Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bad Moms Written by Dads?


        
          Films often portray women as only concerned about one thing, men. However, in Bad Moms the writers discuss everyday problems for women, specifically moms. The movie shows the daily struggles and triumphs that moms experience and also show women who are interested in something other than just men. When scored based on the Rep Test, the movie Bad Moms received a pretty high rating of a B. Although the movie provides a good representation of women, it does lack in representation of other demographics.

              The creators of Bad Moms did a great job of representing both minorities and women in their film. The protagonist of the film is a thirty-something female mother who is struggling to be a good mother to her two children. The film easily passes the Bechdel Test because women frequently discuss their children with each other. Women are portrayed as human beings with substance and personality instead of just objects for the male gaze.  In addition, the film also features women and men of color. Both Jayda Pickett Smith and Wanda Sykes have major speaking roles in the film and are not reduced to stereotypes at all. In addition, Wendell Pierce plays the principal of the school in the film. The film does a great job of being more representative than most films that Hollywood produces.

              However, Bad Moms fails to represent many demographics. For example, the film does a very poor job of representing the LGBT community.  The protagonist is a straight woman, and the film actually has no lesbian or gay characters with speaking roles at all.  Also, there is no character in the film who has any disabilities. In addition, the film also does a poor job of representing men in the film. Although there is one single father in the film who takes care of his children, most of the fathers in the film are displayed as incompetent parents who are a secondary parent to the mother. Finally, the main problem I have with the film and what helps the film receive a B instead of an A in the Rep Test is that the film is written and directed by two men. In my opinion, this makes the movie increasingly less representative of females. The film is entirely centered on the struggles of the daily life of a mom; therefore, it makes no sense that it was written by two men. Of course, men observe women in their roles of being a mother; however, in order to make the film as authentic as possible, I believe the men should have hired a women director to help them produce the film.

              Overall, the movie successfully depicts women in a way that is more realistic than most films. The women in the film are more focused on family and children than boyfriends. The film does struggle to represent other minorities and also was created by two men even though the film is about women. Despite these details, the film received a B on the Rep Test grading scale and therefore, did a good job of representing minorities in the film. In the end, I believe this system of grading movies based on their amount of representation in films is a great way to make directors and producers more accountable. Although I think it is fine for movies to not represent every demographic, directors should try their hardest to make their films as representative as their storyline allows.

Air Force One

Air Force One is a riveting film that portrays the Presidency in the typical action movie of the 1990's. The film does not do very well on the Representation Test, scoring a 4 our of a potential 24 points. For a movie that features the President of the United States, who is supposed to not discriminate against anybody under any circumstances, has an extremely low presence of other races throughout. The women featured in the film aren't very significant characters, with the most significant being the First Lady, who has a very watered down role since the film is an action movie. The film revolves around Harrison Ford's character simply because he's the most powerful man in the free world. And, being the 1990's where action movies had a male protagonist who fought the male antagonist and saved the female in distress to ride off in the sunset. This film almost exactly follows this template, with Harrison Ford and the crew on the plane defeating the terrorists that took over the plane, all while saving his wife and daughter and making it back safely. Also, there were two African-American actors in the entire film, neither of which played a remotely significant role.

The film didn't exactly align with any racial stereotypes, but rather the director and producers had more or less a discriminatory policy of who was going to act in the film. The lack of African-American presence is simply more of a casting decision more than any message the film itself was trying to send. I believe that there weren't many roles for women or for African-Americans to play in this film to begin with. The only stereotype that the film followed was that the President has always been white and most politicians are white, wealthy individuals with families.

Overall, I don't believe that the Representation Test is a good way to judge movies of how they include everyone simply because movies have their own respective plot line, and if it's a historical movie or one that follows pop culture, than that film will follow certain stereotypes that get people to the theaters. The Representation Test only works for movies that have a specific agenda to send a message about a social or racial problem within our society, and any movie that doesn't have this sort of agenda almost automatically receives a poor score, which is why this test is very flawed. In conclusion, Air Force One was a film that lined up with the pop culture of the 1990's, and didn't have an agenda of highlighting a certain social issue, and therefore received a poor score on the Representation test.





Monday, September 26, 2016

Crazy, Stupid, Love


Logan Simon

Crazy, Stupid, Love

               For my Representation Test, I chose to watch the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love. It’s a movie about a man who realizes his wife is divorcing him because she’s having an affair with another man. Since they were married awhile, Cal (Steve Carrell) hadn’t been too accustomed to the dating game. He meets a man, Jacob, at a bar, who then tries to take him out of his misery and becomes his wingman. Overall, I enjoyed the film, as Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell are the perfect actors to play the young, handsome wingman, and the quirky, outdated divorcee.

               The movie didn’t do so well on the Rep Test. I gave it 3 out of the possible 24 points, which gives it a grade of D. There was little to no diversity in the film, with the only speaking role from a minority coming from Emma Stone’s Asian friend. This friend only appears at the bar and a work celebration, not even having enough speaking lines for me to consider her as an important figure in the movie. Since the movie is all about relationships, and also sex, it is appropriate that the women in the film are primarily viewed this way by the men. As well, this movie fails the Bechdel Test. There are very little conversations between two women in general, but in one specific scene at a parent-teacher conference, the conversation between the women is only about Cal. There are no colored males with speaking roles, no LGBT members in the move, and no people with disabilities, so I’m not very surprised that it grades out so poorly.

               I believe that this rating system is fair, as it focuses on giving equality to both genders and races. Though a bad grade on the Rep Test doesn’t make it a poor film, receiving a bad grade only means it lacks diversity. The men in this movie are focused on developing a sexual relationship with women, and that’s a stereotypical role for men to play. Even Cal’s son is in love with their babysitter, while the babysitter is caught sending nude pictures to Cal. By directing it this way, the movie constantly portrays men as only loving a woman for her sex appeal and nothing more. In fact, it even goes as far as to suggest that women only love a man for their sex appeal. Ryan Gosling is portrayed as this handsome, seducing male who every girl would love to have a shot at.

               This film was written by a white man and directed by two other white men, so it’s not too surprising that the movie is portrayed from the stereotypical male’s view and there is a lack of diversity. The women in this movie are all about the same body type: not too thin, but also not too thick. The men are the same way. Even the ages of the actors and actresses are about the same, ranging from about 30-45. I think all of this reflects exactly what Hollywood wants, especially five years ago. It shows how women were primarily used in movies to act as a sideshow to the male actors. These movies were all about a man finding love with a woman, never a woman finding love with a man. Hollywood knew that these stereotypical roles would attract audiences, and this movie is a reflection of that.

               In retrospect, a D grade on the Rep Test is accurate for this film. There is not a single important colored person in this movie, nobody with a disability, and no LGBT character. It’s a pretty bland movie that did what it had to to attract viewers. However, this movie does do a very good job of avoiding racial stereotypes, but that’s primarily because there aren’t enough of these characters to be able to have that. Avoiding racial stereotypes, not glorifying violent men, and not perpetuating an unhealthy body for men are the only 3 points this movie received. For me, this is one of my favorite films that I would give very high praise for, but the Rep Test is an accurate showing of how little diversity is in this film, and there’s no disagreeing that it deserves a D.

Movie Poster: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=crazy+stupid+love+movie+poster&view=detailv2&&id=52E68DC063E144B62C5E40808B69D1FD7E1CA40E&selectedIndex=0&ccid=EsVN%2b7pB&simid=608035351577102075&thid=OIP.M12c54dfbba414b0a60a6e9979edd973fH0&ajaxhist=0

Boyhood and The Representation Test

Griffin Conboy
Professor Jackson
Intro to Composition
September 26, 2016
Boyhood and The Representation Test

In a single phrase, the movie "Boyhood" is a timeless piece of art. The movie uses the same actors over the course of 12 years, and creates a sense of understanding for the audience of character flaws and development. There is no doubt that Boyhood is an amazing film, but does it truly pass "The Representation Test"?

To first determine whether or not the movie "Boyhood" passes "The Representation Test", we need to first review the movie plotline. As an audience viewer, we begin the movie in the wide and blue skies of Texas. We meet a young Mason Evans, a mere 6 year old boy, in his early days of kindergarten. The adolescent Mason experiences a distraught childhood. Through his parents divorce, moving to new places, and dealing with an abusive step-father, Mason isn't well off through the time of his youth. During this period in his life, Mason is accompanied by three characters: His mother (Patricia Arquette), his father (Ethan Hawke), and his sister (Lorelei Linklater). These characters remain consistent throughout Mason's life, and emotionally support him through the good times and the bad. As time goes on, we watch Mason experience the joys of growing up what some would refer to as "a typical boy". The audience catches glimpses of Mason "ripstiking" and listening to "Soulja Boy", slowly becoming more interested in women, taking short-distanced trips with friends, and eventually discovering his passions.

During Mason's adjustment from adolescent to adult, his mother never seems to retreat from her state of immaturity. The undeviating nature of her relationships with men eventually lead to her emotional break down. However Mason's father, who was once the soul searching, premature, and childish antagonist of the story, develops to be a man of good character. Over time, he learns the value of being a father, and in turn, he develops a better sense of understanding. This allows for him to offer better advice to his children, and to become closer with them.
This brings us to the end of the movie, where Mason has driven off to college. He's left seen talking with a girl, backed by a picturesque Texas sunset. The movie finishes with Mason's full maturity on display, and the audience is left in a moment of wonder, as they have just experienced a childhood development of emotional intensity.

According to “The Representation Test”, the movie scored a “B” grade. Even though the movie title is “Boyhood”, I found it interesting that the movie could score with such a grade. In the first category of the test, the movie only missed two checkmarks out of the seven listed. The movie passed the Bechdel Test, as the leading actress (Patricia Arquette), talks with her daughter and her close female friend about her current standing on where she will be living for the next couple of weeks. At the beginning of the scene she talks about her ex-husband, but the conversation matter is changed, and the resume talking about other things.

In the “Men” category, “Boyhood” missed only one checkbox. The film actually depicted a scene with an abusive step father, and was particularly blunt in showcasing him as an awful person. This could also serve as portraying a man in a non-stereotypical role, because men in films tend to be the heroes, the good guys, or the involved parent. However, this character was completely distant from those characteristics.

The final characteristic the movie passed was that it broke racial, ethnic and culture stereotypes. Most children do not grow up with Mason’s childhood. Yes, one in two marriages end in divorce. However, most boys do not experience the childhood Mason Evans did.

I believe that this method of grading movies is perfectly fair. It covers most if not all of the controversial subjects in Hollywood films today. Also. It represents every person in an equal unbiased way. I personally would not change anything with “The Representation Test”, because I believe it showcases the best of the disputable issues in Hollywood films today.




Mike Ridyard
Dr. Jackson
Intro to Comp
26 September 2026

Deadpool is the most successful R rated movie in history earning 746 million dollars at the box office. The movie is wildly popular partly because of the edgy main character played by Ryan Reynolds. The character, Deadpool, makes numerous sexually charged and controversial jokes throughout the film and seems to be almost always cursing. There
are also very many violent scenes as you would expect from an R rated superhero movie. Due to its rating, Deadpool could get away with much more graphic violence then an Iron Man or Captain America could. Even though a character like Deadpool may be hard to like, many people enjoyed the movie and thought they were forewarned appropriately through the advertisements and movie posters that Deadpool earned its R rating and was not a movie to bring children to.
While I only gave Deadpool 3 points and a D on the representation test, there are prominent strong female roles in the movie. Two of them are Vanessa Carlyle and Blind Al. Vanessa is Deadpool's girlfriend and does play a fairly stereotypical role as the hot girlfriend, and Al is Deadpool's roommate. While Blind Al is a woman of color she does not have a very big role in the movie at all. The other two prominent female roles are Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Angel Dust. Both of these characters are very important to the climax of the film and are female superheroes that are not just there to be seen as sex objects. Negasonic Teenage Warhead does not have many lines and plays into the moody teenage girl stereotype but she is a key character in very important parts of the movie and is portrayed very strongly. Angel Dust is a very interesting character to me because of her role in the movie. There is not much depth to her character and we don't get much information about her but for a female character to play a role as the muscle and strength of the group is a big statement to me. Rarely do you see a female  play such a role and to me the way Deadpool portrayed her character is a big improvement for what kinds of roles women can play in movies. Angel Dust also gets into a fight with a male character and was winning which is not common in movies. Usually a fighting scene between a male and female character in a super hero movie would have to do with the female being sneakier or outsmarting the male, but in this case Angel Dust is all about strength. Another thing I liked about the women in Deadpool was it didn't feel like they were trying to make a statement with the female characters. The movie had strong female roles that felt very genuine and real and not like they were just giving women these roles to make women happy.
Even though Deadpool did not pass the Bechtel test, to me these four characters give the movie a very fresh and unique look on what a female can be in a superhero movie. It shoes that a female superhero character can be portrayed as stronger than a male and can be portrayed very successfully.

Blog 2: Stuck In Love

Michael Fontaine
Intro Comp
9/25/16
Stuck In Love
            After going through and answering all the questions to the RepTest, Stuck in Love scored a six, which is referred to as a C on their grading scale.  Was I surprised by the result?  Nope, not really… not at all actually.  I expected this movie to score much lower than a C after reading the questions on the RepTest.  It seemed to be very focused on LGBT people, people with disabilities, and women having a lead role, none of which the movie has.  Now, I firmly believe that this movie is all the better for not having those specific things shoved in there to give it more “diversity”, because I believe this movie is great the way it is.  The first box I checked was next to the question, “Does the film represent women as more than objects for the male gaze?”  I thought back to the movie and while there are some scenes that depict women as “objects” for males, I think there is more of an argument to be made for the other side.  The protagonist’s sister, one of the main characters in the movie, is a young successful writer who has just had her book published.  She worked hard to improve her career for herself, not for any man, and it ended up paying off.  The film also passed the Bechdel Test because there is a scene in which the protagonist’s mother and sister finally talk to each other after many years of the sister holding a grudge over her mother.  This scene of them talking portrayed the emotion they felt after finally seeing and talking to each other after many years, nothing to do with a man.  The next box I checked asked the question, “Does the film avoid perpetrating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men?”  If you have not seen the movie please do not read what I’m about to write, spoiler alert ahead.  The two main male characters in the movie, one being the protagonist, and one being his father, are both slim and regular guys.  They are not overtly-muscular, and they are never shown working out or going to a gym.  The movie actually pokes fun at one of the side characters, who is extremely muscular, and the slim regular dad ends up “taking back” his ex-wife who started the movie with muscular guy.  Spoiler over.  One of the final boxes I checked was one that had the question, “Does the film include men in non-stereotypical roles? (i.e. caregiver, competent involved parent, etc.)”  The protagonist’s father has a great relationship with his son and is literally a competent and involved parent during most of the movie.  He pushes his son to be social and learn life through experiences while also pushing him to pursue his passion in writing.  To conclude the test, the film does not celebrate any offensive racial, ethnic, or cultural stereotypes in my opinion.  I think someone could probably argue for the other side, but they would have to pluck out small specific details from the movie which might be otherwise unnoticeable so I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal.  I think this grading system is a bit unfair because a movie doesn’t need people of a specific culture, or ethnic group to be great.  To be great, a movie needs to inspire, it needs to evoke emotions and leave you saying, “Wow”, or better yet, nothing at all.  I don’t think this rating system reveals anything at all about the actual movie.  I think you could possibly get a feel for some of the main characters from the test, but not much else.  Overall, I think that while some movies would benefit from the RepTest, Stuck in Love is a great film the way it is.

Blog 2: Moneyball


Hunter Ricks
Dr. Jackson
Intro Comp: Writing as Inquiry
9/26/16
Moneyball: Not so “money” on the Rep Test
    It is plain and simple, the movie industry is a business, and the main goal of a business is to make money. Movies attempt to target the largest possible audience in order to increase their revenue. Film makers will continue to follow this formula that has been working for the last “x” amount of years and unfortunately that formula doesn’t favor women in prominent roles both in front and behind the camera. Moneyball performed abysmally on both the Rep test and the Bechdel test yet it still grossed over 100 million dollars and won over six oscars including best motion picture.

  
Moneyball received an overall score of a four on the rep test. Three of the four points came from the men section as this movie was based around a true story about a baseball organization where the majority of employees were male. Granted it is a true story that doesn’t directly lend itself to women it is still important to point out it is based in 2002. It wasn’t a surprise to me that this movie would fair poorly on both tests as I had seen the movie before. When I revisited this movie I realized some key scenes that contribute to the score. There are multiple specific scenes where Billy Beane (main character and GM of the baseball team) constantly calls to his attractive blonde secretary for coffee or to put someone on hold. These small interactions are the only times women have dialogue in the film.
    I took specific notice to count the amount of women featured in the trailer and there is a grand total of ONE, Billy’s young daughter, who asks about her father’s job security. The other women include two secretaries, a female media anchor, and Billy Bean’s mother. The secretaries are there just for eye candy, the female media anchor is just their to get viewers, and Billy’s mom opinions are overridden by her husband. There are some of the many scenes that stuck out to me on how women are portrayed compared to men.
    I do not think this rating system is fair as it is extremely difficult to receive an “A” or a high grade. Even the best movies that have strong female characters and diversity amongst cast members seem to fall short in the “B” range and the fact that so few movies pass the bechdel test when the only restriction is there need to be two or more female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man! I think these results reveals just how one dimensional the film industry is. Nobody cares about equal rights or equal pay, these film companies and directors will produce whatever brings in the highest profit margins. It is important to note that the movie poster highlights Robin White as one of the actresses when she only has ONE line of dialogue. They did this to try to bring men to see this attractive female actor yet she has no significance to the film as a whole. Couldn’t the director find a more prominent role for someone as talented as Robin other than sticking her in high heels and a mini skirt?
I never really recognized how big of an issue this is currently in the film industry. Looking back on my movie experiences I never really noticed it but after doing some of these tests and previous experiences I can honestly say that this is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
Image result for moneyball





Blog 2 - Ariana Delgado

Dakota Johnson, Rebe Wilson, Leslie Mann and Alison Brie are all main characters in the movie “How To Be Single”. Dakota Johnson plays Alice Kepley, a character who temporarily breaks up with her long-term boyfriend to learn more about herself as a single woman. Robin, played by Rebe Wilson, is Alice’s wild co-worker who attempts to teach Alice how to be single. Leslie Mann plays Meg, Alice’s sister, who is a doctor and does not believe in having  a baby or any relationships at all. Lastly, Alison Brie plays Lucy who's looks desperately for a man through online dating websites. This film does a good job portraying women as something more than “an object for male gaze.” I believe that Christian Ditter, the director of the film, uses Alice’s sister Meg to portray that women are indeed much more than an object for the male gaze. Meg is characterized as a hard working woman who does not view a man as something that she needs in her life. For example, when she decides that she would like to get pregnant, her first thought is not to find a man, but instead to have a baby on her own. She feels independent and does not think a man is the end game. Although when she does find a man she does not tell him right away and even tries to convince him that being with her would be a mistake for him and she can handle everything on her own. How To Be Single also incorporates women with diverse body images. Robin, Rebe Wilson’s character in the movie, is Alice’s wild co-worker. Compared to the other women main characters Robin is larger in her body type but is not portrayed negatively because of her appearance. Actually, Robin is shown as the character who never needs a lasting relationship with a man. In the scene in which Alice confronts Robin for inviting all of her past men at her birthday party, she exclaims that, “when she does find a real relationship he will love me for who I really am because I know who I really am.” Dittler uses this scene to show that Robin does not need a man to figure out who she is, she can realize that on her own. Also there are multiple times throughout a variety of scenes that this film passes the Bechdel test. One particular instance that stuck out to me displays Alice, Meg and Robin all sitting on Meg’s bed waiting to see the results of Megs pregnancy test. During this scene the three characters are counting down the seconds for the pregnancy test to be ready and there is confusion with the different tests Robin and Meg are taking. Robin ended up taking a drug test and Meg a pregnancy test and both ended up being positive. All the characters cheered when Meg finally got the good news of becoming pregnant and the subject of men was not present. This praise and acceptance of Megs single motherhood supports the idea that a woman does not need a man to raise a child. For men, this movie does an exceptional job avoiding glorifying violent men, it does perpetuate an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men. There were multiple times that Anders Holm who plays Tom in the movie is seen without a shirt, proving to the viewer that an intimidating body type is not necessary or trying to hold men to an unrealistic standard.This film includes Damon Wayans Jr., who plays David, the developer that Alice meets at an alumni party. He is a man of color who is portrayed as extremely successful and wealthy. When Alice first meets him he is very put together and happens to “own” the building next door to where she works. He is not limited or looked down upon based on his race. He is also portrayed in a non-stereotypical male role since he plays a single father. The scene when Alice begins singing with David’s daughter proves how protective and shows how serious he takes his role of being a father is to him. David is taken aback by the signing, as he realized that the song they were singing together was the exact same song that David’s wife, who passed away, sang to their daughter. Lastly, I believe that the representation test is a fair method of grading movies. The questions that are asked should be obvious requirements for movies, which is why I was so surprised that so many of them were left unchecked. I believe that what the test is asking is not unrealistic or very difficult to accomplish during an hour and a half movie. One thing I would add to the representation test is a description of what the grade means. How To Be Single got a score of 10 points which resulted in a B. I believe that this grade will mean more to people if they can see a description on what the grade means.  


Winter's Bone: A disproval of the strict Rep Test





 Winter's Bone: A disproval of the strict Rep Test
Winter’s Bone , a movie not suggested if you are in the mood for a feel good story line, pushes the boundary between audience and character relationship. The first half of the movie, at first slow moving, allows the watcher to believe that the movie’s substance is lacking, but, as the film progresses, one learns that Winter’s Bone is a perceptive yet also unconventional way to show the plot of a life worth noting. The movie, though does pass the Bechdel Test, scores low in the Rep Test  due to the one sided viewpoint and stereotype placed on all characters in the film along with the closely related lifestyles that all the characters have in common.
The main character, Jennifer Lawrence noted for her dominant roles, performs as the protagonist in the play. Taking care of her two siblings, without the help of her mentally ill mother and lost father, she provides the film with a character  autonomous and self-supporting. Though openly struggling with the hurdles she is forced to deal with, she prevails and finds a way to gain the overall outcome of finding her father. Ree, Lawrence’s character in the film, undertakes tasks that proves she is a capable female role. This is shown through the scenes that include her showing her younger brother and sister to shoot a gun, implementing that school is vital for the kids to continue and her character applying for the army. Overall, the most essential scene to this point, is the final one where she finds her father’s body and assists to cutting off his hands.
Though crucial to the overall understanding of the film, each character is stuck in the realm of southern poverty, drugs, and fulfilling adequate stereotypes of the country “hick”. The overall theme was evident and noticeable due to the the lifestyle that involved farming and an overwhelming amount of intertwined relationships driven by drugs or “cooking”, the term used in the film. Because of this, the movie scored low in having any diverse characters.
When addressing the men in the film, they are also aligned with what can be assumed as also an unmotivated and violent figure that can also be thought of when thinking of the term “hick” used earlier. The men, though some show a few redeeming qualities such as Teardrop (a main character), are more recognizably absent, as Ree's father is, or drunk and violent. Ree, in one scene being brutally beaten by a group of men for her constant inquiry about her father, is an accurate representation of this. This again is shown when going to her aunt and uncle for help, by her hair being pulled and her cheeks squeezed by her uncle. Though he later gives her money to contribute, this compassion is shown behind the scenes and sent to be done by his wife, Ree’s aunt. The outward label of the men shows them to be prominently in control.    
The director being woman was neither evident nor shown to be one-sided. The film focused on the emotional discourse of the film paired with the intense message being sent to the watcher. The one hour and forty minute film encompasses sympathy, hurt and frustration that coincides with that of the actors. Though given a low rating based of the Rep Test, this does not and should not be an identifier of the overall enjoyment or substance of the film.The Rep Test should focus more on the afterthought that the film provokes by pressuring reflection. Winter’s Bone, regardless of the rating, is one that should be seen because of the thought provoking and gripping plot.

Bridesmaids


  Bridesmaids




The movie Bridesmaids by Paul Fieg scored a B (7 points) on the Rep Test. This was no surprise, as the movies title informs us that it will be a movie that has something to do with a woman, as only women can be bridesmaids. We meet our protagonist, Annie, a young woman struggling to get her life together. She has alot going on, her bakery is failing, she has little to no money and is basically the side chick of her boyfriend Ted. The movies plot is based around Annie and her best friend Lillian who is getting married. Annie is asked to be a bridesmaid and even the maid of honor at Lillians wedding, something she was very happy to be apart of, but theres a catch. Lillian has a new best friend named Helen, Helen seems to be a perfect person who does it all, smart, caring (for Lillian) and beautiful. Annie and Helen dont get along, Annie envies Lillian and Helen's friendship and they begin fighting over who will be Lillians best friend. They undermine eachother and do what ever they can to one up eachother. My favorite example of them trying to out due eachotheris at Lillians engagement party when they were giving Lillian a toast. There was an epic and hilarious battle between Annie and Helen on who would have the last word, they went back and forth multiple times and finally ended with an awkward song they sang to Lillian. This scene at the engagement party proved that there are scenes that revolve around something other than a man. Another scene that checks posoive for the bechdel test is when Annie and Helen meet for the first time. They meet through Lillian and share their backgrounds on how they met Lillian. This scene involved not two but three women, who are represented for something other than a males gaze, but for their friend Lillians gaze. One area that was questionable when analyzing for the rep test was its involvement with men. We do see a character named officer Rhodes interact with Annie in a non care giving or spousal matter. This was when he was trying to cheer Annie up after she had been struggling with her efforts to win over Lillian and get her life in control. We see him being a friend and looking out for her, without making a move. Where this gets sticky in concerns to the Rep Test is when we see later in the movie that their relationship becomes more flirtatious and eventually they hook up, with would go as a no for the Rep test concerns. Another area where this movie passes for the Rep test is in the area of Women with speaking roles, with diverse body types. As we do see characters such as Annie and Helen who are your typical skinny, colorful, red carpet esque looking women. We also see characters like Lillian who has a darker skin complexion and Megan who is more curved in her physique. The film was written by two women, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. This passes for the Rep test even though it was oddly enough directed by a male, in Paul Fieg. In my opinion I do believe the Rep Test is a fair and successful way to grade Movies by their representation of diversity on screen and behind the scenes. The grading format covers all types of diverse checkmarks. From Women involvement and motives, Male involvement and motives, Race, Ethnicity and culture, LGBT community and even people with disabilities, which is very rare in Hollywood. I would also give this movie a B on the Rep Test for a few reasons. #1 is its emphasis on women and dominance of Women in the film. Its stars are all Women and they have many speaking parts with each other, which also are not revolving around men. Reason #2 is its lack of involvement with men in the movie. The movie only has a handful of men in the movie and none of them are really main characters, the only debatable one would be officer Rhodes. My thirds reason for why this movie deserves a B for the Rep test is the fact that the film was written by a woman. This serves a huge role in the authenticity and inner workings of relationships and feelings women may have for each other, that only a woman writer would be able to compose, in my opinion. The only place where I feel the rep test could improve is its checkpoint for glorifying violent men. By no means to I see innocence in violent men, but I do believe that it is unfair to grade movies on this category. I believe this is unfair because there is so much of a market and demand for violence in Hollywood, and we must remember that these are movies, not real life and it is up to the viewer to see it as that or not.

Top Gun

Jack Gannon

Dr. Waggoner

Writing as Inquiry

26 September 2016
The Toughest Test Mav and Goose Really Face

Thirty years ago, a movie based on an elite pilot school called Top Gun was released. This film takes place during the Cold War. It showcases Tom Cruise as the lead actor among a bunch of other young jock pilots. This is your typical young Navy movie with beach volleyball and bar scenes showing off all the guys. However, I bet you’d be quite surprised to see what is scores on the REP test. Although this movie mainly involves a bunch of young jocks it also has one-woman character who plays a massive role.
              In the women section of the REP tests Top Gun scores two points for having a woman protagonist, and another for representing woman as more than objects to graze at. Throughout the entire movie Kelly McGillis, or Charlie in this case, is shown leading classes on air combat to a group of young men. In these scenes not only is she instructing the pilots on how to fly their own planes, but she’s also wearing very professional business clothing. This really shows how Top Gun wanted us to see her as a strong person and more than just a body. To add onto this, when she is being introduced to the flight school the head General says how she has a very well respected PHD in Astrophysics, and holds a position in civilian contracting. This already lays the line as someone to respect and look up to. On top of her impressive position she is also controlling of situations in this movie. When Maverick, Tom cruise, is trying to hold information from her about how he knows a fact about an enemy aircraft, she quickly responds by saying: “Lieutenant the Pentagon sees to it that I know more than you.” This clearly depicts how she is viewed as more than something to gaze at and actually holds much more importance to the film. However, it doesn’t score points in any other the other categories. There’s absolutely no woman of color, and no woman has a diverse body type. Although there are roughly three scenes that have an opportunity to score a point on the Bechdel for two named woman characters talking; their conversation only consists of dialogue about another Male. 
Moving onto the male categories: Top Gun does score a point for having one male of color in a speaking role who isn’t reduced to racial stereotypes. When Goose, Mavs Co-pilot, dies he gets replaced by the only black actor in the film: Lieutenant Williams, call sign Sundown. When Maverick and Sundown are paired together there isn’t one sign of racism at all. We see in many combat scene Sundown advising Maverick where to steer the aircraft and Maverick following his commands just how Goose would direct Maverick previously. We see them also have a lot of passion for doing well as a team. After one combat exercise, Sundown approaches Maverick and discusses how they could’ve had the kill shot. Since this is a more subjective answer I think the role Sundown plays isn’t a racial stereotype because all of the other pilots are white and he talks and engages in the activities just like all of the others. He actually gets more screen time than the majority of the co-pilots. However, this movie doesn’t score any other points in the male categories. It truly does glorify men with the beach volleyball scene showing all of pilots with their shirts off diving around with their perfectly sculpted bodies. This also carries over to how it perpetuates a body ideal for men that is unrealistic. Adding on, every male role is the typical stereotype you can imagine. From the pilots being young cocky men to the instructors being old stern Navy Officers. Not one male plays an obscure role.
              Top gun does score a point in the race category as it avoids celebrating offensive racial, ethnic, and cultural stereotypes. Not one scene has any crude dialogue or depicts this which is impressive considering they’re fighting the Soviets in this movie. However, in the remaining disabilities and LGBT categories it doesn’t score any points as no one in the film is LGBT or has a disability.
              Overall, The REP test is a fair method of grading movies relative to what they want. If you want the film to include as much diversity as possible than this is a good test for that. However, if you’re looking for a movie just to portray other things, such as in the case of Top Gun a woman’s strength, it does that, but only score a “C” on the test. Overall, I think a movie can have a very diverse cast but still not receive an “A” on the test. I would improve the test by limiting the number of roles it has to fulfill in order for this to become more achievable. I would also grade some movies on just individual categories. 











Gabby Bennett Blog # 2: Mean Girls

Blog #2Mean Girls 
The film Mean Girls is considered to be a teen drama, and stars Lindsay Lohan as aintelligent sixteen year old named Cady. Cady has just moved from Africa where she has been homeschooled, and is now entering public high school. She becomes friends with two individuals: one a gay male named Damion, and the other a lesbian female named Janis. Her new friends give her the nicknames for each of the school's cliques including: "sexually active band geeks, varsity jocks, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don’t eat anything, Asian nerds, and plastics." After giving each of the groups either degrading or stereotypical names, Janis decides that it would be best if Cady became close with the most popular group of girls in the school called the plastics. To the entire school, the plastics are viewed as mean, stupid, and slutty. The sole purpose of the plastics is to draw attention from males in a sexual manner. 
For a film made for teenagers, there are some pretty condescending messages. Not only does this movie teach young teenagers to judge and label people, but it also gives women a bad name. In addition to giving women a bad name, Mean Girls gives the lesbian community a repulsive name. The most prominent lesbian in the entire movie was responsible for plotting against the plastics, as well as labeling the cliques of students with such condescending names. The only instance in the movie when women had a positive reputation was when Cady joined and competed with the mathletes. Overall, this movie gives the entire women population a negative reputation.  
According to the representation test, Mean Girls would receive a "C" rating. Within the first twenty minutes of the movie, women are represented as sexual objects. During the majority of the time, all of the women go to great lengths solely trying to impress males. On the other hand, males do not have stereotypical roles in the movie. Damion for example is gay, and Aaron is dumb. Society has engrained into our minds that men are supposed to be very masculine, and a hell of a lot brighter than females. Lastly, Tina Fey wrote mean girls, which is a bonus on the representation test. 
I think that the representation test is a pretty fair way to judge whether or not a movie is inclusive and non degrading to women, men, LGBT people, and disabled people. Although the "People with Disabilities" and "LGBT People" columns seem to be short when compared to all of the other columns, I believe that they are equally represented. These two groups of people make up less of the population than all of the other groups in the test. In addition to this, I believe that since the film industry entails such a strong male presence, it is acceptable to contain more check points about women in the film industry than any other category of people. The only potentially negative comment I could possibly think of for this representation test is how the number of points correlates to a letter score.