The Best-Reviewed Women-Directed Films of 2016, According to Rotten Tomatoes
The Best Documentaries By and About Women in 2016
Check your local PBS stations’ schedules or online videos, public and college libraries DVD collections, and other sources for watching these, or go directly to each director’s/screenwriter’s websites or online DVD sales outlets to purchase DVDs.
20 Most Anticipated Films By and About Women of 2017
from Rachel Montpelier, Feminist Writer, Spinster, & Lunatic; Creator of The Outside Girls Project https://outsidegirlsblog.wordpress.com/
Check out these amazing-sound films, coming right up! Thanks, Rachel, for curating this list.
Why do I Torment Myself with Sappy Movies in December?
- These movies make no sense. The internal logic falls apart almost immediately, or at least within the first quarter hour. There are wizardly Santas, wish-granting entities or objects, time-travel, alternate realities, magic spells and “coincidences” galore in these movies. I don’t only have to “suspend my disbelief”: I have to turn off my brain almost entirely.
- The characters are two-dimensional, predictable and ridiculously simplistic. No one can possibly be that shallow, that stupid, that naive, that obvious. Yet, there they are, in film after film, on USA, TNT, TBS, Hallmark, AMC and other movie channels and network television stations.
image from http://memegenerator.net
- These plots and characters are idiotic. The stories are anti-feminist or anti-intelligence or both. The messages, especially for women, include such tropes as: “Don’t have an interesting career or meet anyone ‘new’: go ‘home’ and be with someone from high school so that you can live within your family’s sphere because that’s the only way to ‘be happy.'” For those with successful careers or high-powered jobs, the messages are: “Being a successful person can’t possibly make you ‘happy’; only ‘love’ can do that.”
Repeated favorites are also the usual “beginning” in which they have the “meet-cute between some ‘ordinary’ person and someone ‘royal/wealthy.'” Next, we “hear” these messages: “Despite your complete unsuitability, s/he will want to be with you. Even if you’re a hotel maid or other ‘peon’ with nothing in common regarding backgrounds or experiences, don’t worry: you’ll live ‘happily ever after.’ So, everyone should aspire/expect to be swept up by someone rich and powerful at any moment. Never mind if that person is your employer, your subject, your client/patient or your nemesis: ‘it’s all good.'”
- The endings and beginnings are unsatisfying and incomplete: inevitably, these movies end with the main characters’ having their first (and sometimes only) kiss, or their wedding ceremony, or their engagement/proposal and response, or some other “beginning.” However, this event occurs after about 90 minutes’ worth of false starts, wrong turns, disrespect and/or disregard. How could they trust each other (or themselves, for that matter) after one or both of them has ignored the signs and/or the other person, misread them or misunderstood them for their entire relationship up to that point?
- These characters lie and cheat their way to “happiness.” Often, one or both has been about to begin with /marry someone else entirely. Then, at almost the last minute, one or both of the main characters changes his/her mind and breaks that relationship off in order to be with the other main character instead. There is also usually no honesty from the deceiver regarding how long s/he has harbored feelings for the other protagonist, either. Yet, somehow, all lying and liars (if they are the protagonists, that is) are forgiven.
image from http://smilingldsgirl.com
- The protagonists hurt others. Let’s talk about the person whose heart s/he just broke by calling off the engagement/wedding, ending the ongoing relationship. Usually, the filmmakers/writers make that person seem “deserving” of being rejected by showing him/her to be unreliable, like being a cheater or a liar, or being secretly (not-so-secretly) a jerk or insincere, just in it for the money or status, for example. But what about when that person is actually great, but has the misfortune to be suddenly “wrong” for the protagonist? We don’t see how the rejected ones cope with the ending of their dreams, do we?
- The romantic couple starts with a shaky foundation. How can there be any trust in the person who just betrayed their beloved? How can the new love, the family, the friends, support this change of heart so readily?
- How can these people trust their own judgment? One or both of them was about to be committed to one person, then, after very little stimulation or information, they make a decision to end that and commit to someone else, all in a very short span of time while relying on very little “real-life” experience of being involved with the new person. Of course, this new “love interest” or “best friend-turned-lover” is conventionally beautiful/handsome. That doesn’t hurt, eh?
- Then, there is the issue of questionable compatibility. Seriously: these two main characters have not spent much time together, never been intimate or even kissed, and suddenly, they decide they are perfect for each other and decide to get married? Unless they are acknowledging that many marriages head into divorce quite quickly, how can anyone be glad that these two people are starting a long-term commitment without sufficient information and experience about each other?
- How do they live with the way they started? I try to imagine the moments after that kiss, or on the honeymoon, or about a month or so into their new relationship. Wouldn’t one or both of them ask: “Honey? How is it that you love me/want me now, but you didn’t for x number of weeks/months/years? What exactly was your problem then and how do I know you won’t develop that problem again?” or something like that.
image from http://www.amazon.com
- Why do I do this to myself? Why do I watch so many of these movies each year? It’s as if I’ve been ensorceled, doomed to watch helplessly while believing uselessly in these “happy endings,” time after time, even though I know how false they are.
I admit it: I get weepy when they “find” each other. I still enjoy the seemingly “happy ending.”
Maybe I’m always hoping for a “happy ending” to a romantic story of my own.
Wish me good luck with that.
image from http://everydaylifewithmo.wordpress.com
My Predictions and Preferences for the
“Most-Anticipated #Films of #2015: Yeah or Nay?
And, one look back at 2014 #SciFi and #Fantasy Films
Let me start by reminding you (or letting new readers know): I am NOT mainstream. I am almost NO ONE’s “target demographic.” These films, others’ opinions, most TV shows and reviews written by others are not in harmony with my preferences and tastes. Not at all.
If YOU consider yourself “mainstream,” “typical,” “normal” or otherwise “regular,” you probably would be happier watching the video and ignoring this post entirely. Link and embed are below.
If, however, you are somewhat atypical, keep reading. Then, if/when these films become more widely available, you can let me know if your opinions match my predictions or preferences. Deal?
The 10 “regular” films, the video-maker’s opinions and my predictions, first (stay tuned for more, below):
- Fifty Shades Of Grey
“A big money-maker…” Release date: Feb. 13, 2015
- The Fantastic Four
“Could be a pleasant surprise…”
- Ted 2
“A complete comedy classic…” Release date: June 26, 2015
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
“It’s gonna look awesome, hopefully…” (He hasn’t seen Part 1 at the time he made this video, though.) Release date: Nov. 20, 2015
- Bond 24
“Daniel Craig’s returning with Naomi Harris, not even released the name [title], yet…”
- Fast & Furious 7
“The series is getting better and better…everyone wants to see how they put a tribute to Paul Walker [the lead actor who died in real life]…” Release date: April 3, 2015
- Terminator: Genesis
“Terminator 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time…and one of the highest-rated movies of all time…Arnie [Arnold Schwartzenegger] is back…A very good time-travel movie is setting up, here…” Release date: July 1, 2015
- Jurassic World
“I want them to keep the Jurassic Park feeling but not be a continuation… want to see something new…”
- The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
“I want to see something different and not continue Avengers… more story, more twists and turns…” Release date: May 1, 2015
- Star Wars Episode 7
“It’s got a chance of getting up there with Avatar on gross…Hopefully it’s a good movie and not like the prequels…” Release date: Dec. 18, 2015
Other “anticipated” movies (my choices are marked with an *):
*In the Heart of the Sea
*Kingsman: The Secret Service
Mad Max: Fury Road
Another list (the ones I KNOW I want to see):
*Friends: the Movie
*The Age of Adaline
Then, we have Jordan Hoffman, from Popular Mechanics, giving his/her 15 “most-anticipated” #Sci-Fi Films of 2015, which are overlapping many of the above.
Most of these are not original (remakes; sequels or expansions of “franchises”; adaptations of books, comic books or T.V. shows), but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying them, if you’re able.
This list even provides release dates, so you can plan your budget, schedule date nights, get your passes in advance, make your costumes.
There are a few from this list I do want to see; most, not interested. Again, I marked my faves with a *.
*Jupiter Ascending, Release Date: February 6
“…this interplanetary adventure featuring Mila Kunis as some sort of unknowing space queen and Channing Tatum as her guide beyond the stars promises to be far-out.”
Furious 7, Release Date: April 3
“The huge international ‘family’ of good guy criminals have returned for a bittersweet chapter in this series.”
Ex Machina, Release Date: April 10
“Oscar Isaac is the genius inventor tucked away in a slick-looking home and Domhnall Gleeson is the young employee summoned to meet Ava (Alicia Vikander) a creepily sexy android….this could be the stand-out mid-budget sci-fi flick of the year.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron, Release Date: May 1
“Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill back together again, and this time they’re fighting Ultron, an artificial intelligence designed for peace that (surprise) brings just the opposite. New additions to the mix include Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision, because superhero teamups are awesome.”
Mad Max: Fury Road, Release Date: May 15
“…a bone-cracking ride through a dusty apocalyptic wasteland. The stunts look insane and the high-velocity action promises to reach out from behind the screen, grab you by the back of your neck, and smash your face in the gravel.”
*Tomorrowland, Release Date: May 22
“It may just be one gigantic advertisement for Disney’s Magic Kingdom, or it may be a whiz-bang universe-hopping tale of futurist poptimism. More than likely, it’s a little of both.”
Jurassic World, Release Date: June 12
“…Steven Spielberg isn’t directing and Michael Crichton (obviously) isn’t involved, but in the middle of the summer there’s nothing better than seeing a bunch of dinosaurs stomping around while humans line up as fodder, right?”
Terminator: Genisys, Release Date: July 1
“Arnold himself will return for this one, and he’ll be joined by The Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke.”
Ant-Man, Release Date: July 17
“Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, a small time crook who ends up with scientist Hank Pym‘s technology for getting really really small. Michael Douglas is onboard as Pym, and Peyton Reed, who directed Down With Love, is at the helm.”
The Fantastic Four, Release Date: August 7
“…a somewhat dysfunctional group of scientists and weirdos blessed/cursed with superpowers.”
*The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Release Date: August 14
“Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin….Guy Ritchie is directing this gadgets-friendly flick, so this will be definitely be one to ogle. …it stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.”
*Spectre, Release Date: November 6
“It’s pretty much the same production team as Skyfall, so there’s not much more to say except ‘shaken, not stirred.'”
*The Martian, Release Date: November 25
“Matt Damon…plays a marooned astronaut on a Martian colony. Of note: the book upon which this is based was originally self-published by its author on Amazon. So keep hope alive, ye amateur novelists!”
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Release Date: December 18
“J.J. Abrams is igniting the hyperdrive to a galaxy of new stories. This first one will be a bridge – we’ll get Luke and Han and Leia, but who knows how big their roles will be or if they’ll return again. Chances are this is going to be the most spectacular film of the year…”
Mission Impossible 5, Release Date: December 25
“[4 was]…an exhilarating ride…. Tom Cruise…[in 5] will be just as exciting.”
If you want to view #trailers and read more about from Jordan about each of the above sci-fi films: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/visual-effects/15-sci-fi-movies-most-anticipated-in-2015#slide-1
For another opinion about some of these ranked differently, annotated, check KIRSTEN ACUNA’s list:
Link to original video for above’s Top 10:
Video to watch here:
In case you missed any already released in 2014, here are:
“The 10 Best and 10 Worst #SciFi and #Fantasy Films of 2014,” according to Charlie Jane Anders
READ THEM NOW, WATCH THEM LATER: SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND HORROR ADAPTATION WATCH by John DeNardo on January 15, 2014 | Posted in Science Fiction and Fantasy
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal.
Read these books, then go see this year’s film adaptations:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Wool by Hugh Howey
Beta by Rachel Cohn
More about each here, including DeNardo’s summaries, opinions and links: