Brains First, Breast Second – Part 2

"I have a fantastic S Curve with my body here, oh, wait. It's about the car. Cue scene where I give remote specifications, cue lack of this rest of franchise" (Image: Paramount Pictures)

 

"I once worked for the British Embassy, but by this point in the film you will remember only that I got out of expensive cars, the curvature of my rear, and that I run around in war zones while staying pristine in crisp white. Oh, and though I can act, I am given too few lines of depth or merit. I will stay here behind the hero." (Image: Paramount Pictures)

This has nothing to do with a lack of humor. Even less to do with an inability to have fun.  I am equal opportunity feminist. One of your bust out an rpg, break a few glass ceilings and go home to make a meatloaf for the man kind. Yet in a world filled with choices, I have a right to express the very poor choice of enabling the overuse of stupidity in my little niche in life: popular geek culture .  Blame the fact I watched Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon  on July 5, 2011 as the catalyst for this thought stream if you like.  Aside from the fact I enjoy the robots in disguise as much as the next girl, one thing that has gone from mere eye roll worthy to what is going on in Hollywood worry is that each female lead in this series was given a back story for intelligence but was portrayed as nothing but a pretty body to run around with Witwicky while offering sparse attempts at doing anything of any real praise other than being pretty. So pretty, in fact, they manage to stay made over in war zones. They fix his car, give him a place to live, but only have a side hand in fixing the major problem of the tale.  Guns, robots, babes. I get it. These things go together like peanut butter and jelly.  My problem is why does the babe have to appear dumb?

As mentioned in the review,  Rosie Huntington-Whitely had a surprising amount of talent. The fact that she is a lingerie model crossing in to acting has a general sense of foreboding along with it. Huntington-Whitely instead came across as charming and fresh.  Unfortunately, one does not know this at first considering on introduction the camera feels it is fitting to put itself so far up her posterior, the woman seems one misstep away from an exam. Its ten times worse than the Fox-pining-on-motorcycle shot from the last film. As the film progresses we hear hints of her place in the British Embassy yet see her only in a suit for a split minute while Witwicky stares in awed glory. The progression follows the same formula as the first and second films: take a woman, give her a back story yet have it mean precious little to her over all character development.  Why have  back story at all?  It isn’t the first or the last time this happened in movies.  Yet, just that one scene of a dainty rear covered in panties set me on edge for the rest of the film. Sure, I enjoyed it, but I would have enjoyed  her contribution more, too. The woman worked for her country’s government. IN GOVERNMENT.  Is it too much to ask that in a geek film there is a female lead during an equally geeky thing such as participating in a political function, maybe even scientific?  How about more espionage on her part, hmm?  Even the one female with power in T3 was there too little for my tastes but at least she displayed a brain. Poor character of Carly Miller had such fleeting moments of prolonged intelligence as a collective whole you could count them on one hand.

 As a geek girl watching a movie like T3, or any other, it’d be nice to see her getting her hands in the science. It is a reprisal of the universe, right? After all, that the character dear Rosie was playing goes on to actually become Witwicky’s wife in the series. If there is a continuation of this franchise, it is a character you can continue with.  Not just at his side, but front and center. Getting in the fray, not staying clean.  Not just screaming for her man’s safety.

Please pay attention Hollywood, and pay attention well. Please do not replicate this formula in future adaptations or reboots of other cartoon or comic franchises. Michael Bay is a style over substance man, so much so that immortalized on film are pretty girls with emptying heads.  Make them as pretty as you like. In all earnest you will never hear me complain about the fact that they are models, because it takes quite a bit of maintaining to maintain.  My issue is that you, or any other director with similar ideas in his head along with their script writing cohorts can’t seem to commit to an idea of more than arm candy. I’d even forgive you the shot up her rear if you gave her more intelligent things to do and say. Pretty AND smart is quite the enduring combination. Even more so among geeks.

This now leads toward those who promote the films, their video game counterparts, or merchandies. The “booth babe” as she is most commonly known is a fixture at conventions. She is a  promotional model responsible for assisting in the promotion and/or sell of an item through the notice of herself and thus the product of choice.  There will be no discussion on the clothing worn, thoughts on objectification,  or the useful vs. uselessness of this idea.  She is, after all, a woman making a living. It is not always an easy occupation, either. Patrons can at times become “too friendly.”  Countless instances of groping, inappropriate remarks, and gesturing are all too common parts of their day. 

CBOSS Girls at 3GSM Barcelona, Spain 2006 (by Ville Miettinen: Flickr, Wikepdia Commons)

The problem is this. I, like many others, are about to embark on the epic festival of fun that is San Diego Comic-Con International 2011.  Four days of unmitigated pop culture insanity await the thousands on thousands of those who will be lining up for panels, hoping to rub elbows with industry favorites, and making their way to the meca that is a jewel of an exhibition hall. You can find everything in this place, let me tell you. Classic comics, new comics, graphic novels, real novels, illustrations, toys, video games, and more.  The established co-mingle with the up and coming.  Luring the con goer to the various booth will be  range of things from vocal sales people, a smile, or the brave soul to volunteer to form a line collecting the curious.  Highlight she, the booth babe.  Equal parts seller and brave soul. One has to respect any woman that works hours long shifts in a pair of break your neck heels. The upset comes when I ask a question about where she is that she should be able to answer. When is the movie coming out?  What is it basically about?  Have you played this video game before?  What do you think of the company as a whole?  Familiar with that comic, book, or software?

If the answer is no to any of these basics due to simply not knowing? Oh. my. f-ing. God.  This has happened at Comic-Con more times than I care to remember. I applaud the industry that hires promotional aids who understand, use, and can effectively comment and endorse the product. In film, a basic understanding of upcoming plot would be necessary, and if based off a comic or animation?  Is it so hard to find those familiar with the source material? You’d guarantee more of a good time for all involved by allowing the model to discuss interests while actually capturing the attention of patrons with legitimate information. This goes on in other shows for different industries, and it should be a simple formula: If you are going to stand beside or hand out items for a product, use it or do your homework.  Industry standards should institute not running useless, brainless meat markets at your booth. 

Please pay attention, industry leads. Pay attention well.  A girl in a bikini is a shallow tactic compared to the same girl in a bikini who can assist in promotions by displaying actual knowledge.  The size of her breasts and the way her hip curves will do precious little for you with critics. 

Brains first, breasts second. Especially in the 21st century. I am neither a second class participant nor a second class consumer in my own niche culture. Clothes, a smile, and glasses are not all that make me. Legs, hips, and ass are secondary to my head.  Admire the entire package if you will but I promise: it is the brain of a geek girl that dazzles you the most.

(Part 1 begins here) 

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One thought on “Brains First, Breast Second – Part 2

  1. This is such a great article that really needed written. There are many cases in the industy movie-wise, not only Michael Bay, where this is the standard. Sadly this is the standard not even always just for the women though it is more commonplace among women. The eye candy vapid mind tactic is getting old, and fast. Where is more the Alice or Jill Valentines? I thought, personally, that after the release of the Resident Evil films we’d see more of these intelligent and yet BAMF women. Who were far more than just eye candy. Who got dirty, sweaty, and bloody to kick butt and save their friends, as well as their own, butts. Instead we’re still seeing more of the brainless twit in sexy clothes than anything else, and I’ve even started to see that tactic used as far as some men in films too though a good example eludes me at the moment.

    I think that Hollywood, and the industry, are missing balance. Why must a sexy guy always be a kick butt douche? Why must a sexy girl always be a defenseless twit? You don’t want to go over the line and push extremes (ie Die Hard 4 villain who got hot babes, was ripped, was pro with a gun, and was a genius with computers) though neither do you want to not steer away from the typical (ie Die Hard 4… computer genius, overweight, living in the basement at his mom’s). This can be encouraged in all cases, but more of a start of this in the area of women in films would be nice.

    Also I completely agree with you about “booth babes”. I know most do that for money, but you should at least research what you’re selling if it’s not something you’re already knowledgeable about. Learning would be far more beneficial and make it also more entertaining..and maybe they’d run into the groping hands problems less? haha

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