- 3 Months of Movies (I)
- 3 Months of Movies (II)
- 3 Months of Movies (III)
- 3 Months of Movies (IV)
- 3 Months of Movies (V)
Another three months have passed since I talked about all the movies I have watched and analyzed them statistically. I have continued watching movies since then and although the number of movies I have watched has declined, there are still enough movies to take another arithmetical look at what this selection of movies is telling us about the state of gender, race and other things in general. As always, you can look at the list to see all the movies I am talking about. This time the survey goes from Non-Stop to The Sessions.
Since July I’ve watched 46 movies (as opposed to 75 last time). Even more this time, almost all of them are from the last 14 years. Not much there from the 1900s!
The average of my ratings is 6,3 (compared to 5,8 last time), which is somewhat better. There is only one 1 and one 10, which will make my best/worst category easy this time. Again, 7 is the most common rating.
The reasons for watching movies hasn’t changed that much, but here are fewer students’ recommendations, which will be even less next time, since I don’t ask them for recommendations anymore. Podcasts are still strong because it’s fun to watch a movie and then listen to people talk about it. Significantly new are movies for theme weeks.
13 movies included some kind of stereotype this (last time it was only 19 out of 75, so it’s worse), including mentally disabled people (Prom Night), Japanese (Battleship), homosexuals (Vanishing Point, Talladega Nights), men (Paranormal Activity, The Room, Frozen, Neighbors), African-Americans (Punisher: War Zone, Leprechaun in the Hood, Snakes on a Plane), Russians (Punisher: War Zone), Asians (Punisher: War Zone), teachers (Fack ju Göhte) and Mexicans (We’re the Millers). Again, most of those movies are from the last 10 years, so the amount of stereotypes is astounding. Leprechaun in the Hood stands out as the worst example because this movie is simply racist. Women deserve their own category again, but we shouldn’t forget that I mentioned four movies up there that also stereotype men, which is surprising too. Movies that consciously try to defy stereotypes are rare again, the only ones I would count are the comedies Paul and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
Depiction of Women
Here we go again Not surprisingly, women fare the worst again this time. I counted 21 out of 46 movies were women were depicted in a stereotypical or inferior way (compared to 31 out of 75 last time). This means almost half the movies didn’t know how to deal with women in a right way. The worst are probably The Room for depicting women as evil and Prom Night for going all the way with women as victims. Other offenses include the standard of showing them as passive and helpless (Punisher: War Zone, Knowing, The Next Three Days, Jack Reacher, Frozen, The Bourne Legacy, Lady in the Water, Snakes on a Plane), giving women alibi roles without giving them anything to do (Battleship, Non-Stop), using their nudity (Vanishing Point), showing them as a murderous feminists cult (The Wicker Man), exploiting their sexuality (I Know Who Killed Me), seeing them as disposable (American Psycho, though, to be fair, it’s supposed to show the character’s misogyny), more women as evil (The Conjuring), depicting them as hysteric (Fack ju Göhte), sidelining them while pretending to do them justice (Neighbors) or just not really having any noticeable women around (The Hobbit).
But this time there is also a fair amount of strong women to be found. I counted 17 strong women in those movies and while not all of them were entirely successful (Guardians of the Galaxy) or really problematic (Ms. 45), it’s a higher number than last time. But it has to be said that most of their toughness comes at the cost of any charisma. If they are strong, they often have to dispose of their sense of humor (unlike cool male heroes, who can quip in any situation). This is true of almost all examples, these women are serious (Winter’s Bone, Looper, The Hobbit, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ordinary People). There are 7 women in leading roles, only 3 of them are strong ones. 7 out of 46 is still not a good quota.
I only found 2 movies with non-white leading actors, both male, one black, one Turkish. None of those movies was any good, but at least they avoided any racial stereotypes (Snakes on a Plane, Fack ju Göhte).
This time I’d say none of the movies openly criticizes society. Sadly. Ordinary People probably comes closest, but it never goes to say it’s society’s fault. And I read criticism into many movies but this obviously might just be my interpretation and not any intention.
So, as I said, this is easy this time, because, as I said, there is only one 10 and one 1. So, the best movie clearly is Looper, which was so good I could write two articles about it. I still think it’s a basically flawless movie that is also thought-provoking and exciting. None of the 9s look to me like potential 10s now. Ordinary People and American Hustle probably come closest, but lack the extra special that would really bring them there.
I’ve seen The Room, so this is easily the worst movie in some way. But since it’s a movie I would watch again (and again), I decided not to pick it because while there can hardly be a movie made in worse way, I don’t hate it. I really love it actually. So which movie did I hate the most this time? It’s a close race between Punisher: War Zone and Leprechaun in the Hood. But I give it to Leprechaun, for one because at least Punisher had good intentions, but also because Leprechaun is really hard to watch and racist.
That was another three months of movies. I see you again in January!