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The Female Perspective: Who You Gonna Call?

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


If you’re answer to the title of this blog was, GHOSTBUSTERS! Than you’re my kind of people. Though today I am going to talk about the “reboot” (good lord I detest that word these days) with the all female cast that stars comedy powerhouses Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. I am SUPER excited about this movie. Even more so now that the trailer has come out and shown us that yeah, this movie could potentially be awesome.

I am a huge fan of the original films (even though the 2nd one wasn’t great, it was still the Ghostbusters so I give it some slack), I even remember going to see the first film in the theater and being scared silly by that ghost in the library at the start. I loved the comedy, the silliness and was only slightly confused (I was a kid) by that scene in the ghost montage with Dan Akroyd and the pants unzipping … That part mystified me until I was much older and “wiser”. The original Ghostbusters film is a classic film, one that many feel is “untouchable” in this world of remake after remake.

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I would call these ladies if I had ghosts giving my trouble

The fact is, to try and improve on the Ghostbusters original film is pointless, so to cast a group of men to fill the shoes of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddmore is lacking in creativity. The idea of an all-female cast is appealing to me because I used to want to be a Ghostbuster when I kid so this is a serious case of wish fulfillment happening, I admit it. Also, as a woman, it’s really fun to see women in the lead of so many films these days. This is just cool because now little girls can see themselves in the shoes of the “Busters” and see them kicking some otherworldly butt!

I know the all female cast is irritating to many folks and it mystifies me. Is it simply the idea of a reboot that has them annoyed or is it because it’s women? I mean, if it was an all male cast, would people be as up in arms? I seriously wonder about that one. I really hate how in this day and age, women in lead roles once held by men are found to be inferior. The fact is, the women in this film have proven their comedic chops time and time again. So what’s the issue here? Why can’t women be in roles that men held? Why are we still stuck in a world where feminism and female-led casting are held in such low regard?

These are questions I ponder time and time again and I have no good, solid answer for them that doesn’t seriously bum me out.

Thor as the god of paperwork!
Thor as the god of paperwork!

Honestly, you cannot go wrong with this cast. Melissa McCarthy makes me laugh when she does sneezes and Kristen Wiig … Jeez Louise, talk about a huge comedic talent. Add  to that the lesser known but just as funny Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones and I think you have a winner here. I also LOVE that Chris Hemsworth is playing their secretary in a great flipping of the roles. Hemsworth was great in his small role in the recent Vacation so I am pretty certain he has the comedic chops to pull off being around all these strong women.

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I know there has been a lot of talk about how this is not needed and blah, blah, blah and I just want to make the point, what movie is ever really needed?

The idea behind entertainment is that it (you guessed it) entertains us, makes us laugh, cry, think, get angry, etc. Some films are simply there for us to avoid real life for a little while. If something doesn’t appeal to you, don’t watch it. Watch something else, but please, for the love of all that is holy, stop complaining as if you have some choice in the matter. This movie is happening and I, for one, am pretty happy about it.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to enjoy the trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters film.

Ahhh this trailer makes me so HAPPY! The music, the effects, the jokes…It seems like everything I ever loved about the original film is making a fun appearance here and I have high hopes that any one (or all 3) of the living, original Ghostbusters make an appearance in this film, that would be the icing on an already pretty darn exciting ghost-like cake.

So tell me, are you gonna call these Ghostbusters to save the day or are you going to skip it and fend for yourself? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: The “Mary Sue” Of “Star Wars” (No Serious Spoilers)

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I want to start by saying that I am going to do my best to not put any spoilers in here about the new Star Wars movie because I hate dirty rotten spoilers. If you prefer to know nothing about the movie though, don’t read this yet!

Daisy Ridley plays the character Rey in the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Daisy Ridley plays the character Rey in the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

That being said, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens this past weekend and simply adored it. Now that I’ve seen the movie I can start reading the millions of articles about it that have popped up. One trend that is annoying the ever loving heck out of me is the people calling one of the new character, Rey, a “Mary Sue”.

In case you are wondering:

Mary Sue or, in case of a male, Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through extraordinary abilities. Often but not necessarily this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment. –Wikipedia

I actually didn’t know the full definition and I also didn’t know that Mary Sue’s could also be male characters so I learned something new today and it actually annoys me more because if Rey is a Mary Sue, why isn’t Luke or Han Solo?

Regarding the character of Rey in Star Wars: TFA though, to call her a Mary Sue is to insult a strong, capable female character. It’s not, in fact, the first time the Star Wars Universe has had a strong female character. Have we forgotten Princess Leia???? Or even after her, Padme Amidala, the mother of Luke and Leia? What is all this surprise that a woman who lives in the Star Wars Universe is not only  smart, but capable as well? Why can’t we just accept that and move on?

Strong characters are par for the course in "Star Wars" and I for one am thrilled about it.
Strong characters are par for the course in “Star Wars” and I for one am thrilled about it.

Oh, that’s right, because we live in a patriarchal society that cannot possibly accept a female character as smart, strong and able to get sh&t done alongside her male compatriots. As I said above, you can have a male Mary Sue as well but I don’t believe I have ever heard that term applied to a male character. It’s a clear sexism that a woman who is capable can’t be real but a capable man is totally believable. How annoying!

This kind of pseudo internet anger is infinitely frustrating to behold. The fact is, the new (all of them) characters add depth and dimension to the universe many of us love but beyond that, the Star Wars franchise has always been about the next generation overcoming the rules of the current generation. The original Star Wars starts off with Luke Skywalker, the son of Vader and we follow him and Leia and Solo through their various adventures. Even in the newer films, it is about the rise of Vader and the destruction of the older generation. That’s the whole thing that Star Wars does, it shows us that the wheel of time moves on and the younger kids are eventually going to inherit the mess the previous generation left behind.

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The fact is, the internet is a hotbed of angry trolls typing forcefully and looking for stuff to criticize. Rey is strong, she is smart and she one of my favorite characters in the entire Star Wars world because she was written well, she was created as a full person and not some damsel in distress at the first sign of trouble. She has her moment, and who can blame her, when she becomes overwhelmed with the weight of what is before her but instead of descending into tears and woe is me, she fights and she kicks butt. If that’s a Mary Sue, than I’m all for that kind of character being in every film.

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What did you think of the new Star Wars? Who was your favorite character and did you think Rey was “too” capable? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: “Forget Women Seeing This”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


As I was scrolling through the online world this week I came across an article that both amused the holy heck out of me and pissed me off royally. The article, is a short piece about a “veteran” film blogger who was talking about the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “The Revenant” and how women wouldn’t enjoy it because of it’s brutal nature.

Hmmm…okay veteran blogger, generalize much?

Now, the movie isn’t out yet so I cannot comment on that. I can, however, comment on the trailer that I have watched a couple times. It looks interesting, sure, but I’m not sure it’s interesting enough for me to trek out to the theater and shell over 400 million dollars for the film (that might be an exaggeration of the cost of a theater ticket…). I can say unequivocally though that the reason I wouldn’t rush out to see it is not because it looks raw and brutal. Nope. I can watch a brutal movie any day of the week, I just want to WANT to see it.

These days, with the cost of seeing a movie so high it takes a lot for me to want to see a film. It has to include movie stars I enjoy, a director I love, a good story. It almost always has to include super hero’s and/or be made from a book that I adored. I’m very picky and I know for certain that the next movie I see will the Star Wars: The Force Awakens and after that? Not so sure.

My taste in movies aside, this article proves a very good point, people are VERY sensitive these days and they take the smallest comment and turn it into a “controversy”. Case in point, the veteran film blogger who simply Tweeted,

“The Revenant” is an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, raw-element immersion like something you’ve never seen. Forget women seeing this. – Hollywood Elsewhere @wellshwood

Film Blogger Jeffrey Wells
Film Blogger Jeffrey Wells

For those four words, “Forget women seeing this,” Jeffrey Wells caused quite the Twitter furor (what else is new these days?) and had to apologize for his comments. The fact is, this is not the first time Wells has gotten himself in trouble, the article goes on to say,

This is not the first time Wells has triggered controversy. In a post about the trailer for Trainwreck, he criticised Amy Schumer’s looks, describing her as “Jennifer Aniston’s somewhat heavier, not-as-lucky sister”; he wrote: “Life would be heavenly and rhapsodic if women had the personality and temperament of dogs” in a post about the Neil LaBute play Reasons to Be Pretty; and Deadline leaked a 2007 email in which he asked 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold for topless photos of Vinessa Shaw. –The Guardian

So yeah, this guy is pretty obviously a misogynist so I will not defend his words. He has his opinion and he feels that a brutal, unflinching look at a man trying to survive in old-time America would be too much for our fragile female souls.

Basically, I think this guy can go pound sand.

There are probably a handful of MEN in this world who would also find a movie like “The Revenant” difficult to watch and Wells could have chosen any other combo of words to express the fact that the movie is harsh and unrelenting and violent. He didn’t though, he said what he meant and what he means (I assume) is that women don’t like violent, brutal films. As a writer of any kind generalizing like this is a dangerous thing to do. It is unfair to whatever sex or race or whoever you single out because odds are, there are going to be people who disagree with you. As did many, MANY folks disagree with Wells and his comment.

"The Revenant"
“The Revenant”

Newsflash Mr. Wells, women can enjoy a brutal, violent film like the next guy, but sometimes we choose not to subject ourselves to violence in our theater experience because, guess what? There is TONS of violence in the “real world” these days and we can all do with a little mellow, a little peace. Just like anyone else, male or female.

I don’t know if this all makes sense but what I am trying to say is this; People need to just leave jerks like Wells to their dark holes of misogynistic women-judging and move on to address the things that really matter. Like feeding hungry families, helping the poor and all the other issues plaguing our nation today.

That being said, all Wells did was make me WANT to see this movie now so you can bet your bottom that I’ll be watching it in some form and I won’t shy away from it’s brutal ideas and visuals. I’m a horror movie junkie and while I may get grossed out, I’ll still watch the darn thing because half the fun of going to a movie is living through someone else’s experiences and seeing what happens. Besides all of that, if a movie is well done (and with this film there is a lot of pre-Oscar buzz around it), even if it’s a rough watch, it’s worth my time. I’ve watched plenty of movies that have difficult themes including some of DiCaprio’s latest work, and have found them challenging to my heart, soul and mind and that, to me, is the BEST kind of entertainment.

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What do YOU think of Wells’ comments? Do you think you’ll see “The Revenant”? Sound off below!

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The Female Perspective: The Twitter Hissy Fit Of Josh Trank

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


The Not So Fantastic Four.
The Not So Fantastic Four.

DISCLAIMER: I have not seen Fantastic Four yet and to be honest, with all the terrible reviews, I am not rushing out to spend my hard-earned money on what sounds like total crap. I’ll wait for the DVD most likely. Which stinks because I was really excited to see this “reboot” (God how I detest that term) of a story I find enjoyable. I’ll admit that I actually enjoyed the other two, with Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, I thought they were campy, sure, but in a way that was fun. Either way, I was okay with a studio doing a harder-edged, dark version of the Fantastic Four. It seems like it was a monumental failure, only taking in 26 million at the box office this past weekend (I never thought in my life I’d use failure and 26 million dollars in the same sentence).

So what am  I writing a blog about if I haven’t seen the movie? I’m writing it about the director, Josh Trank. He published  a tweet this week that caused a fair amount of controversy.

“A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s the reality, though.” – Josh Trank

Seriously dude? Are you 12 or something? I read that tweet and shook my head. Here’s a young guy making his first really big studio movie and because people don’t like it, he feels the need to publish a Tweet that makes him sound like a petulant child. Totally unprofessional. He removed the Tweet as fast as he could (I imagine someone like his dad told him he sounded like a baby) but the damage is done. The fact is Trank, directors make lousy movies once in awhile, it happens. I actually read a pretty okay review of the movie from a friend of mine who said it was … good. That’s nice to hear but still, not a rave review.

"Batman & Robin"
“Batman & Robin”

I read something today about Joel Schumacher and his thoughts on his failed (and often mocked) Batman & Robin film. He recently said;

“They immediately wanted a sequel, but I said yes. There’s nobody else to blame but me. I could have said, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’

“Val [Kilmer] left at eleventh hour to do The Island of Dr. Moreau. It changed everything. George [Clooney] made a noble effort. I was the problem with Batman& Robin. I never did a sequel to any of my movies, and sequels are only made for one reason: to make more money and sell more toys. I did my job. But I never got my ass in the seat right.

“I just hope whenever I see a list of the worst movies ever made, we’re not on it. I didn’t do a good job. George did. Chris [O’Donnell] did. Uma [Thurman] is brilliant in it. Arnold is Arnold.” – Geek Tyrant

Now this guy is a class act. Not only does he not blame his actors, he openly blames himself for the failure of the movie.  That is how you gracefully accept blame. Then again, Shumacher has been around for awhile and he knows the Hollywood machine. Not to mention, it’s been years since the debacle that was Batman & Robin. I should also add that Twitter and all this “glorious” social media also did not exist during the time of Batman & Robin so who knows how things would have played out had Twitter existed back then.

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The fact remains that Trank is a talented guy, I recently saw his movie Chronicle, a small budget flick about kids who accidentally gain superpowers and what then happens. It’s a great, simple story, low budget and a lot of fun. It’s real world superhero stuff, which I adore. It’s well-directed, well acted and all around really good. So what went wrong with Fantastic Four? I can’t say for sure since I haven’t yet seen the movie but I can guess, Fox Studios. And maybe, just maybe, Josh Trank acted like a baby over some things. Maybe he didn’t speak up when changes were made. Maybe he folded under the pressure that is the superhero genre. Hard to say and it’s not really my job to discover the answer to the mystery.

"Chronicle" the tag line reads, "Boys will be boys," and boy will they ever...
“Chronicle” the tag line reads, “Boys will be boys,” and boy will they ever…

Social media is both a blessing and a curse these days, so many people take to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites to show off what they ate for dinner, talk about their latest read, or completely barf out their emotions/feelings/thoughts/etc. I’ll admit that up until a few years ago, I was guilty of expressing my innermost thoughts and feelings online but I’ve started to realize a couple of things.

1. I do not want everyone on my friends list to know my every issue, problem, etc. If I need to talk to someone about something private, I email, text message or call the people I love and trust more than anything else. I do not tweet about it.

2. Vaguebooking is annoying as Hell. Don’t post something on Facebook that says, “Life Sucks” or “I think I’m dying” or “Squirrels have attacked, run for the bunkers,” without giving some kind of context or explanation. Social media is NOT therapy people. Trank thought it would be a good idea to explain himself using 140 characters or less and guess what, everyone took it the wrong way and he’s gotten a lot of crap for it this week.

I sincerely hope that Trank learned his lesson on this. If he wants to work in Hollywood, he’s going to have to get tougher skin and he’s also going to have to learn to make a movie he likes within the constraints of a studio. Otherwise, he’s not going to be getting much work.

For the rest of us, let’s hope that Fantastic Four dies a quick death and we can move on to being excited about other things, like cotton candy grapes (yeah, they’re a real thing).

Did you see Fantastic Four? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!