The Evolution of the Mean Girl

These girls are the nastiest skank bitches you’ve ever met.

The “mean girl” archetype has been an integral part of all types of pop culture; they’re prevalent in movies like Regina George from Mean Girls; they exist in books like Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice; they rocked your TV screens like Santana Lopez from Glee; and you probably went to school with at least three of them.

But over time, these characters have evolved from scrunchie-wearing prim-and-proper princesses, to murder cover-up queen bees, to sneaky pink skirt-wearing bitches. And they’re continuing to evolve in recent years.

Today we take a look at the evolution of the mean girl, referring to the specific cases of Heather Chandler from HeathersCourtney Shayne from JawbreakerRegina George from Mean Girls, and Madison Morgan from The DUFF.

Notable mentions: Shelby Cummings from A Cinderella Story, Heather Montgomery from John Tucker Must Die, Veronica from Sierra Burgess is a Loser,

Mean Girls chilling in the fr-fr-fr-fr-fr-fr-fr (Photo taken from Juanjo Cristiani’s Flickr photostream)

Probably the first notorious mean girl in cinematic history, Heather Chandler ruled her group with an iron fist and a bright red scrunchie. While fashion and trends were different back in 1989, Heather Chandler’s style still had a very sophisticated look about it: with a plaid blazer, pleated skirt, high-collared button up shirt and brooch, this gave the vibe of wealth and class, even though you knew that Heather got up to no good despite the public image she portrayed. Heather was probably one of the first examples of the mean girl stereotype of being extremely wealthy. I mean, only rich people would play croquet in their backyard, right?

Furthermore to this, it would make sense that after Veronica accidentally vomited on her, Heather’s ultimate threat was to ruin her reputation because she was so concerned about her own. This would start the trend of mean girls being in control; they knew they had a certain public image to portray to the world, and they would do anything to keep it. And apparently, anything to break someone else’s if they dare cross them.

Fast forward ten years later and we were introduced to the needlessly cruel Courtney Shayne from Jawbreaker. While mainstream media often portrays the Queen Bee of the mean girls as blonde, Courtney ruled with terror with her signature dark hair. While Courtney’s style could be compared to that of Heather Chandler – with the innocent looking cardigan and signature colour of red – Courtney had a more sexy twist to it, with her dresses being more form fitting and low cut.

If Heather was conscious of her public image, then Courtney was deadly in control of hers. Never one to show any emotion or break down at the slightest hint of a threat to her image (well, until the very last scene of the movie at least), Courtney always kept her calm and poise even when faced with hurled insults from Fern Mayo or Julie Freeman; she even ends up trumping them. Her being in control was even referenced by Marcie Fox; something that would be apparent by the fact that Courtney didn’t eat in front of others because that would mean that she shits like normal people. Courtney always got the last laugh (again, minus the ending), and if that doesn’t go to show you how in control this mean girl was, I don’t know what will.

Five years later and we were greeted with the scum-sucking roadwhore known as Regina George. If Courtney took Heather’s proper and trendy look and sexualised it, then Regina took Courtney’s look and sexualised it even more. The skirts and dresses were shorter, and the use of her feminine wiles was very apparent in seducing Aaron Samuels just because she could.

What made Regina stand out – besides her iconic outfits and quotes – was just how manipulative she was. While Heather was more naive and Courtney was more malicious, Regina knew how to play the game; like the film suggests in girl world, Regina did all of her fighting sneakily: she was nice to your face and mean behind your back; she knew how to get at Cady by snagging Aaron just to pretend like it wasn’t her fault the day after; and of course, she was the instigator behind the breakdown of all the junior girls. Plus, if you can make your parents swap bedrooms with you, then you must be doing something right.

A somewhat interesting choice for this article comes in the form of Madison Morgan. While she hasn’t necessarily made the impact that the former three Queen Bees have, Madison represents the contemporary mean girl. Heather, Courtney and Regina showed their style in predominantly skirts, dresses and other typically girlie attire; Madison ushered in a more edgier look for the mean girl with leather jackets and jeans.

Madison had traits of some of the aforementioned mean girls – extremely pretty, glamorous, manipulative; just to name a few – but what stood out to me about Madison was how territorial she was. She didn’t particularly care about Wesley, until he started spending time with Bianca, and then all of a sudden he was her entire world and no one could touch him. She even went as far as to post a humiliating video online of Bianca to ensure that her property was hers.

Mean girls come in all different forms, ranging from the pink wearing princess, to the vivacious cheerleader, to the straight up bitch. But it’s important to remember that under their tough exteriors is an insecure girl crying for help to those around her.

Just kidding. They’re just bitches.

– by The Black Widow

Hitchcock’s Hotties

In an attempt to make myself seem and feel more cultured, I have embarked on a movie journey, watching and re-watching Hitchcock films, one movie a night. Alfred Hitchcock, despite being a troubled and eccentric director, is definitely my favourite movie director in the history of cinema. Sorry Spielberg.

While watching movies such as Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train, I couldn’t help but notice just how damn attractive the main actors and actresses were. I don’t know whether this is because being that beautiful was the norm during the 50s or because over time, we have just become uglier and uglier (unless your name is Jase Dean). Either way, I feel as if the actors and actresses of today’s generation need to step their game up compared to the likes of these hunks and bombshells.

Naturally, I felt the need to rank these amazing guys and girls in order of personal preference. If you aren’t familiar with Hitchcock’s films, prepare to be wowed. Some of these stars were in more than one Hitchcock film and some of them only appeared in one. Either way, I still consider them Hitchcock’s stars.

The Boys
5. Farley Granger
This handsome bloke was featured in two of Hitchcock’s films, Rope and Strangers on a Train, the latter being one of my favourites. Granger has this innocent, cute boyish charm about him, sure, but you want to know the cutest thing about this guy? He was with his partner Robert Calhoun from 1963 all the way to his death in 2008. Longevity in a Hollywood relationship is a rare gem, so that definitely boosts Granger up the list.

4. Sean Connery
I really shouldn’t have to explain what makes Sean Connery attractive. You have the choice of his dashing good looks, his sculpted body or his “Connery voice”. If you’re surprised that Connery is on this list, he just made the cut, appearing in one of Hitchcock’s last films Marnie. Despite one questionable scene in the film, Connery is just as charming in the film as he is in general.

3. James Stewart
As the kids nowadays would say, dat drawl tho. One of Hitchcock’s legends, Stewart appeared in four of Hitchcock’s films – Rope, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Vertigo. While Stewart is a handsome man with a gentleman charm to him, his distinctive drawl voice was probably the sexiest thing about this cinema legend. If you want a modern sample, a snippet of his voice can be heard in McFly’s Love is Easy song around the 2:46 mark. Game, set and match.

2. Cary Grant
Probably Hitchcock’s greatest male protege, Cary Grant is also featured in four of his films – Suspicion, Notorious, To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. If the picture isn’t enough to show you just how damn attractive this man is, may I suggest you rent To Catch a Thief from your local video store and watch the scene where he comes out of the water at the beach and lays down on the sand, rather suggestively might I add. You’re welcome.

1. John Gavin
Unfortunately for us, John Gavin only appeared in Hitchcock’s Psycho, but at least you got a good shirtless glimpse of this Hispanic hunk (alliteration 101). I don’t really need to explain why he is number one on the list. Just let the picture and your subsequent Google stalking speak for itself.

The Girls
5. Doris Day
With a face like that and a voice equally as beautiful, it should be no surprise that this bombshell is on the list. Day appeared in The Man Who Knew Too Much and is probably most well known for the song Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) which was made for the suspense film. If you want to have a listen to Day’s original version of the song, here’s a quality link.

4. Janet Leigh
The third star from Psycho to be included in this list, Janet Leigh played the all important role of Marion Crane in the film, which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Besides the all important shower scene, Leigh appears at the beginning of the film in her bra alongside a shirtless John Gavin, which I am assuming was the back-in-the-day equivalent of a full on nude scene today. An interesting note: Janet Leigh is the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis, who went on to become a Scream Queen in her own right.

3. Kim Novak
Not at all related to Jack Novak, Kim Novak is best known for appearing in Hitchcock’s Vertigo. While her character was originally a brunette, there’s no denying that Novak looked better as a (Hitchcock) blonde. If watching this blonde bombshell babe isn’t motivation enough for you to watch Vertigo, let me tell you this – the film is one of my personal favourites just because it took me nearly a whole day to understand what happened in it.

2. Tippi Hedren
One of my personal favourite actresses, Tippi Hedren has the acting ability to match her stunning good looks. It’s no surprise that Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with her (depending on which series of events you want to believe). Beautiful Miss Hedren was featured in two of Hitchcock’s greatest films, The Birds and Marnie, the latter of which is widely considered as Hitchcock’s last great. In my opinion, it’s because Tippi Hedren is a legend.

1. Grace Kelly
To those who know me well, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this cinema goddess is number one. If perfection were personified in any human being that has ever walked this earth, it would be Grace Kelly. Without a doubt Hitchcock’s most popular actress, Kelly appeared in three of his films – Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Words cannot express just how beautiful Miss Kelly is. It is no surprise that Kelly won the heart of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and subsequently became Princess Grace of Monaco. Kelly’s legend still lives on; one of the most mainstream examples of this would be MIKA’s song Grace Kelly.

I really think that this article alone should motivate people to partake of the genius that is Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema legacy. Excellent storylines, great films and, of course, hot men and women. One more time: you’re welcome.

– by The Black Widow

Dating Nikki: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Movie Dating

As young adults, we have undoubtedly reached the time in our lives where we want to get to know people of the opposite/same sex in a friendly or intimate manner. For the beginnings of a budding relationship, movie dating is very popular because it gives the couple a chance to spend quality time together without the added pressures of keeping a conversation flow going.

Look at that solid hand-on-the-shoulder action.

Look at that solid hand-on-the-shoulder action.

With everything, however, there are some general guidelines that one must follow if they hope to achieve a successful movie date and further dates down the track, especially in the beginning of a budding relationship.

“We got there, paid for our tickets, and found a seat. The movie got started and we were really excited (excited enough to have an awkward kiss). As it went on, and the dinosaurs got all angry… she got scared, leaped into my arms, and I laughed. But when she leaped into my arms, the chemistry that was there, came back. We looked into each others eyes and kissed. And then a dinosaur ate a dude in half. It was epic.”
Sean Jensen, 20 years old

– Organise transportation to and from the movie venue. If this is a first date, it is generally acceptable and preferred that both daters meet at the movie venue. Further down the track, when both daters feel more comfortable and at ease with each other, a pick-up would be appropriate.
– Arrive to the movie venue at least 10 minutes earlier than the agreed time. This shows great punctuality and it is a good sign for further relationship development. If the date is running late, go and grab a coffee or something to help you feel at ease if you have enough time.
– Plan to meet at least 15 minutes before the movie so you can have a conversation with your date without the pressure of being in a quiet movie theater.
– Greet your date appropriately; do not push past your limits because you feel pressured to. If you don’t feel comfortable kissing the other on the cheek, settle with a hug. Chances are that the other person is as nervous as you are and they will respect your boundaries.
– Breath mints were invented for a reason. Utilise them.
– In some circumstances, physical contact in a movie date is generally acceptable. If the other person is feeling emotional after a romantic scene in a movie, put your arm around them or hold their hand; it will make them feel more secure and is a considerate, warm gesture.
– If you feel as if the moment is right and it is appropriate to, you can kiss your date. Generally speaking, the initiation of a kiss is important: mutual eye contact is a must for a successful kiss. This depends on how comfortable the daters are around each other.
– After the movie is finished, talk about it. It can give you the opportunity for a positive flow of conversation and it can also give you an insight on how the other person thinks.
– Farewell your date in an appropriate manner; the same guideline applies from the greeting – if you don’t feel comfortable kissing them on the cheek, don’t. You can kiss them on the cheek, hug them or simply give them a polite wave. Don’t forget to thank them for the date!

“For our first date, it was meant to be me and him but he invited [others] along… but with both couples acting like they didn’t know each other… we sat apart from our accompanying party. We were kissing… it was unpleasant and awkward, and everyone in the cinema were staring at us… I wanted to stop but I couldn’t because he wasn’t stopping and I was too uncomfortable making him stop and to this day I do not know what movie we were watching.”
Rebecca Syed, 21 years old

– Don’t talk during the movie, at all. It is common courtesy to those around you to keep quiet so even if you feel the need to make a comment about a scene in the movie, save it for after. Not only will pointless chatter disturb people around you, it may also annoy your date who may be trying to focus on the movie.
– Unless it’s an emergency, refrain from using your mobile phone, especially during the movie. If it’s not annoying your date, it is certainly annoying someone around you. It is also common courtesy to your date as unnecessary phone usage shows a certain level of disinterest in the other person and it may offend them.
– While it is the standard cinema snack, avoid purchasing popcorn as a snack. If the occurrence of a mid-movie kiss happens, nothing is more off-putting than a nice piece of popcorn wedged in your tooth. This can also be said for chocolate and other tooth-colouring snack items.
– Do not go in for an unexpected or seemingly random kiss: it will catch the other person off guard and may scare them off potential future dates. When the moment is right and the intimacy is there, you will know when it is an appropriate time.
– Heavy making out is a no go. It will make others around you very uncomfortable; leave that kind of thing for the bedroom.
– Do not just sit there and have no form of communication with your date whatsoever during the movie. While I’m not talking about chatter, a smile or some other form of appropriate gesture would be lovely. If you keep a stoneface until the end of the movie, it’ll give your date the impression that you are indeed stonefaced.

If you follow these simple guidelines, your movie date should run smoothly and successfully and you will definitely be in for another shot at a date. Who wouldn’t want to date you if you’ve become an expert movie dater after reading this?

– by The Black Widow

6 Worst Video Game Movie Adaptations… Ever

As a gamer — not a hardcore, intense gamer, but a gamer nonetheless — I always finish a (good) game and sit there and think “Man, I wish someone would make this into a movie so I can see it unfurl in live-action!” Hint hint, Last of Us. In saying that, there are sometimes when I think about punching myself for ever letting such a thought enter my head.

The following list compiled by myself are the worst excuses of live-action video game film adaptations ever made by humankind… ever. With these movies, maybe it was best left to the imagination… potentially change “maybe” to “definitely” and you’ve got yourselves a deal.

6. Mortal Kombat (1995)

Sonya and Cage having a heart to heart. Naw.

Sonya and Cage having a heart to heart. Naw.

Of all the fighting game series that I have been introduced to in my twenty-year life span, Mortal Kombat is without a doubt my favourite, what with all the blood, gore and flying fireballs. And then they made a live-action movie. Granted, I was two when this movie was released but this movie is so atrociously bad that I enjoy it. The acting is really terrible saved only by the staunch badassness by Bridgette Wilson. The graphics are so cringeworthy, Ed Boon must’ve been rolling around in his grave. And he isn’t even dead. Also, why is Goro made out of plastic?

5. Max Payne (2008)

Why so serious, Marky Mark?

Why so serious, Marky Mark?

I’ve played maybe one Max Payne video game in my entire life and didn’t find it all that enthralling to be honest, but I at least had a fair idea of what should happen if it were made into a live action movie. Noting that they cast one of my personal favourites (Mark Wahlberg), I was expecting a pretty badass movie. What I received, however, was a cluster of confusion and “what the hell is going on?” I literally do not understand what happened in the movie – at all. People were shooting on a drug called valkyr which made the user hallucinate and see valkyrie flying in the air… and then they’d die. And Mila Kunis was in there somewhere. The solid acting of Mark Wahlberg is probably the only thing that is watchable about this film. God bless you, Marky Mark.

4. Street Fighter (1994)

The evil castle just blew up... let's pose!

The evil castle just blew up… let’s pose!

Another solid fighting video game series that decided to go the mile and make a live-action film was Street Fighter. With the casting of Jean Claude Van Damme who was probably the biggest Hollywood star at the time, what could possibly go wrong? Hmm, maybe everything, as it turned out. The acting, even on behalf of JCVD, was terrible. The characters were so far from the actual characters from the game, you wouldn’t even know who they were – Ryu and Ken, the main badass guys from the series, were made out to look like obnoxious teen dweebs. Let’s not forget to mention the blatant sexism in the movie; whenever Cammy and Chun Li interacted with each other, a comment about the other’s physical appearance was made like they were catty high school girls. Was that absolutely necessary? The saving light of this movie? JCVD is amazing.

3. Tekken (2010 film)

At least Roger Huerta was something to look at?

At least Roger Huerta was something to look at?

Speaking of fighting video game movie adaptations that got characters so wrong that it was sometimes hard to watch… here’s Tekken! Ever since Tekken 4, Christie Monteiro has been my go to gal, what with her cool capoeira moves and “Go easy on me!” starting line. Everyone and their dog know Christie’s fighting style is capoeira, so when (movie version) Christie announced she done some form of mixed martial arts… needless to say I was very disappointed. Not only that, but the serious no-bullcrap Nina was replaced by a promiscuous, Maxim covergirl lookalike who enjoyed her sister’s company – none of which are apparent in the game. Also as a sidenote, the storyline and fighting were atrocious. I was very, very unsatisfied by this film so much that I was angry that I had spent time watching it.

2. Alone in the Dark (2005)

You go girl!

You go girl!

One of the pioneers of the horror genre of video game, Alone in the Dark has had a cult following since its inception. When it was announced that Christian Slater and Tara Reid were cast, you would expect a pretty good movie. Wrong! So wrong! This movie had several plot holes, shotty acting and Tara Reid’s role in the movie was rather unnecessary other than something to look at and a romantic foil for Slater’s character. It had absolutely nothing to do with the video game series besides the character’s names and, just like the Tekken movie, I was angry that I had sat down and spent time to watch it.

1. Super Mario Bros. (1993)

They're so happy, probably because the movie's over.

They’re so happy, probably because the movie’s over.

One of the best things to happen in the year of 1993 was the birth of yours truly. One of the worst things to happen in that year, however, was the Super Mario Bros. live-action film that was so terrible, I would much rather eat a chilli soup than sit down and spend the near hour-and-a-half watching this. If there was one video game (series) that was pretty much destined to NOT turn into a live-action film, it was Mario and his whacky adventures. There was absolutely nothing right about this movie, besides the fact that Mario wore red and Luigi wore green. Definitely, in my humble opinion, the worst video game film adaptation ever. So far, at least.

So a quick wrap-up note to all the budding directors out there who may want to turn one of my favourite video games into a movie (cough cough Last of Us). Do so at your own peril, because if you portray it wrong, a bunch of nerds will be on your case so fast you won’t even have time to scratch your buttocks.

– by The Black Widow