are either pains in the ass or else just gratuitous juicy ass.

There was a very small handful of women who were allowed to have "pivotal" roles in the film. I'm still trying to figure this part out as it didn't seem to matter if any of these women lived or died- one way or the other the men would still save the world from alien robots sporting themselves as super-charged vehicles made to buck up a man's small-cocked ego.

Only one "pivotal" character was allowed to be hot:  Carly Spencer, played by Rosie Huntington-Whitely, who was chosen for her impressive acting experience oops because she's a Victoria's Secret model oops. Let me try again: who was chosen because of her long gams, quarter-bouncing worthy ass, and a mouth that men believe is begging to suck on something (despite the fact that the lips don't actually ever say any such thing). Funny how her employer gives her a $200,000 car and she sees no problem with it. When her boyfriend (that goober LeBeouf) has a fit about it he's just being silly, in her honest opinion. It's obvious what a good employee she is and of course she deserves this car and has earned it honestly. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that she's a Victoria's Secret model who's wardrobe requires her to vaseline her body before she gets dressed. Besides, we all know lots of people who have been gifted a Mercedes SLS-AMG by their employer simply for doing their job. Right?

So how was Rosie's character pivotal? It's quite simple. The bad guys threatened to disfigure her face. Thus, LeBeouf has no other choice but to compromise the existence of the entire human race just to save that pretty, lip smackin' face.

But I will give Huntington-Whitely kudos for a job well done: it is hard to be a damsel-in-distress, being shot at and falling out of toppling skyscrapers and still manage to keep your make-up, hair, and wardrobe impeccable throughout. Bravo, HW, bravo!

Believe it or not there were two other pivotal females in the film: LeBeouf's mother, who is a post-menopausal nitwit who just doesn't listen and has only two brain cells: one that blinks on and off while the other one runs around it in circles, yapping. I use the term "pivotal" very lightly. I can't see either way why she's important to the plot except that Bay needs to flesh out how sucky LeBeouf's life is because, ya know, having an Autobot as a best friend and a Victoria's Secret model as a girlfriend is just not enough to make a man happy.

The other female is the iconoclastic Frances McDormand, who must have a rather large skeleton in her closet or else Bay kidnapped a cherished loved one in order to blackmail her into being a part of this puke of a film. Her character is obviously pivotal because what would a movie like this be without a battle-ax to add angst? Don't worry, though. She gets hers in the end when she is yanked into a kiss against her will. Hey, it's the closest Bay can come to anything rapey and not get slapped on the wrist. Cuz we all know that battle-axes are just sexually frustrated women who can be fixed simply by forcing sex on them. Thank goddess for men like Bay for recognizing this, otherwise the world would be in much more dire straights than could ever be possible by a mere Decepticon invasion.

The coup de grace? When HW's character basically tells Megatron he's a pussy if he doesn't get up and fight. Oh what crafty female sorcery is this? Hey, wait . . . does this mean that ultimately it was a woman who saved the world?

The only thing the movie really lacked to complete Bay's misogynist fantasy would be a terrifyingly powerful female Decepticon leaking transmission fluid from her undercarriage. And for that I'm truly disappointed.

Does Kotex make a pad for this?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Different Philosophy

It's always an interesting ride in Gabe-Land for me.

He sees things differently. He thinks differently. He reacts differently. And he's crazy-smart when he needs to be.

It's the crazy-smart that makes it difficult to teach him morals, personal accountability, and responsibility.

Case in point:

I got a phone call from his school one day saying that he was being difficult and needed to come home. They were suspending him for a day for having skipped a class.

When I got him home I asked him, "Gabe, your teacher said that you refused to report to your 2nd block class. WHY????"

"Mom," He replied, exasperated, "She's lying!"

"Gabe, why would your teacher lie to me?!"

"But, Mom, I didn't refuse to go to class . . . I chose not to go."

It's always difficult to discipline your kid when half your brain wants to paddle blisters into his butt while the other half of your brain is saying, "That's a freaking brilliant kid!"