The Badass Females of Films and Books

Strength is defined as the quality or state of being physically strong. An underwhelming concept, 
when you only skim the surface of its meaning. For me, strength is something that can reach a 
mental, physical and emotional state. It can be one person, an entire nation or the entire world. It 
can take you by surprise in your darkest moments- help you pull through with power you never 
thought yourself capable of. But, it can disappear in the flash of a moment- as fleeting as an 
autumn breeze. The individuals we see as “strong” can prove to be cowards, and those we deem 
“weak” can tap into unimaginable courage. It is all a matter of perception and understanding of the 
meaning of strength. And, as corny as it sounds, what we’re fighting for.  
 
Strong, in both its purest and simplest form, female characters aren’t easy to come by. Be it in 
films or books, some of the most well-known females roles have done irreversible damage to the 
perception of women. Books and films often portray these strong females with a number of stereotypical roles and inescapable dependency. Such has a lasting effect on both the male and females population, even more so on our younger generations. Arts.Mic published an article “9 Harmful Stereotypes We Never Realized Our Favorite Disney Movies Taught Us.” This article gives readers a small taste of women being constantly forced into roles that affect how women are perceived and categorized in day-to-day life.  
 
That’s right, that cute mermaid movie that taught us women should change their physical 
appearance for a man at any cost, may have allowed females to believe that changing for someone was only a sign of love. Not to mention how that fanfiction, to book, to movie that took the world by storm with its ‘shady grey areas’ also taught readers that non-consensual BDSM was hot and may have normalized physically and mentally abusive relationships to its readers and viewers. These examples are only crumbs fallen from a large cake of inequality.
You could say that we’ve come a long way in today’s society- that females are put into parts with 
more power and importance, but there is almost always a catch… 
 
Almost… 
 
Let’s take time to appreciate just a few of the films, television shows and books that did it right, and all the way right. 
No short-cuts, no add-ins for romantic effect, no over-sexualization of the female body. Just pure 
female badassery at its finest. 
 
 
Image result for sarah connor linda
Unlike most of the women you’ll see in this list, Sarah Connor isn’t your typical badass straight off the bat. From damsel in distress, to kicking ass and taking names, Linda Hamilton brings true form to the concept of ‘fear no evil.’ Not even when that evil is a terrifying mass of steal and robotic intelligence.As the main protagonist of a film filled with menacing male characters, Sarah Connor gives them all a run for their money.
Don’t be fooled by Tom Cruise’s insistent presence in this film, because its human solider, Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt, who steals the show. As a renowned human solider during a war against the Alien race, Rita is the first solider to experience the horror of reliving the same day, over and over again. From the moment Rita makes her first on screen appearance, she’s putting her male counterparts to shame. Of course Rita doesn’t just kick ass. She even mentors co-character, Cage, whom despite being your stereotypical ‘strong man’ can’t seem to make it through a day alive, without Rita’s intervention.
Image result for letty ortiz
(Fast & Furious Franchise)
We all know the dangerous beauty that is, Michelle Rodriguez. Shes got a heart of gold, but don’t let that fool you. Michelle can cross her legs just as well as she can pack a punch. So when she signed on to play Letty Ortiz  in the Fast & Furious franchise, there was no denying the hurricane of self-confidence and ferocity that the audience had coming their way. After all, it takes a true badass like Rodriguez to play the on-screen equivalent. I think its safe to say that audiences weren’t disappointed.
As a book, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is arguably one of the most difficult to read. There is no beating around the bush, no subtle subtext that sympathizes with its reader’s tender emotions. No, this book is as unforgiving as it is magnificent. One of the many reasons for its unbeatable delivery? Lisbeth Salander. In both the book and the film adaptions, Salander defies normal expectations of female beauty and brings the ‘take it or leave it’ attitude to the next level. This crime-investigating computer wiz doesn’t need a man to save her. She’s got her own back and enough generosity to save her male counterparts, too. 
 
 
Harry Potter is a hero, I’ll give you that much, but he wouldn’t have gotten very far without his best friend, Hermione Granger, saving his skin at every turn. As the most mature and intelligent of the “Potter Trio”, Granger shows her unending capacity for bravery through determination and loyalty to both her friends and the fight against evil. As selfless as she was bright, there is no shortage of reasons why Hermione Granger makes the list of badass female characters. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Bustle’s article on a few of the reasons we all should learn from Hermione Granger.
Katniss Everdeen  
Image result for book katniss everdeen
So you may be wondering why there isn’t a dazzling picture of the ever-lovely, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptions of Suzanne Collin’s “The Hunger Games” trilogy. It’s simple, Katniss was her finest in the books. Don’t get me wrong, I sat in the theater and gushed over the flawless performance Lawrence gave and the way she brought life to Suzanne Collin’s beloved Girl on Fire. It was the changes they made to Katniss’s drive and personality that took away from her strengths. For one, the book version of Katniss Everdeen is interested in two things: staying alive and protecting her sister, Prim. Her love interests, Gale and Peeta, are little more background noise to the bigger picture . Shes willing to kill anyone and anything that poses a threat to her family and even uses Peeta’s romantic feelings for her, to save her own skin, with little regard (okay, no regard) for his feelings. She may not be nice, but you can’t say she isn’t a badass. 

 

If only we could pay tribute to all of the badass females of film and literature. They date back centuries and they’re only growing in number with the passing of time. So, what badass female made your blood pump a little faster and your heart beat a little louder?

 
 
 
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Mary Jane Watson: The New and Improved.

Is Zendaya Coleman’s casting in “Spiderman: Homecoming” turning the page on racially equal casting in Hollywood?

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When Disney Channel star, Zendaya was cast as a key role in the upcoming film “Spiderman: Homecoming”, comic book and movie lovers everywhere flooded social media sites. Fans made their own assumptions about Zendaya’s involvement in the film. These assumptions immediately speculating that her role as “Michelle” (a character who does not exist in the comics or previous films, and certainly not as a key role) was just a cover-up for her part as Mary Jane Watson.  Despite the lack of confirmation from Sony and Marvel, people still had a lot to say.

In the past, Mary Jane Watson has always been portrayed by young white actresses. This most likely had to do with her  comic book character being a white red-head. For many, Zendaya’s mixed roots were a game changer, one they aren’t ready to accept, while others believe she fits the role like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

But where does all the hate come from?

In a society that claims to have progressed in terms of gender and racial equality, people are so quick to criticize that very same equality when it manifests into a real thing. Hollywood has encouraged much of the backlash with their own misrepresentations of race. After decades of miscast roles, cringe-worthy black face and blatant disregard for casting characters of color accurately, we should be well on our way to fixing the problem. I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t the case.

Just take a look at some of the films released in more recent years, where characters of color were cast with white actors and actresses.

Remember “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (2014)? That movie ignited the passionate anger of people worldwide for using white actors for the two lead roles, both of which were colored-characters. Not to mention a number slew of slaves and extras whom were also misrepresented racially. However, the hype didn’t last long, and the movie was still a box office hit. Go figure.

There are other (countless) portrayals of this type of ignorance in Hollywood, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon: “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” (2010), “Pan” (2015), “Gods of Egypt” (2016). All of these films involve characters of color, the majority of which are represented by white actors and actresses. Not to mention, the highly anticipated 2010 film produced by M. Night Shyamalan, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, an adaption of a television series that revolves almost entirely around a cast of Asian and Native American characters. The actors who played them in the film? They were all white. Oh, except the villains, they were graciously allowed to keep their racial identity.

Hollywood isn’t the only problem, though. Sure, its incessant habit to repeat past mistakes and then beg for forgiveness until we’ve all forgotten and moved on is a large part of the problem. But in the same breath, the audience also plays a huge part in reinforcing this repetitive process of inequality. Actors and actresses should be cast for appropriately based on the characters of color.

Or so one would think…

…and one would be wrong.

Take “The Hunger Games” trilogy. That took the world by storm when it was released back in 2008. Four years later, when the first of four film adaptations were released, fans across the world directed their attention to the wrong racial misinterpretation. The argument was that Rue, a young female character, should not have been played by, Amandla Stenberg, a colored-actress, despite the fact that the author, Suzanne Collins, made it quite clear in her description of Rue that the young girl was both “dark skinned and dark-eyed.”

The physical proof didn’t stop fans from unleashing hell on the poor, undeserving actress who was perfect for the part. Even worse, the main character Katniss’s physical description suggested that she, too, wasn’t white. Yet, when the blonde haired and blue-eyed, Jennifer Lawrence, took up the lead role, the indiscretion went unnoticed.

So, for the sake of breaking this racially unbalanced foundation that Hollywood has created, maybe we should start being genuine when we say “may the best actress or actor win” and stop using it as a justification when it suits our cause. Because, if you can sit through Angelina Jolie playing Mariane Pearl, a character who is of Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent, or Lawrence Olivier with blackface as Othello, then the gorgeous Zendaya Coleman playing a comic book favorite should be a breath of fresh air.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Final Trailer

On Monday(4/25) 20th Century Fox released the final trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, which is set to premier on May 27th. The trailer reveals and hints at a lot of the excitement, action, and drama we’ll get to see soon, leaving the last few seconds to tease viewers with a fan-favorite cameo.

Check out the trailer here!

In the film, the X-Men are up against their most formidable foe yet, a god who goes by the name of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaacs). The first ever mutant in the X-Men universe, Apocalypse has amassed legions of mutants and absorbed their powers to become immortal and all powerful. And to make matters worse, he’s got four “horsemen”/henchman helping him wreak havoc on the world.  #NewTestamentReference

As the trailer suggests, beloved telepath Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), is kidnapped by the Apocalypse gang, so it’s up to Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) to recruit a new team of mutants to save the day. In come X-Men icons like Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-Mcphee), and apparently Wolverine too from what the end of the trailer suggests. Looks like our favorite clawed Canadian will be back to help the youngsters out. Let’s just hope there’s no weird Jean/Cyclops/Wolverine love triangle this time since Jean and Scott are just teenagers in this film. Fans and media experts are hoping this means the Weapon X storyline will make it into the film too.

I am so excited for May 27th. Let me know what you think of the trailer and the upcoming film. I absolutely love X-Men (best part of Marvel in my opinion) and would love to get your opinions on the films!

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James Cameron Announces Four “Avatar” Sequels, The World Groans

The world is going to see a lot more blue people.

Avatar (2009)
Just last week, James Cameron made the announcement that he is expanding his plan for three Avatar sequels to four. The director has always been upfront with his plans to continue telling stories of his fictional world of Pandora and create a cinematic universe based on the first film but he still hasn’t made any progress beyond writing. Last year he said he was trying “to keep it to three sequels” despite having scripts for four. Guess he couldn’t condense.

Near the end of 20th Century Fox’s presentation at CinemaCon this Thursday, Mr. Cameron made a special guest appearance. “We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” he announced.

Working with “four top screenwriters and some of the top artisan designers in the world,” Cameron realized his vision for the Avatar universe transcended the bounds of the original 2009 film and the previously planned sequels. “It is going to be a true epic saga that is going to be told in this rich and complex world but we have begun to bump up against the limitations of our art form,” said Cameron. “There were just too many great visual ideas for two sequels, so we talked to Fox and we expanded it for three sequels. And then as the writing process has continued and as the script work is finishing up, it’s not three. It looks like it is four.”

“The people who have seen it so far have been speechless.”

Though Cameron seems excited by the prospects of a five film Avatar experience, a lot of us Earthlings are feeling weary with the thought of more alien AU Pocahontas movies.

A few just attacked Cameron himself.

I doubt all the jokes and complaints will really convince James Cameron to not make the movies, especially when he already plans to release them in 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, but who’s to get in the way of a man’s vision, right? Besides, even if the films tank, he’ll still have the Dark Horse Comics line of graphic novels, a Cirque du Soleil show, and a Disney theme park attraction opening in Orlando next year to fill his wallet.

But the thing is, Cameron has been announcing sequels since 2010 yet none have been made, so it really begs the question, “Will he ever make the movies?” Maybe with the years of release announced he’ll finally keep his promise. We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

 

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MTV Movie Awards 2016 Recap

In case you missed the 25th MTV Movie Awards last Sunday (4/10), here’s a quick rundown of the winners and some of the exciting, most-talked-about moments from the show.

2016 MTV Movie Awards Winners:

  • Movie of the Year: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • True Story: Straight Outta Compton
  • Documentary: Amy
  • Best Female Performance: Charlize Theron — Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Male Perfomance: Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant
  • Breakthrough Performance: Daisy Ridley — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Best Comedic Performance: Ryan Reynolds — Deadpool
  • Best Action Performance: Chris Pratt — Jurassic World
  • Best Hero: Jennifer Lawrence — The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
  • Best Villain: Adam Driver — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Best Virtual Performance: Amy Poehler — Inside Out
  • Ensemble Cast: Pitch Perfect 2
  • Best Kiss: Rebel Wilson & Adam DeVine — Pitch Perfect 2
  • Best Fight: Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) vs. Ajax (Ed Skrein) — Deadpool

Take a look at the other nominees and watch the acceptance speeches here!

The Wow, The Meh, and The Cringey

The MTV Movie Awards has never been one to take itself too seriously. It’s for sure no Academy Awards or Golden Globes, especially with its emphasis on flashy effects, big-budget blockbusters, and younger audience appeal. To kick it off this year, MTV decided to host the awards outdoors on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, CA as opposed to the traditional theater venue, a risky move that was ultimately fun and innovative. Nevertheless, sometimes it outdoes itself in jaw-droppers and head-scratchers. Here are few of the most exciting moments of the night, whether spectacular or not.

WOW: Co-Hosts Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Recreate Mad Max in the Coolest Entrance Ever

https://twitter.com/MTV/status/719487689595031553

MEH: Cursing Up a Storm and D*ck Jokes

The hosts never shied away from throwing in a swear every now and then, dropping F-bombs left and right. One of them being in reference to Leonardo diCaprio and his character’s encounter with a bear in The Revenant. Don’t watch with youngsters if you want to keep them pure.

https://twitter.com/MTV/status/719498998365573121

CRINGEY: Teen Moms Joke

Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, and Anna Kendrick participated in a bit that at best falls flat and at worst makes fun of teen moms and MTV’s show 16 and Pregnant. In an effort to promote the three actors’ upcoming movie, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, the involves Anna setting up a dating audition for the two guys, but instead of the girls she picked out coming on stage, actors pretending to be pregnant teens come up instead. Like DeVine’s expression throughout the bit indicated, this joke was just distasteful.

Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, and Adam Devine Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Lots of other fun things like Alexander Skarsgård presenting an award pantsless, Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine’s kiss, and The Lonely Island’s jiggy Will Smith Tribute happened too, but we’ll forever be scarred by that awful song about Leo and the bear.

Alexander Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MTV
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MTV
https://youtu.be/shSDylG1MoQ

https://twitter.com/MTV/status/719585839232065536

Happy MTV Movie Awards everyone! Did you guys watch? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments or on social media using #GlamorousPaper

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