Tag Archives: ex machina

Annihilation and Female Scientists on Film

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

In Annihilation, a group sits around a table discussing the people who will be heading on a dangerous mission into a logic-defying mystery box they call The Shimmer. There’s Anya, a paramedic; Josie, a physicist; and Dr. Ventress, a psychologist. “All women?” someone asks. “Scientists,” one corrects. Yes! And they’re unlike any other female scientists in films I’ve seen—not just because they carry guns, but because they work as a team of all women.

This post started, as most things do, with a complaint. The object of my ire was another recent sci-fi outing with a female lead: The Cloverfield Paradox. There was much discussion about the movie after it made its sudden Netflix debut following the Super Bowl. Most of it centered on the marketing: Was it a shrewd move of Netflix to generate buzz with an unexpected release? Or was it another case of the streaming platform burying an acquisition that should’ve been given a theatrical run?

Instead of weighing into that fray, my post-Paradox reaction was this: Oh, great, another female astronaut with dead kids.

There were dead kids in The Cloverfield Paradox. There was a dead kid in Gravity. There were dead kids in Arrival. And, if female scientists weren’t motivated by children (either the desire to have them or the grief over losing them), it was absent fathers (think Contact, Twister). Meanwhile, when Capa sends his last message back to Earth in Sunshine, he sends it to his sister, and talks about saving the world.

Of course, when I brought this up on Twitter, people started chiming in right away with more examples and counter-examples. So I tried to be semi-scientific about it, and collect data points that either prove or disprove my hypotheses about the portrayals of female scientists in film. Who is allowed to save the world for altruistic reasons, and who has to be motivated by a dead kid or dad or spouse? Who are the engineers and physicists, and who are the biologists and language experts?

Continue reading Annihilation and Female Scientists on Film

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Best Movies of 2015

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Now that our list of the best movies of 2015 has been published, perhaps you’d like us to justify our choices — and address what didn’t make it? Well, you’re in luck, because on our Best Movies of 2015 podcast, Nathaniel, Sara, Marisa, and Jesse get into a lengthy, wide-ranging, and in-depth discussion of all of that

Find out:

–Which one of us failed to place Mad Max: Fury Road at #1 on his or her ballot
–What box office flop Nathaniel is particularly willing to stand up for
–Why Sara found Carol so moving
–Which of our collective picks baffled us as individuals
–What Marisa loved about Ex Machina
–What Jesse considers the most unexpected trend in sequels

In short, our Best Movies of 2015 podcast has something for everyone, so have a listen!

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast: