Daily Archives: 02/03/2012

Empire magazine’s “Sexiest Characters in Cinema” list – nerd bait for nitwits?

You like lists – I like lists.

They inspire debate, prompt normally rational people to fume (“There’s no way that ‘Pretty in Pink’ is a better John Hughes flick than ‘Sixteen Candles’ – as if!”) and get those all-important clicks, hits and page views which underpin website visibility.

Empire magazine is at it again and have sought the earnest opinings of their readership as to the vexed question of whom the sexiest cinema characters of all time.

And, as you might expect, the results skew somewhat nerd-centric.  Check out the character chosen by male readers as their hottest of all time…

Ah, Lady Croft.

I know, right?  How very unexpected.  But, utterly in sync with the fanboy demographic who seem to be Empire’s bread-and-butter nowadays (or a sign that the Lara fan base voted early and often).  I’m kind of intrigued to see the amount of fetish-identified characters at the top of the list – with “Underworld” heroine Selene, the Michelle Pfeiffer iteration of Catwoman and Jessica Rabbit in 4th, 3rd  and 2nd places respectively, it’s like a ‘specialist interest’ website list or something.

As for the male characters, we’re going with the archetypes – this fine chap is number one.

Hmm...you would, wouldn't you. Just saying.

I hesitate to say that women have better taste in these lists than men do, but, you know, they kinda do.  The list of hottest male characters isn’t quite as pneumatic, rubber-clad and skewing towards ecdysiasts as we see in the list of female characters.  Does this speak to an essentially male nerd inability to deal with women more complex than the broadly-drawn Frank Miller archetypes so popular in our entertainment genres?  Probably so, sad to say.

So long as they kick ass, look sweet and fill out a rubber/leather catsuit, the geek hive mind seems paralysed by the visual and ill-equipped to deal with anything more complex.

Aragorn’s got depth beyond the grizzed good looks and soulful eyes – Lara?  Daddy issues and a cut-glass accent.  And the other assets, which I won’t insult your intelligence by discussing further…

Most lists of this type are now subject to the vagueness of memory – you vote for what’s in your head at the moment that you’re filling in the online form – or the demands of a devoted internet community who mobilise to perform the kinds of ballot box stuffing which sees Lara – a character not currently foremost in the popular consciousness – storming the chart.

What I’m getting at, fine reader?

Amelie. Who else?

How is Amelie Poulain not number one, dag blast it?!  Gorgeous, possessed of an actual character and indelibly etched in the mind of anybody who saw Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s breakout international classic.

Male nerds, I despair of ye – you’re supposed to be my people!

 

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“Mass Effect 3” demo turns Silver into Gold…

Something for nothing – that’s not an equation which you see very often these days.

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And the fine folks giving Xbox 360 owners an unexpected Valentine’s gift are Microsoft and BioWare, who’ve announced that the forthcoming demo of “ME3” allows rheumy-eyed, forelock-tugging Silver account holders to play online with their hoity-toity, cash-splashing Gold account betters.

Such generosity – it burns!

The demo drops just in time for you to annoy your better half on February 14th – is the spirit of romance just dead in Redmond or what?

 

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Fluffrick goes West

So, tomorrow I will be braving predicted bad weather in the UK and going here:

Scotland in February. No, I'm not crazy. Or so it would seem...

The isle of Arran.  Regular as clockwork, that’s where I head to in February with Mrs Rolling Eyeballs and Minnie the Terrier in tow.

We’ve had reports that the weather was on the turn for a while, but it does appear that somewhere on our journey from Sheffield to Arran we will run into some harsh weather.  Wish us well and join me in hoping that the Wi-Fi in our digs is going to facilitate some blogging next week – regular service might be a little less frequent than usual, but I’ll try to get some posts in next week.

Play nice whilst I’m gone…

 

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“Short Circuit” gets remade, because there are no new ideas.

No disassemble, Stephanie!

I remained cool when MTV co-opted “Teen Wolf” and turned it into a post “Twilight” paranormal romance series.  I barely raised an eyebrow when Will Smith’s rather charmless offspring was jammed into a “Karate Kid” reboot so dull that I forgot it even as I was watching it.

But my normally placid nature will tolerate no more – for proof that Los Angeles is full of dullards who couldn’t find a new idea if it were dangled in front of them via a carrot-and-stick scenario, the Hollywood brains trust is remaking “Short Circuit”.

We’re dealing here with a great 80’s movie, and one which has great nostalgic name recognition for parents, a cute robot character to sell toys to children with and the possibility of some tween pop star doing the El Debarge theme song anew (warning – YouTube video contains more 80’s awesome than you can handle…).

Ally and Johnny 5 - a match made in the 80's...

I can understand why a studio would look at a project like this and think – “$$$!” – but I’m not sure that this is a premise which would translate brilliantly for today’s audience.   Kids today seem to sniff out contrivance and schtick with laser-like focus, so I’m wondering whether they would buy into the idea of lightning transforming a military weapon into a sentient hippy whimsy droid for a single second?

And who’s going to play Stephanie?  I’m trying to think of an actress who has the sigh-inducing sweetness of Ally Sheedy and I’m coming up more or less empty.   And which naive young fool would think that he has the dizzying comic chops to be able to step into the sizeable shoes of Steve Guttenberg?

Oh, the wrong-headedness of this plan – especially as the bloke who did THIS is supposed to making it

 

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