The latest Star Trek was a great movie, but there was one thing that stopped me from enjoying it completely.

Editor’s note: This article was written by Alyce Adams.

It will probably come as no shock that the one thing I had a problem with was the movie’s representation of women. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the movie recently, with Felicia Day making an interesting blog post about the issue (which currently has over 700 comments), and Damon Lindelof, the film’s writer, even apologising for Alice Eve’s underwear scene.

It was a shock for me to see that so many people were okay with this, and that others were even mad about it being made into a big deal. The unnecessary underwear scene is only the tip of the iceberg, and I thought instead of letting myself go out in an ALL CAPS RAGE, I would try and explain the other problems the movie had in regards to female characters as a whole, and therefore why Eve’s scene is a problem.

First, lets look at the female characters, shall we?

In the entire film, there are two women who have more than one line of dialogue, Uhura and Carol. These are practically the only women on screen, too. I noticed one getting shot, and another helping navigate the enterprise. I didn’t see any others. It’s also important to note the lack of a female presence during the emergency meeting for Starfleet Command, where all the most important members are assembled. Not that you could infer any message from this, or anything…

Uhura and Carol now carry the weight of representing women all by themselves, and unfortunately, they fail rather miserably.

Uhura

Star Trek Into Darkness - UhuraI want to focus solely on Uhura from the second film, as I believe they are represented differently in the each film. What is Uhura’s role? She’s a communications officer. What does she do in the film? Complain or worry about her boyfriend.

In the original series, Uhura is a very important character, as she is one of the first portrayals of an African-American woman in a non-menial role on TV. However, in the latest addition to the franchise, I would argue that her role is completely menial.

She has two scenes were she is actively doing something. One is when she goes to talk with the Klingons to convince them to help the Enterprise catch Khan. Does she succeed? Nope. In fact, Khan comes in and saves her instead.

The second is when she gets beamed down to help Spock defeat Khan. She shoots Khan a few times with a type of stun gun that appears to have no effect on him. Spock then punches him a bit more and finishes him. None of her actions were vital. If she had not been there, the plot could have continued without her.

Her purpose in this movie is to humanize Spock, she serves the character of Spock instead of herself.

Carol

Star Trek Into Darkness - CarolWhere as Uhura had some redeeming scenes, Carol really plays the perfect damsel in distress stereotype.
She is first introduced as a science officer with an impressive list of credentials, and is then promptly sexualized in the now infamous underwear scene. It has been discussed elsewhere, but needless to say it’s gratuitous. If you want a scene to demonstrate Kirk’s playboy and flirtatious character, that’s fine, but you could easily achieve the same effect showing her with her clothes on. You just need to show him looking. The fact that they chose to show her without clothing exemplifies how they’re pandering the male audience. The length of Carol and Uhura’s dresses are also ridiculous and add another example.

Thankfully we see Carol demonstrating her intelligence once, (although briefly and with no great effect), when she deactivates the torpedo. Afterwards, she does nothing. Her plan to stop her father from blowing up the Enterprise because she’s on board doesn’t even work, as he simply beams her back to his ship. The rest of her scenes include her father talking down to her, getting her leg broken, and screaming. She’s hardly even used as a plot device, like Uhura for Spock, and I know I was left slightly baffled at the end as to her purpose in the movie. She wasn’t even used as a romantic interest, so her biggest scene is when she’s in her underwear, which seems a shame when they set her up as an intelligent woman.

I’m not saying Star Trek is a terrible movie, or that it is horribly sexist, but I’m just pointing out that the somewhat two dimensional, sexualized female characters are a frustrating trend in blockbuster movies, and as a 2013 audience member, I expect better.

Listen to similar discussions related to pop culture on the podcast Memoirs of a Fangirl.

Dan Aykroyd loves the new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie

As the "originator of the original," let's listen to him.

6:31 am EDT, May 31, 2016

Dan Aykroyd, star and creator of the original Ghostbusters, has seen the 2016 reboot. And he liked it.

“As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”

This is what Dan Aykroyd wrote on his Facebook page. Evidently, he is very pleased with Paul Feig’s re-imagining of his 1980s comedy classic.

And this isn’t the first time he’s offered endorsement of the contentious reboot (which Aykroyd is also producing and cameoing in). Earlier this year, he wrote on Twitter:

Despite everyone and their father already having made up their minds about this particular reboot, all we’ve actually had to go on so far have been a few trailers, Paul Feig and the cast’s infectious enthusiasm, and generalized opinions about Hollywood reboots/the cast.

But now that test screenings are beginning to roll out, we can finally begin to get a real sense of what this movie is actually gonna be like.

And if anyone’s opinion should hold some clout, it’s Dan Aykroyd’s. He not only starred as one of the original Ghostbusters, but came up with the concept and co-wrote both of the previous films.

Of course his comments haven’t gone over well with everyone. When he says it has “more laughs and more scares” than Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 combined, many people have taken that to mean that he thinks the new one is better than the original — but it’s worth noting that that’s not actually what he said.

Related: New Ghostbusters trailer updates the title to Ghostbusters: Answer the Call

The original Ghostbusters (if not its sequel) was a masterpiece, and Aykroyd isn’t suggesting anything different. He’s merely suggesting that there’s a higher quantity of funny and scary scenes in the reboot. Which, knowing Paul Feig (who blew us away with Bridesmaids and Spy), makes a lot of sense.

The important takeaway here is that Aykroyd seems to genuinely enjoy the new Ghostbusters movie. Regardless of your feelings on the original, the new one can still be fantastic, and if anyone would know, it’d be Aykroyd.

At the end of the day, the new movie really is a win-win for fans — it’s an excuse to dust off our old merchandise, and we’ll get to see an exciting new team take on the iconic monsters. July can’t come soon enough!

‘Ghostbusters’ premieres July 15, 2016

Major changes coming to ‘Sense8’ season 2

And I'm excited about what happens next.

11:00 am EDT, May 30, 2016

Sense8 is currently in production for their second season, and they’ve gotten pretty far. Here are some important things you need to know about what’s to come for your favorite cluster!

Ever since Sense8 debuted on Netflix a year ago I’ve been obsessed. Not only because it was such a fantastic premise of connecting eight people, but because it was so immensely diverse and represented so many people from all over the world. Now that we’ve got a season 2, it’s about time to start learning what it’ll be about.

There’s some major things about Sense8 season 2 that are going to be dramatically different, and we’ve gotten an update on what our favorite characters will be up to this season thanks to BuzzFeed.

There’s only 1 Wachowski left

One of the biggest draws of Sense8 was the fact that it was a Wachowski sister production. These sisters have brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas so we knew when we heard that last name that this was going to be an epic series.

This year, only Lana Wachowski is staying on to direct the show. Lilly Wachowski is taking the much-deserved time off after having just come out as transgender in March, and is using the time to focus on herself. Should the show return to Netflix for a third season then she’ll probably return.

The return of only one sister isn’t something that should affect the show too much, and I’m sure if it does then any changes will be welcome and give the show a fresh vibe — not that it needs it.

Sense8 Nomi Amanita

Capheus has been re-cast

For those who enjoyed Capheus’ story in Kenya the most prepare yourselves for a major change. Due to disagreements between Lana and Aml Ameen, who portrays Capheus in season 1, Ameen left the show before production began.

Capheus’ story isn’t one you can just replace and end so suddenly, so instead of writing him out Wachowski opted instead to re-cast him. Toby Onwumere will now play the part.

For those of you concerned with any disagreement between Ameen and Wachowski being over her being transgender, Jamie Clayton, who plays Nomi, was adamant about stopping that rumor.


The good news is that Onwumere has been completely welcomed by the cast and he felt immediately connected to them upon meeting them at dinner for the first time. This makes me more confident that his chemistry with the actors will show on screen, which is one of the reasons I love Sense8 so much – the chemistry has been fantastic in every episode with all 8 actors.

But these changes can be amazing!

Even though they’re major changes from how the show operated last year, I feel like the new single director and the new actor is going to bring a welcome fresh take for the new season.

Every show can use something new in each season they come back just to keep it interesting and unique every year. I feel like, thanks to these changes made to the cast and crew, the story isn’t going to have to change too drastically just for the sake of change. Obviously it’s going to probably take to places we don’t expect, but that will be because the story is naturally progressing, instead of them trying to change actors and plots already set.

Are you excited for season 2 of ‘Sense8’

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.