"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
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Will you ever reach Bora?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Gender-switch Reboots Don't Work (And Then You Had Leprosy and a Spotted Something)

Call me a sexist. Call me difficult. But 2019's The Hustle starring social justice warrior Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson is yet another prime example of a forced gender-switch reboot that sucks so hard you'd think it should at least have been a bit exciting. Well, it isn't. Keep sucking and we'll keep disliking them, Hollywood. Gender-switch reboots don't work, and here is why. (Of course, you're not paying attention.) 

I'm so fed-up being called a sexist whenever I tell my fellow-conversationalists that gender-switch reboots are trash. (What did he just say!) Half the planet must be inhabited by entitled spoiled brats — little ones, big ones, teens and their woke 2019 adult counterparts — who throw a tantrum whenever someone doesn't see the world the way they do: "He said women characters can't replace male characters. Yes, he did. And then... I was offended!" To which Steve Hughes would've added, "And when you woke up in the morning, you had leprosy." Exactly.

There is this collective — some would say, childish — need to prove that women can be as successful and impressive as men. ("Look, Daddy! I can kick a ball, too!") There is this deep-seated urge to show the world once and for all that women can be as powerful, but also as funny, as men. While I'd be the last one to smirk at such an ambitious goal — after all, we all have to right to achieve greatness, whether man, woman or unicorn — I wonder why whole herds of Hollywood women have been deluded into thinking that being strong and funny equals doing the exact same thing that men do. Surely the human male is not your role model? That would defy the whole purpose of trying to be your own woman.

Oh here is what tough Hollywomen look like. Notice the unconvincing masculine attitude:

Termination 6 (2019, forthc.)

Ocean's 8 (2019) 

Ghostbusters (2016)
Of course, the all-male Ghostbusters (1984) wasn't about trying to look tough and badass at all. Quite the opposite. It was about comradery, tongue-in-cheek goofiness but never about posing. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the 2016 reboot is a masterclass in effective misinterpretation of its source material. These badass women were posing. They were trying to make a statement as actresses, not characters. It was a meta-message as subtle as a spotted dick on a British plate. A real one.

If you didn't get that joke, rest assured knowing it has become part of western culture for viewers to be expected to laugh whenever a female character is expertly demonstrating her unattainable level of badassery and empowerment by making a cheap joke at the expense of men — a joke that is tantamount to kicking a guy in the mighty marbles and calling it a day. It's hilarious. It is just as hilarious as kicking a woman in the camel toe, and it's all the rage. Vindicktive is the new fun. Not vindictive as in one movie character getting even with another one. Of course not. Vindictive as in one woke writer, producer or actress getting even with a world inhabited by evil white men who need to be taught a valuable lesson that is to span generations.

When the new Ghostbusters' dimwitted secretary put his fingers on his eyes instead of his ears on hearing a loud sound, we were supposed to crack up and piss our pants. ("He is so stupid! That's so funny!") Of course, no one ever ridiculed ‎Janine Melnitz, the female secretary portrayed by Anne Hampton Potts in the original Ghostbusters (1984). In fact, she was witty and bold, not to mention stunningly beautiful. ("Sexist!")

Enter Leslie Jones's Ghostbuster Patty Tolan, whose failed attempt at stage diving led to her saying, "Okay, I don't know if that was a race thing or a lady thing, but I'm mad as hell." (0:52) Yes, movie, we hear you. Your political agenda has once again succeeded in taking me out of this refreshing power house of a movie, a flick about GHOSTS and SLIME, not one about racism and sexism. Stop playing that victim card. Be original. Man, I will probably burn in hell for even liking this movie at the time. (Did he say man?) I must have been mesmerized by Melissa McCarthy's good looks and classy jokes. 

Just look at me and eat your heart out.

Enter lackluster Anne Hathaway, who just has to push her gender politics down our throats in The Hustle, saying that "Of course, no man will ever believe a woman is smarter than he is." (0:42) Sigh. Just act smart and we'll be impressed, dammit. And while you're at it, shove those meta-messages where your SJW groupies want to stick their collective tongue. Show, don't tell. Show, don't state. Show, don't make us for a second suspect that women do talk too much after all. And, most importantly, don't think for a split second that you can fill Michael Caine's shoes. I wish you could, but you can't. Your accent is absurd and you're as funny as a brick on Sunday. Stick to what you do best: drama and romance. Don't try to gender-switch and besmudge the classic that is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with your high-and-mighty attitude. At least Michael Caine's Lawrence Jamieson didn't take himself as seriously as his unlikeable, haughty female replacement: you.

So, there you have it, Hollyheads. Try as you might, it won't do to emasculate your Daddy by copying his ways. Be a good girl and think of something new. Don't try to act like men. Don't be like men. Don't imitate the ones you either envy or despise. Whether you're Debbie Ocean in that soft reboot Ocean's 8 (2018), Kate Sullivan in Overboard (2018) or Ali Davis in What Men Want (2019), who says "It's time to break that glass ceiling" (0:14), at least give it a shot, and you will find virtue and joy in having tried your darndest.

I hope you're not offended.

Now, excuse me while I go enjoy that Sex in the City reboot I've been hearing so much about starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Armie Hammer and Dwayne Johnson doing a pretty good job making fun of women while acting like them, too. Popcorn!

* * *

No, it's not, but it's a nice try, though.