Thursday, February 11, 2016
I Dream Of Geena
If superhero movies twenty years ago were the massive industry that they are now, Geena Davis could have been a 1990s Captain Marvel or Batwoman. She's a six foot babe with cheekbones for days, does her own stunts and could punch a hole through a wall. However, despite the lack of superpowered crimefighting in her past roles, she's kind of a feminist superhero already.
I recently watched Cutthroat Island for the first time and it was a fucking HOOT. It's got excellent stunts! Solid action set-pieces! Morgan the lady pirate whose signature move is threatening to stab dudes in the dick! A hammy villain called Dawg chewing up all the scenery! Two gorgeous pirate galleons blasting the shit out of each other on the high seas! Admittedly this is coming from someone who watched Battleship three times last year and thoroughly enjoyed herself on every occasion, but all those points still stand. It ends and begins with Morgan post and pre boning a guy on her terms! There's one brief and particularly terrible bit of green screen, but all it really does is serve to highlight just how real and CGI-free all the terrific explosions and sets getting smashed up were. There's no Andy Serkis running around covered in ping pong balls here.
Apparently Michael Douglas turned down the role of William Shaw because the part was smaller than Geena Davis's, like, welcome to Women's Hollywood Since Forever, buddy. It's unfair that the film's legacy is that of sinking of the pirate movie genre until Jack Sparrow stumbled onto screens, because it's a lot more enjoyable than some of the thunderously mediocre Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. And what's more, it gets routinely described as one of the biggest box office failures ever and the reason why Geena Davis's career faltered shortly afterwards, but if you look up the list of flops and their estimated losses on Wikipedia, it's far enough down the list to have not one, but TWO Ryan Reynolds films ahead of it and, well, he's just a lovable scamp rather than box office poison, right? Hollywood double standards can do one.
In further fun, fast-paced feminist roles, The Long Kiss Goodnight is an excellent action film starring our girl as Samantha Caine, an amnesiac housewife who undergoes one of the greatest movie makeovers of all time as her former personality, that of CIA assassin Charly Baltimore begins to reassert itself. She goes from unthreatening nice suburban lady curls to platinum razor bob, Claudia Winkleman levels of eyeliner and top notch murder skills. She knocks a guy out with a lemon meringue pie, for fuck's sake! It's amazing! Plus she gives Samuel L Jackson's character some well deserved shit when he catcalls a woman out jogging and minding her own goddamn business. I only just re-watched it shortly before Christmas and I already want to watch it again.
And I can't possibly talk about Geena Davis without mentioning A League of Their Own. Loved it as a child, love it now, hate James Corden's stupid fucking sports panel show for using the name and never being the film when I see it on TV listings. Which is ALL THE TIME. The Rockford Peaches are #squadgoals levels of sisterhood, supporting each other, sneaking out to go dancing and shift soldiers and an excellent fancy dress costume to boot. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!
Aside from her feminist sport/action/pirate films, (and Thelma & Louise and Beetlejuice) Geena Davis also established an institute dedicated to highlighting the lack of female representation in films and television and is one of a handful of women to ever portray a female American president in her role in Commander in Chief.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is, can we just put Geena Davis in charge of Hollywood? Yeah?