Getting Reel: Into the Woods


For Christmas, I gave my 6-year-old niece and nephew gift certificates to go to the movies. As I’ve told you before, gift certificates are one of my favorite customizable presents — give the gift of experience, as they say. So, one day over their holiday break, we went out to lunch, to the movies, and of course stopped for hot cocoa on the way home.

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Getting Reel, Book Review combo: Divergent

DivergentCoverOn Wednesdays, we get together with some grad student friends for happy hour (the early bird special might be a more accurate description). We are all in psychology but from a mix of sub-disciplines, years, and life experiences. Lest I get sappy here, suffice it to say, Wednesdays are a blend of friendship and mentoring among some pretty darn educated, wonderful women. We talk about gender a lot — because it’s a personal interest of all of ours, because it’s my research area, and because we are women in science. Last week we moved our discussion to the movie theater. I used my most endearing/forceful tactics to get us to see Divergent.

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Frozen is out on DVD tomorrow!

FrozenDVDWe are so excited this day is here. It is Frozen-Is-Out-on-DVD-Eve. Hopefully you already know the songs by heart but if not, today is your last day to learn them before every day after that when you can sign along with the DVD itself. In celebration, let’s take a look at a post about Frozen from a few weeks back.

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Getting Reel: The LEGO Movie


Yesterday afternoon we took a break from dissertation-related arts and crafts (really) to go see The LEGO movie with some Fair Play/grad school friends. If we’re being honest and accountable, it seemed like a nice break from work…that was still sort of like work. In any event, here it is, the one-line take on The LEGO movie, paraphrased and third hand through some other Fair Play friends: well it wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test, but it was pretty funny and the leading lady is the only one with any brains or competence.

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Getting Reel: More Movies for Snow Days

HungerGamesDVDYesterday we talked about our new Disney favorite, Frozen. We also reminded you about some other animated favorites. Today we’re going to give you a little more ammo for this season’s snow days and delays: The Hunger Games books and movies.

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Getting Reel: Movies for all these Snow Days

FrozenDVDIt’s true that today, Saturday, we’re having something of a heat wave in central PA. But, most of last week states across the country were gripped by cold and blessed with snow days or delays. And if the models are to be believed, next week will return to the same. If you find yourself house-bound with your kiddos, you might be looking for something to occupy them quietly while you work from home. Alternatively, you might be hoping for a warm-ish outing. This weekend, we’re going to talk about gender-fair movie options for both right now. Today we’ll start with Frozen, tomorrow we’ll cover the Hunger Games (books and movies).

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Treat or Treat! Scary and Not-Scary Movies

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground so far in our Trick or Treat series. Continuing our quest to get in the Halloween spirit, today we’re going to talk about Halloween movies. Halloween movies are prime time for the evil, ugly witch trope. Fair Play has a couple of alternatives to that, as well as a family-favorite introductory scary movie. There are many, many children’s Halloween movies out there (ABC Family and The Disney Channel generally dedicate most October evenings to children’s Halloween movies). Let’s discuss three examples of gender-fair, family Halloween movies.

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Getting Reel: Burka Avenger

 BurkaAvengerPoster This week’s Getting Reel post, where we review movies or shows, is about a new show in Pakistan that has been all over our blog feeds this week. Burka Avenger is an animated TV show about a superheroine named Jiya. She fights for equal access to education, using books and pens literally as weapons. Every superhero wears a disguise, and Jiya’s is a burka. More on that in a minute.

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Getting Reel: What about Disney? (Part I)

disney-princess-group_clipart1Welcome to Getting Reel! We decided we were writing enough about movies that they merited their very own, named, on-going series (like Book Review for our posts about books, Game Night for games, or Gift Guide for our answers to your shopping questions!). Today we’re responding to a reader question about Disney movies. We’ve written before about movies – but always alternatives to the classic animated Disney movies. So what about Disney? As it turns out, my own interest in studying gender began in a high school film studies class (in a magical land, far far away, and also a long time ago). My capstone project for that class was a historical overview of gender in Disney’s animated movies. Naturally, I pulled up that paper to inform this post, and I have two observations: 1) Not a bad paper, teenage Emily! and 2) Disney’s history is a sensible place to start. Next week we’ll take on what Disney is doing more recently.

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Gift Guide: Movies for a 7-Year-Old Girl (Hayao Miyazaki!)

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a great all-ages, family friendly animated movie with a strong female heroine. No princesses here!

We received the following Gift Guide request on our Request a Review page recently, so we’re answering that today:

Fair Play – ideas for a birthday present for a 7 year old girl?

Short, and to the point! Why yes, we do have some ideas. In particular, a new movie. Maybe packaged with some cocoa or movie snacks. Perhaps we are projecting our own desires right now, sitting in our office while it is sleeting out. In any event, today we’re going to talk about a few films by Hayao Miyazaki, an extremely talented film director, writer, and animator. His films have a uniquely beautiful visual style and a thoughtful, methodical pace to the storytelling. He generally incorporates a cast of strong heroines and gender-fair roles. Today we’ll focus on three in particular that we think are good choices for a young audience (girls AND boys).

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