Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So what IS a Man Movie?

Give us the benefit of the doubt and let this first 'real' post sound smart(ish). We'll come back down to Earth after this bad boy:

There seems to be a confluence of thematic and artistic elements to movies across every genre that make what will be known henceforth as ingredients for the Man Movie. These ingredients speak to the primal soul of the male brain in a way that allows us to forgive canyon-sized plot holes, sophomorism at its ghastliest, exposition and diatribe at its most hackneyed, film-making at its most meandering and vacuous, and violence and nudity at its most gratuitous. The movies can be light or heavy. The plot can be superficial or deep. These can be comedies, action films, dramas, or anything in between.

On the surface, there may appear to be nothing linking some of these films to one another. And yet, they have infiltrated our dreams and our imaginations and created something more for guys that transcends the borders of class, race, ethnicity, religion, education, and orientation. These movies are reference points, and they are drunken argument fodder. They are quote factories. They are something to bond over.

Just like the term 'chick flick', Man Movie is a derogatory designation. Obviously women can enjoy a Man Movie, or men can find nothing appealing about some of the movies featured on this site. But again, just like chick flicks, Man Movies have an edge to them that seems inexorably tied to a gender identity...

So let's run down the elements as best as we can (expect there to be some refinement as more movies are reviewed and more comments are received):

Violence – There seems to be a level of violence to all Man Movies. It could be fountains of blood or something as simple as a slapstick kick to the butt. There might be exceptions, but it would appear at the onset that violence is about as core an ingredient as we can get.

Nudity – This also seems nearly omnipresent. The goal could be titillation, or just an easy and quick way of getting a laugh, but it's usually there; sometimes in spades.

Campiness – Obviously there are wholly serious and profound Man Movies that buck this trend; but there is no denying that camp is prevalent in many, if not most, Man Movies.

Brotherhood (Loyalty & Betrayal) – This may fly under the radar for most viewers, but this is an integral part of most Man Movies. Be it kinship or bonding or backstabbing at its most painful, fraternity is deeply embedded into the essence of the Man Movie.

Machismo (Role Models, Archetypes, and Avatars) – Who do you identify with or look up to (even secretly or in a roundabout way) in a Man Movie? Is it the smutty smart-ass, the smooth-talking huckster, the maniacal beast, or the silent bad-ass? Man Movies are rife with archetypal characters of what we identify with the concept of Manhood. They shaped us growing up, and somehow they still manage to mean something to us as the days go on.

Manly Settings – It should come as no surprise that a good number of Man Movies are mob movies, westerns, and war films; or that so many of them take place in medieval times, feudal Asia, other planets, or at sea. Think of a profession or an era that you'd consider “manly”; then allow us to tell you that there is virtually guaranteed to be a Man Movie involving it.


So with all that said,  our definition of what makes a Man Movie is sure to evolve many times over.  But it requires your help.  We welcome your comments, your thoughts, your suggestions, and anything else you want to throw at the wall in hopes of sticking.


  1. I love you Man Movie intellectual. This is amazing. I can only hope to be so put together about my day.