No Award goes to the movies: Captain America: Civil War

I’ve been trying to consciously uncouple from the Marvel universe for a few months now, so I was probably the wrong person to see Civil War. Especially because the main reason I’m breaking up with Marvel is that I found myself seeing a movie once, strongly disliking it for its lack of concern for female characters, then seeing it again with my expectations lowered accordingly. I was not only rewarding bad behaviour, but I was paying good money to do so.

(The other reason was the announcement that, while the Australian taxpayer would be funding Thor 3, at the same time, funding for Screen Australia and local stories was being cut.)

All this is to say that I agreed to see Civil War with very low expectations, and then I got spoiled for the plot and lowered them further, and I was still disappointed.

Continue reading “No Award goes to the movies: Captain America: Civil War”

the value of the lady dollar

If you’re going to release shoes celebrating an iconic female character, you’re probably not even going to stop and wonder if they’ll be available to women. Because that’s a no-brainer, right? Obviously they’ll be marketed to everyone.

Reebok celebrates Ellen Ripley by selling her shoes in men’s sizes only

Continue reading “the value of the lady dollar”

Brown Bounty Hunter Business

Fact: Boba Fett is a lesbian.

It’s a memetic headcanon that emerged, as far as I can tell, earlier this week.

Within hours, it had evolved into “Boba Fett is a trans lesbian” (of colour, but that should go without saying, since Boba Fett was played by Maori actors Temuera Morrison and Daniel Logan.)

BobaJango_CVD

If you read OP Sashayed’s Boba Fett Is A Lesbian 2k16 tag, you can see it was all rollicking good trolling times, baiting homophobes, TERFs and transmisogynists alike.

Sadly, it’s not all fun and games, and we’re about to talk about the prioritisation of certain voices in fandom and the white-washing of Maori people. Hooray! (Also discussion of transphobic tropes and transphobia, so please tread carefully.)

Continue reading “Brown Bounty Hunter Business”

Aussies and Kiwis in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

IT’S STAR WARS SEASON.  (We were totally going to do this post two weeks ago, to coincide with the release of The Force Awakens, but Liz was busy at work, and then she was busy doing absolutely nothing on holidays, and it’s not easy being Liz, okay?)

Anyway, the best thing about the prequel trilogy — we know that’s a low bar, but hush — is spotting all the Australians and New Zealanders.  Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were filmed in Sydney, so there are plenty of flat vowels to be heard.  Not to mention some amazingly bad American accents.  Let’s take a look…

Continue reading “Aussies and Kiwis in a Galaxy Far, Far Away”

No Award brings you an important floppy-haired-boy update

But first: thank you so much, everyone who voted for me in the NAFF election.  I TOTALLY WON, so I’m off to Brisbane in March!  I AM QUITE EXCITED AND ALREADY PLANNING, ie, trying to work out if the Contact venue is convenient for MOS Burger.

Now, Floppy Haired Boys.

As people who were teenage girls in the ’90s, Stephanie and I have a weakness for this Non-Threatening Boy subgenus. It’s just something about the way their fringe falls into their eyes, you know?  I have fond memories of the day the darkest, angriest goth girl in my year group confessed that she, too, loved nothing more than a gormless white boy who hadn’t been to the hairdresser in a while.

Continue reading “No Award brings you an important floppy-haired-boy update”

Media that No Award looks forward to consuming

We’re restricting this post to upcoming releases, because if we covered all the media we have in our wishlists, Netflix lists and so forth (people who bought all three German St Clare’s DVDs: me), we’d be here all day.

In chronological order with a caveat that release dates may change!

1 September

The Handbook: surviving and living with climate change

Steph is already breaking the rule but only because it just came out last week.

22 September

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

This is already out in other markets, and the buzz is strong!

The Muppets, (US)ABC, Channel 7 in Australia, no airdate here

23 September

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow (Part 1) by Gene Luen Yang

My OTP might look at each other!  (They broke up, like, three books ago.  Stop judging me.)

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

I’m clearly going to get a lot of use out of my new Canadian Kindle account.  Someone should give me a large sum of money so that I can open a bookstore and import Canadian YA to sell alongside Australian books.

6 October

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

JUST GO THROUGH THE GHOST GATE ALREADY, BREQ!

18 October

Spear, Adelaide Film Festival, no general Aus release date

This has got to get a general release eventually, right?  RIGHT?

21 October

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I die in this book.  Also some other stuff happens, probably.  I’ve seen an ARC, it’s pretty big.

26 October

Supergirl, CBS, no Australian network yet

The pilot was charming, and we are in favour of family-friendly entertainment about girls being superheroes.  Also, No Award ships Kara/James Olsen.

27 October

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Legends

STOP LAUGHING AT ME.

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

The premise wouldn’t normally grab me, but I loved The Story of Owen and Prairie Fire enough that I’ll give anything Johnston writes a burl.

Sometime in November

If You Are the One / 非诚勿扰 Australian special

1 November

Illustrated cover for The Sea is OursThe Sea is Ours: Tales from Steampunk South-East Asia

19 November

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (part 2)

(Steph will recuse herself here, she has Feelings about this franchise, both Casting Feelings and Archery Feelings.)

14 December

The Expanse, Syfy, doesn’t seem to have an Australian network yet

I quite liked the first book, and I’ve been meaning to read the next two.  I’m mostly just happy to have some space ships on my screen.

17 December

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I saw The Phantom Menace on opening day, and it marked the very first time she walked out of the cinema, went home and started writing about a movie being Problematic, although I didn’t know that word then, so I just said “majorly racist”.

AND YET.

2016

24 January 

The X-Files, FOX, doesn’t seem to have an Australian network yet

I’m slogging through season 9.  It’s a struggle, but I’m determined to finish the damn series.  The reboot cannot possibly be as bad as this … can it?

5 April

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

What’s it about? I have no idea!  But I love Hicks’s art, I’ve been seeing snippets on her Twitter for ages, and it’s blurbed by Bryan Konietzko.  That’s enough to make me curious, despite the cynical marketing ploy of putting the Avatar: the Last Airbender font on the cover.

Illustrated cover: a cheerleader in mid-air, her shoe pointed at the sky, waiting hands below.

16 March

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

July 2016

Bell Shakespeare – Othello

A good portion of the No Award staff writers are planning to see this one!

 

The_Three-Body_Problem_(film)_posterThe Three-Body Problem

Did you think we wouldn’t be seeing this? The only thing holding us back will be the inevitable delay between the Chinese release in July, and whenever the Australian distributor deigns to bring it here.

(Stephanie, of course, is not limited by puny things like “needing subtitles”.  Note to self: learn Mandarin asap.)

Some time in 2016

Cleverman, the ABC

Indigenous Australian dystopian SF on Our ABC.  We have high hopes for this!  (Of course, we also had high hopes for Serangoon Road, and look how that worked out.)

Icon by Genevieve Valentine

The sequel to Persona, YA about politics and beauty pageants and spies.

The Federal Election, all the networks

Election routine: vote, eat democracy sausage, watch results come in, drink.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend

No one knows anything about this, but it has Michelle Yeoh in it, so we’ll be there with bells on.

In space, no one can hear you have manpain

Infini was written and directed by an Australian, features an all-Australian cast, and was filmed in Australia.  It should rocket straight to the top of the No Award List Of Things We Really Like.

'infini: search. rescue. destroy'

If only that were true.

The all-Aussie cast are doing American accents — except one guy who I think is meant to be British, but he sounds like an American actor trying for Aussie — and it’s just a tedious fest of rehashed Star Trek plots mixed with manpain.

Now, I don’t mind a bit of rehashed Trek.  Serve it up with some shiny low-budget effects and local accents, I’d have eaten it up with a spoon.  (And then whinged here about the dude-heaviness of the whole thing, but that’s half the fun!)  But setting it in the US is just … lazy.  Everyone has seen this before.  Why not change it up a bit?  (Answer: the accountant was in charge.)

Similarly, the casting is just woefully dull.  Of the fourteen cast members — that includes bit players — ten are men, and nine of those are white men.  I’m not great at distinguishing faces, so I knew them as Lead Guy (aka The Dancing With The Stars Host), The Other Other Hemsworth (turns out there are three!), Beardy McBeardsalot (aka Guy From Animal Kingdom), REX MANNING (that was his character’s name — I could recognise him because people kept saying it in allcaps), Is He English Or What?, The One With Dark Hair, and The Rest.

(I should note that Kevin Copeland, The One Guy Who Isn’t White, is in fact American.  He does a lot of Australian stuff, though.  I totally forgot he wasn’t One Of Us.)

One of the film’s four women is a bit player.  The remaining three are:

  • Lead Guy’s pregnant wife, who cries and makes him promise to come home, then cries a bit more;
  • Claire, the medic, who has Abortion Angst and a failed romance with … I think it was The One With Dark Hair;
  • Philippa, who is introduced like she’s a big deal — though not as big as REX MANNING, of course — but who doesn’t really get much to do.

If you’re keeping track, that’s two-thirds of the female characters having uterus-related character development.  Infini

Claire is played by the beautiful and underrated Grace Huang, so that’s two non-white people in the cast.  There’s a moment where, as she goes mad from PLOT REASONS and also Abortion Angst, she says goodbye to her mother in Mandarin, and that’s the closest we come to further character development for her.

Not that the men fare any better.  These characters are strictly cardboard cut-outs.  Lead Guy bonds with Is He English Or What? over fatherhood, and has high level manpain because What If He Dies?  REX MANNING shouts and shoots things.

There’s quality dialogue like, “I’M TALKING TO MY FUCKING KIDS, MOTHERFUCKER!”  The final act is basically just guys screaming at each other, while I texted Stephanie to ask if I had to keep watching.  She said yes, which I’m pretty sure is a human rights violation.

Maybe Australian accents wouldn’t have saved this movie.

The highlight, for me, was the repeated shots of Sinister Wind Farms On An Alien Planet.  A lot of the dialogue was mumbled, so I’m not sure why they were sinister, but there they were.  Wind farming.  Ominously.  Maybe Going Crazy In An Isolated Facility On An Alien Planet is one of the symptoms of Wind Turbine Syndrome?  I made a joke on Twitter about this being what it takes to get an arts grant these days, but it turns out Infini received no taxpayer funding.  Thank heavens.

Oh, and the plot — a mining operation on a distant planet turns out to be digging up an alien life form, and it’s maaaaaaaaad.  Star Trek did it with “The Devil in the Dark” (TOS) and “Home Soil” (TNG); Doctor Who did it with “42” and, like, every third Pertwee serial.  This is entirely skippable.

Infini was released direct to iTunes and maybe other video on demand sources, who knows?  Liz paid AU$6.99 to rent a HD copy of Infini from iTunes and kind of wants her money and her two hours back. 

5 Seconds of Linkspam

That awkward moment when you’re looking for lobsters and find volcanoes.

“That’s what happened between me and Clark” – Revising Hollywood’s Greatest Scandal

Loretta Young has been excoriated for decades for presenting herself as a moralist while raising Clark Cable’s secret love child.  Anne Helen Petersen uncovers the sadder, darker story behind the rumours.

It was in 1998 — in the wake of Judy’s memoir — that Young, by then in her eighties, first heard the term “date rape” on Larry King Live, at home in Palm Springs with Ed Funk. “She asked me what that meant and I explained to the best of my ability,” Funk told me.

…“And there was this whole dawning,” Linda said. …She said, ‘That — that’s what happened to me.’”

New from Telstra: the Time Phone

Normally, of course, No Award gets a bit shirty when the US media reports on Australia — not that it shouldn’t, it’s just that defensive reflex — but we make an exception for hanging shit on the Abbott government: “If the Koch brothers ran a country, it might look like what’s happening in Australia.”

Steph isn’t sure what’s happening here: Skip Showers for Beef (please note that all figures appear to be in USA measurements, ie, weird shit like ounces.).

showers to beef conversion chart (us measurements)

(As always, No Award recommends 4 minute shower timers, and also civil disobedience).

13 interesting things you can see out your Melbourne train window.  The Heavenly Queen Temple and Franco Cozzo mural are the highlights of Liz’s commute.

Actual discrimination against a ginger! (Not really, but the phrase “not sick, just Scottish” will live in Liz’s ginger-haired Anglo-Celtic heart forever.) (Steph notes this is what our dystopias will be: the brown morass discriminating against pale people for obviously being deficient. So great. So exciting.)

If you, too, enjoy filling your kitchen with completely useless and ridiculous appliances, The Guardian’s Inspect A Gadget feature is for you.

While preparation of leaf tea is traditionally a ritualised communion with ideas of elegance and solemnity, there’s always room for novelty pants.

Teen spends babysitting money on getting vaccinated; parents mad.

Friend of No Award, In Which I, posts about tea.

Important Hanging Rock update.

she did nothing for years (way harsh)

Good Monday, No Award!

This may come as a shock to you, No Award, so brace yourselves. Evita, the 1997 movie starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, is one of Stephanie’s most favourite movies in the entire world. YES. And it was her birthday recently, so everyone had to watch it and roll around in the joy of one hundred Argentinian women giving bitch face and also everything that Antonio Banderas chooses to be.

A N Y W A Y

Antonio as Che appears in basically every scene, from the very first to the very last.

che
i’m here, i’m loitering, ain’t nobody going to stop me

Che is a bartender and a reporter and a waiter; he is a protestor; he is a neighbour in Eva’s shitty neighbourhood, and a neighbour in her fancy neighbourhood. He follows Eva Duarde around from the age of 15 through until the tears at her funeral when she dies at the age of 33, and at no point does he age.

And whenever she turns around, Eva is never surprised to see Che there. In the background or close up beside her, Che criticises her life and her life choices and her inevitable mortality, like a terrible man. How does Che manage this miracle?

stop mansplaining to me, antonio
stop mansplaining to me, antonio

Che is a time-travelling stalker, is how. IS CHE SECRETLY A TIME LORD?

Particularly given Che is ostensibly an everyman but actually Che Guevara, a man history tells us Eva never met but CLEARLY, as DOCUMENTED HERE BY ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, a man who STALKED EVA THROUGH TIME.*

i know i'm behind these gates right now, but your guards would let me in whenever
i know i’m behind these gates right now, but your guards would let me in whenever

I had no idea mid 20th Century Argentina was so amazing vis time travel and science, given they also deal with their internal juntas with bayonets, but sure. SURE. I BELIEVE YOU, CHE.

 

Evita is also notable for being a stealth 90s bubblegum pop crossover, with appearances by Billie Piper and Andrea Corr, which basically just confirms this theory. Billie as Companion, back in time with Time Lord Che.

And since Che was on his way to Cuba at the time of Eva’s death in 1952, time travel is definitely needed.

TIME TRAVELLING STALKERS OF HISTORY. Wait maybe this is a new No Award series. STAY TUNED.

 

 

*please read this greatest Letter to the Editor in the Philippine Daily Inquirer