Mad Max: Fury Road – Innocuous Feminism

Because the feminism on display in Mad Max: Fury Road is so innocuous. The fact that it isn't radical--that it's so "duh" to anyone with half a brain and an ounce of empathy--leaves me bummed. It's like the world treating a fart like a god damned tornado.

Review: The Battle of the Five Armies – Style Over Substance

But its treatment of women is just one more example of Five Armies' predilection for style over substance. The film has the look of tragedy, the look of "strong female characters," and of course its visual appearance is nothing short of stunning. But beneath it all is a narrative that has been stretched far too thin to bear any narrative or thematic weight. J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a children’s book about adventure and the joys of going home again. The Hobbit trilogy, and Battle of the Five Armies in particular, is a celebration of the glory of war, where even death and loss are romanticized. If there’s any true hubris in the tragedy of The Hobbit trilogy, perhaps that’s it.

The Carmilla Webseries: On Lesbian Vampires and Creampuffs

Carmilla, the titular heroine of the webseries on YouTube, should be doomed as soon as she explodes through the dorm room door. This variation on the 143 year old tale has been updated to a 2014 variation of the fictive nation of Styria and Laura is now a college student with a passion for Veronica Mars-style investigations while Carmilla is her new roommate, assigned after her old roommate mysteriously disappears. Colleges are familiar playgrounds for queer lady vamps. There its easy to cast them aside at the end of the story as the heroine’s attraction to their otherness is laughed off as an “experimentation.” But this webseries isn’t laughing.