Nostalgia Chick on female superhero movies

So I surfed across Nostalgia Chick's hilarious countdown of worst female Superhero films, and I totally agree with her.

But I also think her list reflects both some self imposed restrictions, societal definitions of 'superhero', and of course the actual corporate marketing strategies that all combine to make it seem like we get far fewer good female superhero movies than male ones - when in fact we get very few good ones of either, with a less pronounced bias toward male heroes when you factor in the fact that there are so many more male superheroes in the comics from which you are drawing (or, if if you loosen the definition of superhero we get more better films of both).

What follows is a link to her video, followed by my commentary:

Part I

Part II

Here's the full video on Blip TV:

O.K., first, don't get me wrong, I agree, those movies all blow (except maybe Barb Wire which is fun to watch in a so-bad-it's-good sort of way).

The thing is - when there were as few male superhero movies as there are female ones, they all sucked too. The female superhero is at the same stage male superheros were before Christopher Reeve. And that brings up the common denominator in all those movies - the casting - every single one of them was HORRIBLY mis-cast. Every one. The one that came closest to good casting was ironically, Tank Girl (the movie where she and everyone else complains about the casting of the protagonist).

Don't get me wrong, a bad script is the first predictor of fail - but even a good cast can make a not so good script enjoyable (I'd argue that Superman the Movie was just such a case).

One problem here is how she defines superhero - for all intents and purposes, Milla Jovovich was a superhero in The Fifth Element (as well as Resident Evil), but by not including independent comics, or video games which have more gender balanced audiences, she's restricting her review to characters adapted from a medium largely targeted at young males, and she's further limiting it specifically to the segment (mainstream superhero) of the medium that specially caters to that age/gender.

It's not that I don't agree with her, its just that it's a small pool to begin with, and then she further restricts it by eliminating things like Buffy, or all animated movies. So, while I agree with her, I have to add that even if we were to make a list of really good male superhero films, it would be like less than 10 and half of them would be Batman.

3 Comments Refresh
Posted by RedRyan

It is a pretty stinky list no doubt but seeing good mainstream superhero movies of any kind is a relatively recent event. Like you I would struggle to think of ten and for me most of them would be the recent efforts from Marvel. It doesn't say much that in an industry dominated by men we have so few good films with a male protaganist. As it is I just don't think the source material is there to make many good films with female leads. Warner bros. seem particulary useless at making anything good from their properties, I'm thinking more Green Lantern than Batman Begins and any attempt by them to make a Wonder Woman or Catwoman movie probably wouldn't even make that list.

Posted by x_29

I like the nostalgia chick and agree with her on this list. The big thing with a lot of female comic-book superheros in general is that the writers feel the need to make them into the exaggerated vision of a "strong independent woman." Because of that, they sometimes amount to " the angry feminist" in some form and their antagonists are either men who bring up her gender a lot or villainesses with gender-cliche goals ( controlling men, beauty product related scheme.)

Posted by Inverno

I don't like Lindsey very much but I found myself agreeing with her the whole time on this video.