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LELO’s First Movie Explores Modern Intimacy… Without Sex Toys

February 26, 2015

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You may know LELO as the creator of some of your favorite pleasure objects, but now they would also like you to think of them as movie people… though it’s all still in the interest of intimacy.

Sex toy skeptics like to claim that bedside accessories reduce intimacy, inserting a piece of high-end silicone where two bodies meet. Nervous men worry that bringing a sex toy into the bedroom will make them suddenly dispensable to their wife or girlfriend. But we’ve always known otherwise: the right kind of sex toy can actually bring a couple closer in bed, helping them explore new sensations and fantasies. And when a couple gets closer in bed, that intimacy spills over into the rest of their relationships.

As it turns out, the right kind of sex toy company can bring a couple closer, too — both in and out of the bedroom. LELO, ever at the head of the pack, will release its first feature movie this summer, called Beyond the Wave. It will be the world’s first ever mainstream movie produced by a sex toy company.

No, it’s not a Fifty Shades knock-off — in fact, there’s not a single sex toy in the entire movie. No Red Room of Pain, no whips, no paddles, not even a pair of fuzzy hands. What there is is a smart take on modern intimacy, in a post-apocalyptic world where men and women choose to live apart. Beyond the Wave, starring Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow), Emilie Ohana (Paris, Je t’aime) and newcomer Zhu Wei Ling, examines the importance of understanding someone else’s perspective. On the surface it’s a love story, but it’s also a reminder about how to enrich relationships in an increasingly individualistic and divided world.

And here’s the sexy part: There is a special extended interactive trailer that can only be watched with someone else — ideally your other half! Called the PlayTogether experience, it’s the first ever movie trailer that requires a partner. (So there you go, all you naysayers who say that smartphones, like sex toys, are reducing intimacy!) You and your loved one put your smartphones side by side, and the trailer displays across both of them — then you have to decide, together, which scenes to watch next.

“By bringing couples closer,” says Steve Thomson, LELO‘s Head of Marketing, “PlayTogether encourages them not merely to sit in the same room but to engage with each other’s point-of- view. The trailer becomes a catalyst for a rich, shared experience.”

Though no LELO products are featured in Beyond the Wave, the movie’s title is a cheeky nod to customer feedback about the brand’s Ina Wave device, launched last year. According to Thomson, “Many testers commented that the Ina Wave was ‘better than sex’ or ‘there was no need for relationships anymore.’ That really got everyone at LELO thinking hard about our brand’s responsibility.”

You can watch the solo trailer for Beyond the Wave at the top of this post, and you can go behind the scenes of the movie here. But for the full interactive experience, find a loved one (or a lusted after one!) and sync up  your smartphones here. There’s no need to download any software or apps — you simply need to share the regular trailer on Twitter or Facebook, and then the extended trailer will unlock. Popcorn optional. Because only LELO could make a movie trailer feel like extended foreplay.

PlayTogether Here! 

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Top 10 Reasons Why “Secretary” Is Better Than “Fifty Shades”

February 18, 2015

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Okay, so yes, the Fifty Shades movie was better than the Fifty Shades book. But, like we said, the bar wasn’t exactly set high for that. And yes, the movie may help to make BDSM even more mainstream, just as the book did. (Now everyone and their grandmother knows what a safe word is!) It will also likely increase sex toy sales, and hopefully improve the sex lives of at least a handful of long-married couples who could use a little more kink in their lives. And lovers all over the world may now find themselves associating the smell of buttered popcorn with handcuffs and paddles. On the other hand, the movie may also create tension in relationships… a woman finds herself suddenly annoyed that her man doesn’t own his own helicopter… or a man is suddenly annoyed that his woman doesn’t bite her lip and say “sir.”

But none of this means that the Fifty Shades movie is even close to the best cinematic depiction of a BDSM relationship out there. In fact, the 2002 indie film Secretary, a Sundance favorite, blows Fifty out of the water, if you ask us.  Here’s why:

10.
Grey was here first. E. Edward Grey is the name of the dominant boss played by James Spader in Secretary. Almost ten years later, E.L. James names her dominant lover Christian Grey — and three years after that, Jamie Dornan gets the worst haircut ever to play Christian Grey on screen. Perhaps it was an homage.

9.
It’s actually good. The Fifty Shades books may be a record breaker (it’s the fastest-selling paperback of all time) and a crazy money maker (E.L. James’s net worth is apparently a cool $80 mil), but they’re never going to win any literary awards — and, likewise, while the movie broke all sorts of records for advance ticket sales and drunken women renting limos for screenings, we don’t see any Oscars in its future. Secretary was nominated for a Golden Globe (best actress in a musical or comedy) and three Chlotrudis Awards (best actor, actress and adapted screenplay), among others; and it won an Independent Spirit Award (best first screenplay) and a Gotham Award (breakthrough performance, Maggie Gyllenhaal), among others. Sorry, Jamie and Dakota, don’t start working on any awards speeches… unless it’s for the Razzies.

8.
More likable protagonist. Yes, Dakota Johnson is about a hundred times more likable than Ana-Steele-on-paper, with all her Oh my!s and the countless Holy shit!s and that irritating inner goddess. But Dakota Johnson’s Ana is nevertheless a bit of a lip-biting blank space who submits a little too easily to the whims of her controlling stalker boyfriend. (She doesn’t even ask him how he managed to break into her apartment!) The flaws of Secretary‘s Lee Holloway, on the other hand, are not only believable, but relatable (to a certain extent), and make her a sympathetic, grownup character.

7.
More believable love interest. A 27-year-old gazillionaire with impossible abs and a million obsequious employees who has time to get a pilot’s license and shop for his own hardware supplies? Who deflowers a virgin and wins her over with extravagant gifts like rare books, a new computer, and a new car? (Who does he think he is, Oprah?!) Yeah right. Much more realistic is the socially awkward, emotionally sensitive Lee and her creepy-seeming and ultimately conflicted love interest — both of whom are pretty normal looking. Plus, this Grey actually does sit-ups. And he has way better hair than Jamie Dornan in the movie.

6.
We actually see Grey working in Secretary. Over the course of the entire film, you see Christian Grey take a single “urgent” business phone call, and when he talks into his phone he sounds like a little kid impersonating his working father. Or like a trust fund baby who is allowed to pretend that he runs a business, while the real grownups actually get the work done. (Sure, we see Ana working in the hardware store, but it’s just a setting for her to blush and stammer.) Admittedly, it’s been a while since we saw SECRETARY, but we’re pretty sure some actual work takes place there, along with all the kinky dictation.

5.
More honorable origins. Secretary was based on a short story by literary power house Mary Gaitskill. Fifty Shades, on the other hand, was based on the cliche-ridden book of the same name, which in turn was originally online fan fiction, based on the Y.A. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers.  Yup.

4.
A sense of humor. Erotica and romance, almost by definition, have to take themselves extremely seriously. The sex is earnest to keep up the fantasy, and the Fifty Shades books are as earnest and unfunny as it gets. As an indie film, Secretary didn’t have those restraints, and therefore could wade into the waters of black comedy. Can you imagine a scene in Fifty Shades where Jamie Dornan covers his desk in hay and has Dakota Johnson kneel upon it on all fours with a carrot in her mouth and saddle on her back? Didn’t think so. But that’s the kind of scene that made Secretary awesome — and funny. There are a smattering of funny moments in the Fifty Shades movie, but most of the humor is unintentional.  Sadly, we have a feeling that director Sam Taylor-Johnson would have included a lot more humor, if it wasn’t for the heavy hand of “consultant” and earnest erotica peddler E.L. James.

3.
Better writing. Actually, there is something kind of funny about the Fifty Shades books — the writing! The repetition of phrases, the cultural anachronisms, the offensive overuse of adverbs, the misuse of the word “subconscious.” If you didn’t laugh you’d cry, because you’d be so sad about the fact that you couldn’t put down something so poorly written. And while, happily, most of those adverbs didn’t make it into the Fifty Shades screenplay, a lot of the bad dialogue did. You can almost see Jamie Dornan cringe when he has to utter the line, “I’m fifty shades of fucked up.” Secretary, on the other hand? It won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

2.
BDSM is freeing, not the other way around. In Fifty Shades of Grey, both the book and the movie, Grey beats the shit out of women because he had a literal “crack whore” for a mom who didn’t love him enough — it’s an obsession that haunts him and that he feels great shame about (okay, so in the movie he calls her a “crack addict”… but still). In Secretary, Lee is a troubled self-cutter, but it’s the BDSM relationship that frees her. Production designer Amy Danger said of the story: “With this S&M material, we could go into a dark place… Steve [Shainberg, the director] and I wanted the total opposite: that the nature of this relationship freed [the characters] to be their natural selves.”

1.
Secretary didn’t need wealth to make the kink acceptable. One of the reasons, in our opinion, that so many millions of readers and, now, viewers find the Fifty Shades kink acceptable is that Christian Grey is a billionaire. It’s the same with luxury high-end sex toys encrusted with diamonds: for some people, the more they spend on a sex toy, the less dirty it feels. Sure, it’s okay for Christian to spank Ana and ask her to do unspeakable things, so long as he also takes her out in a glider and buys her a new car. Secretary, on the other hand, manages to make the BDSM totally relatable — romantic, even! — without a single helipad in sight.

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Guess the Quote: “American Sniper” or “Fifty Shades”?

February 17, 2015

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How the “Fifty Shades” Movie Is Better Than the Book

February 16, 2015

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Yes, the movie was better than the book. Of course, if you’ve read the book, then you know that’s not saying much. The bar was pretty low to begin with. And one would hope that with a 40 mil production budget and a feminist director, that bar would inevitably be raised pretty high. Of course, as it’s been widely reported, the author E.L. James did everything she could to keep that bar right where it was, for the sake of her die-hard fans. So the movie was an improvement, but not a miracle.his

Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 26%. Ouch. We guess that’s understandable if you’re judging it as a stand-alone movie. But we would argue that you can’t take it out of its context as Twilight fan-fiction turned historically successful — and historically acceptable — “mommy porn.” If you judge the movie by comparing it to its literary (and we use that term loosely) origin, then it’s smarter, funnier, and more believable. It’s also shot beautifully and delivers in the sexy department (though the book will still surely be better wank material for most women).

Before the movie came out, we had a list of ten ways we hoped the movie would improve upon the book. Let’s see how it faired below. Then we’ll cover our pleasant surprises and less expected disappointments.

1. No cable ties: FAIL

In the first book, when Christian visits Ana at the hardware store and picks up some DIY bondage supplies, it’s implied — intentionally or not — that he’s hoping to use cable ties as wrist restraints on his next guest in his Red Room of Pain. Big mistake. HUGE! If used in such a way, cable ties could cause cuts, poor circulation, and a little thing called nerve damage. The only thing they should be used for in BDSM play is organizing all the cords of your various plug-in vibrators. The movie doubles down on the idea of cable ties by having Christian actually explain they are items, in addition to rope and cuffs, that he could use to restrain her. Bush league!

2.  No explosive orgasms from Ben Wa balls: SUCCESS

In the book, Christian pops them in, spanks away and then it’s Orgasm City. Very unrealistic, at least for the majority of women. They don’t even make a cameo in the movie, which we’re sure disappointed fans (there was no tampon removal either — damn, MPAA!). But at least by omitting the balls, the movie did away with another ridiculous sexual expectation most women can’t meet.

3. Give Ana some sexual experience: FAIL

Just a smidge? Nope, not in the book or the movie. We’re supposed to believe an adult woman who’s not a member of the FLDS can graduate college with absolutely no sexual interest, no experience with men, and no attempts at masturbation ever? It perpetuates the myth that women aren’t sexual creatures until the right man comes along. Please. She’s the virgin and he’s the stud, and they save each other — gross. And even if we were to believe that such a mythical woman could actually exist, it would be totally irresponsible — reprehensible even — to dunk her over her head into the world of BDSM (even with a single introductory vanilla cherry popping’ sesh). At least in the movie, Christian seems as surprised to hear about her sexual status as we were.

4. Full disclosure on the slave contracts: SEMI-FAIL

Christian doesn’t ever clearly articulate to Ana that slave contracts are not actually legally binding — you know, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and that whole abolitionist movement. Here’s a kid, for all intents and purposes, who is not what you would call worldly or business savvy or lawyered up. Not cool for a romantic interest who’s supposedly falling in love. But we will say this: if this is one of those suspension-of-disbelief things Hollywood requires for the fantasy, then at least they didn’t push it too hard in the movie. And major points scored for making the contract negotiation scene a meeting of the minds, in a boardroom, head to head, with witty repartee and humor and Ana ultimately holding all the control (rather than Christian wining and dining and pressuring her to just sign the damn thing, as it goes down in the book).

5. Easy on the controlling, abusive, stalker-ish behavior: SEMI-SUCCESS

In the book, Christian spies on her and tries to control who she can see, where she works, what she eats, how she works out — and she is not down with it. She’s afraid he’s going to hurt her; he causes her physical and emotional pain she doesn’t want — that’s not a D/s relationship, that’s abuse. And where’s the aftercare? The movie does make him less of a criminal. It eases way off on him obsessing over her food intake and workout routine, which helps make him much less creepy.  Meanwhile, Ana seems to have a much stronger sense of herself, a greater ability to assert her desires, and a better sense of humor. She basically tells him to cut the shit and open the door when he’s hesitating outside his playroom. However, he still breaks into her apartment and she never says, “How the fuck did you get in here?!?”

6. More well-adjusted kinky characters: N/A

We thought it would be nice if the movie could add a character or two who’s into kink who isn’t royally fucked up. In the book, it’s Christian the controlling abusive boyfriend, his crazy gun-wielding ex sub, and his statutory rapist from when he was a kid. Not exactly the best advertisement for the kink community, the majority of whom are uber-responsible, law-abiding, stable citizens. The first movie in the series focuses solely on Christian, with his ex-dom, “Mrs. Robinson,” just a mysterious off-screen character.

7. Drop Ana’s issues with eating:  SUCCESS

With Ana forgetting to eat all the time, not being hungry and being forced to eat by Christian, it’s like she’s got an eating disorder. Maybe EL James was just playing around with a woman’s ultimate fantasy of never being hungry, but it’s a distracting issue — let the girl have a healthy appetite. Fortunately, in the movie, she enjoys making — and actually eats — food.

8. Have Ana enjoy the kink more: SEMI-SUCCESS

She can be conflicted about it, sure, but she should ultimately love it, embrace it and not be so afraid of it. In the movie, we’re spared Ana’s original wishy-washiness: visually, she seems to be thoroughly enjoying every kinky sexual experience, at least up until the walloping climax. A truly novel ending would have had Ana, through tears of pain, grinning in ecstasy, in spite of herself.

9. Make the sole minority character less date rape-y:  SUCCESS

Jose, basically the one minority in the book, is on a clear path to sexual assault as he tries to take advantage of Ana when she’s super drunk outside the bar. In the book, he tries to kiss her even though she keeps saying no and trying to push him away. He continues to hold her in a bear hug and is about to commit a crime before Grey breaks it up. Criminal tendencies aren’t a great quality in a “really good friend.” Fortunately, in the movie, they softened this scene by making it clear Jose and Ana are both drunk and by having Jose basically go in for a single kiss that’s more “I’ve been in love with you for a long time and am so pathetic I can only admit it when we’re both wasted” rather than “I’ve wanted to fuck you for a long time and now I’m going to take advantage of your inebriation to get what I want.”

10. No Ana narration: SUCCESS

Thank the Inner Goddess, the movie dispenses with Ana’s insipid internal dialogue. There are no voiceovers about the “ghost of a smile” on Christian’s face or her rather communicative Subconscious. There’s just a single, quiet, understated “Holy cow” uttered after she leaves his office — it’s manageable, just barely.

 

THE PLEASANT SURPRISES

1. Ana has pubic hair! 

We were pleasantly surprised to see some real bush (or even just merkin) in the movie — in ANY movie. In an interview, the director Sam Taylor-Johnson says Ana’s pubic hair goes on a journey with Ana throughout the movie; if that means Ana doesn’t have any pubes by the end — implying Grey’s insistence in the book on down-there-hairlessness — we didn’t notice.

2. No “crackwhore.”

Fortunately Christian doesn’t call his mother a crackwhore — instead, he refers to her as a crack addict and a prostitute. A small but still significant victory.

3. More funny jokes.  

There were some nice, unexpected moments when the movie had the audience laughing intentionally.

4. Dakota Johnson wasn’t half bad.

We were braced for a cringe-inducing performance (akin to that of Drew Barrymore in “Mad Love”), but Johnson (aided by Taylor-Johnson’s attempt at giving Ana more control and agency) actually made Ana bearable, likable even.

 

THE DISAPPOINTMENTS

1. Too many terrible lines from the book. 

With all the control given to the author over the movie, we knew a lot of the worst writing would have to be included, but we still hoped for heavier editing. There were quite a few times when the cheesiest lines from the book elicited loud laughs from the movie-going audience.  And when Dornan has to say “I’m fifty shades of fucked up,” he turns away from the camera and lowers his head — we have a feeling the shame he was emoting was NOT acting.

2. Wet-noodle flogging scene. 

The scene with the rope and the flogger in the Red Room of Pain was pretty mild, and didn’t do much to convey how pleasure and pain can mix erotically.

3. Jamie Dornan was pretty flat. 

After his great performance in the BBC series “The Fall,” in which he plays a serial killer, we had high hopes for what he could do with Christian. But sadly, he’s more charismatic, sexier, more soulful even as a soulless murderer.

4. Not enough male nudity. 

Hello? Women are the ones going to this movie. We want to admire Christian Grey’s body! While we appreciate the realism and subtlety with which Dakota Johnson’s nude form was shot, we really would have appreciated a heavier female gaze when it came to Dornan’s bod. We’re not even asking for full frontal. How about a quick side shot? Hey, if Ben Affleck can do it…

5. That hairpie! 

Oh, how can you make Jamie Dornan not hot? Somehow, the stylists managed to give him a hairdo that conveyed more “dork” than “dreamboat.” And the occasional mussiness resulting from t-shirt removal was not enough to fix it.

 

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Top 10 Things We Hope the “Fifty Shades” Movie Does Better Than the Book

February 12, 2015

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OMG IT’S TONIGHT OMG IT’S TONIGHT OMG IT’S TONIGHT! The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in the mega-selling erotic trilogy by E.L. James, finally opens tonight! Well, officially it opens tomorrow, but a bunch of theaters are holding screenings tonight. Ladies, we hope your limos are booked (ours is… seriously). With the casting of Jamie Dornan (The Fall) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele, many diehard fans have been crying foul, saying that the filmmakers got it wrong. They certainly get Jamie Dornan’s hairstyle wrong in the movie, of that much we’re sure. Then again, we’re not sure any casting would have been universally warmly received (short of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), but we do think the film has a chance to definitely get some other things right. Behold, our top 10 improvements on the book we hope to see in the movie tonight:

1. No cable ties: In the first book, when Christian visits Ana at the hardware store and picks up some DIY bondage supplies, it’s implied — intentionally or not — that he’s hoping to use cable ties as wrist restraints on his next guest in his Red Room of Pain. Big mistake. HUGE! If used in such a way, cable ties could cause cuts, poor circulation, and a little thing called nerve damage. The only thing they should be used for in BDSM play is organizing all the cords of your various plug-in vibrators.

2.  No explosive orgasms from Ben Wa balls. It’s just not realistic, at least not for the majority of women. Giving them the same power as, say, a vibrator just sets women up for yet another sexual expectation most can’t meet. Balls (like LELO’s Luna Beads) are better suited for working out your pelvic floor muscles and thus improving pelvic health, which can lead to better sexual sensations. But as little balls full of cosmic orgasm potential? Uh uh.

3. Give Ana some sexual experience. Just a smidge. We’re supposed to believe an adult woman who’s not a member of the FLDS can graduate college with absolutely no sexual interest, no experience with men, and no attempts at masturbation ever? It perpetuates the myth that women aren’t sexual creatures until the right man comes along. Please. She’s the virgin and he’s the stud, and they save each other — gross. And even if we were to believe that such a mythical woman could actually exist, it would be totally irresponsible — reprehensible even — to dunk her over her head into the world of BDSM.

4. Full disclosure on the slave contracts. Christian doesn’t ever clearly articulate to Ana that slave contracts are not actually legally binding — you know, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and that whole abolitionist movement. Here’s a kid, for all intents and purposes, who is not what you would call worldly or business savvy or lawyered up. Not cool for a romantic interest who’s supposedly falling in love.

5. Easy on the controlling, abusive, stalker-ish behavior. Christian spies on her and tries to control who she can see, where she works, what she eats — and she is not down with it. She’s afraid he’s going to hurt her; he causes her physical and emotional pain she doesn’t want — that’s not a D/s relationship, that’s abuse. And where’s the aftercare? Christian is a terrible top. The movie should make him a better one.

6. More well-adjusted kinky characters. It would be nice if the movie could add a character or two who’s into kink who isn’t royally fucked up. In the book, it’s Christian the controlling abusive boyfriend, his crazy gun-wielding ex sub, and his statutory rapist from when he was a kid. Not exactly the best advertisement for the kink community, the majority of whom are uber-responsible, law-abiding, stable citizens.

7. Drop Ana’s issues with eating.  With Ana forgetting to eat all the time, not being hungry and being forced to eat by Christian, it’s like she’s got an eating disorder. Maybe EL James was just playing around with a woman’s ultimate fantasy of never being hungry, but it’s a distracting issue — let the girl have a healthy appetite.

8. Have Ana enjoy the kink more. She can be conflicted about it, sure, but she should ultimately love it, embrace it and not be so afraid of it.

9. Make the sole minority character less date rape-y. Jose, basically the one minority in the book, is on a clear path to sexual assault as he tries to take advantage of Ana when she’s super drunk outside the bar. He tries to kiss her even though she keeps saying no and trying to push him away. He continues to hold her in a bear hug and is about to commit a crime before Grey breaks it up. Criminal tendencies aren’t a great quality in a “really good friend.”

10. No Ana narration. We hope and pray the movie dispenses with Ana’s insipid internal dialogue. Please no voiceovers about the “ghost of a smile” on Christian’s face or her cartwheeling Inner Goddess.

For an awesome book about kink that should be made into a documentary movie, check out our award-winning “150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink” – now available as a Kindle E-book! 

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How to See the “Fifty Shades of Grey” Movie in Style

February 10, 2015

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In case you couldn’t tell from the onslaught of Fifty Shades posts on our site in the past week, we’re a teensy little bit excited about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie that opens this Friday. It’s not because we loved E.L. James’ book. (We didn’t. Too many inner goddesses doing cartwheels and too much cliched writing.) It’s not because we expect the two stars to have any chemistry on screen. (They clearly don’t.) It’s not even because HOLY MOTHER EFFING SPARKLY VAMPIRES IS JAMIE DORNAN HOT. (He absolutely is, but the filmmakers inexplicably ruined it all by giving him a bad haircut in the movie. Who knew it was even possible to make him look unappealing?) And it’s certainly not because we expect to get any decent sex tips from the movie. (That’s what our book is for, duh.)

No, the reason we’re excited is this: What better excuse can you think of to get your drink on with a bunch of lady friends and go giggle at the big screen? And that’s exactly what we plan to do. It will be a much needed respite from the rather bleak selection of Oscar movies this year: Nightcrawler is brilliant but cheerless. Mr. Turner is simply cheerless. The Theory of Everything seems kind of uplifting until you Wikipedia Stephen Hawking and realize how soon he is likely to be suffering from locked-in syndrome. American Sniper is a great movie that made us feel bad about America. Still Alice made us weep. Foxcatcher made us feel funny inside.  (Bad touch! Bad touch!) And so on.

So tell us this: Which of the above movies would be appropriate to see drunk on champagne? Only Fifty Shades of Grey! Which of the above movies would be appropriate to car-pool to in a cheesy white stretch limo that is more commonly hired for local proms? Only Fifty Shades of Grey! Which of the above movies warrants you getting dressed up and teasing your hair big like you’re actually attending one of those local proms? Yep, you got it: Fifty Shades of Grey.

And this is exactly what we plan on doing this Friday, February 13th. Yes, we’re serious about the stretch. Our husbands think we’re nuts, but they just don’t understand. Sure, this could be a painful viewing experience, but as the inimitable E.L. James wrote: “There’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.”

So get your tickets in advance (they’re selling out), rent the limo, and get your girlie drink on without shame!

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Watch the Entire “Fifty Shades” Movie Online Right Now!

February 6, 2015

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Okay, it’s not exactly the entire movie. But from these five sneak-peak clips that ran on the Today Show this past week, you basically get a complete picture (lots of awkward pauses, dubious chemistry, lame Christian Grey hair). Are we still gonna see it? Hells yes! But now, you don’t have to. Here they are, in what we’re guessing is chronological movie-scene order:

“We offer an excellent internship program.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 
“Ok… rope, tape, cable ties. You’re the complete serial killer.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 
“You’re energetic this morning.”
“I’m making pancakes!”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 
“I don’t do romance.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 
“This is my playroom.”
“Like your Xbox and stuff?”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Catch up on all our “Fifty Shades” posts in this Special Issue:



The 17 Most Annoying Aspects of the “Fifty Shades” Story

February 5, 2015

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By Lindsey Kupfer for YourTango.com

Here’s a refresher course on how messed up Fifty Shades really is.

The Fifty Shades Of Grey movie hype is growing as the movie’s release date (February 13) gets closer, which means a barrage of media attention is once more on the mommy porn flick. And that means I get to hear endless apologies and explanations for how what may be the most sexist, poorly written piece of literature since Tucker Max thought he was relevant.

Listen, if Fifty Shades Of Grey turns you on, that is your business. You do you. I’m not here to judge anyone for their bedroom behaviors, be it vanilla sex or BDSM. As long as you’re all consenting adults, have at it. But there are parts of Fifty Shades Of Greyand its sequels (Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed) that are much more painful than being spanked with a riding crop, and I’m not talking about the painfully, secondhand embarrassingly bad dialogue (which is bad enough).

It’s the relationship between Ana Steele and Christian Grey that’s really disturbing, and at times flat-out abusive. Also unsettling? The relationship between Ana Steele and herself. And between Ana Steele’s brain and, I’m guessing, huffing glue. Here are the creepiest, most disturbing moments in Fifty Shades Of Grey (and its sequels). Keep these in mind when deciding whether or not to order advance tickets to the movie, okay?
 

1. Ana Steele doesn’t have an email address.

Listen, I can forgive and understand someone not having a computer (you can use labs at school) or a Smartphone (they’re not for everyone). But 21-year-old Ana Steele not having a f*cking email address? Seriously? No one graduates or even enters college without an email address. Your college will give you one if you don’t have one already. And if you don’t have one already, you’re either Amish, elderly, or don’t exist.
 

2. Ana Steele has no self-esteem.

To be fair, Ana Steele goes beyond basic and into “remedial” territory, but she should still have a modicum of respect for herself if only for being a living, breathing human being. Instead, she spends her time wondering if she’s good enough for a man who compares her to his “crackwhore” mom and controls her every move. How empowering.
 

3. Ana Steele has never had an orgasm.

Let’s be clear: This has nothing to do with being a virgin. You don’t need a partner to have an orgasm.
 

4. Christian Grey wanted to take advantage of a drunk Ana Steele.

When Ana Steele drunk dials Christian Grey, he shows up at the bar, is a dick to her pal, and scolds her for acting like any young 20-something. Then he tells her that he wants to have sex with her. While she’s too wasted to give consent. Yeah, nothing sketchy about that (if you’re Bill Cosby).

5. Christian Grey is basically a stalker.

In only the second chapter of Fifty Shades Of Grey (EL James wastes notime), Christian Grey shows up at Ana Steele’s job even though there are plenty of hardware stores in the world that he can access at any time. He continues popping up and refusing to leave her alone throughout the story, despite her insistence. That’s not romantic. That’s psychotic.
 

6. Ana Steele doesn’t have a lawyer look over the BDSM contract.

Considering Ana Steele didn’t have a second set of eyes reading her BDSM contract with Christian Grey, she basically went in blind and a with a real handicap. Also, to reiterate, she’s a college graduate without an email address. I’m willing to bet she didn’t quite understand all of the stipulations and risks involved with this.
 

7. Ana Steele loves Christian Grey’s super-creepy gifts.

Sure, there’s nothing inherently creepy about a Blackberry or a laptop, but there’s a lot wrong with someone giving you a Blackberry and a laptop for the sole purposes of controlling, tracking and manipulating you (and showing up at your house if you don’t text him back fast enough). Also, that book, Tess Of The D’Urbervilles? It’s basically about a woman being raped repeatedly. How romantic! You know, if you’re Ted Bundy.
 

8. Christian Grey tries controlling Ana Steele’s diet.

Remember when Christian Grey tells Ana Steele she needs to eat three meals a day? Because there was no other way for her to know nor find that information other than from his mouth? Or when they’re at the restaurant and he makes her order steak? First of all, he shouldn’t have to force her into eating steak. Steak is f*cking wonderful. But he also shouldn’t, you know, force her into anything. What if she were vegan? (Just kidding, she wouldn’t be vegan or have any other sort of distinction in her diet nor her character, because she doesn’t have a personality.)
 

9. Christian Grey is attracted to his mother.

Okay, technically to women who look like his mother. The same mother to whom he affectionately refers as a “crackwhore.” That’s about as flattering as being told, “You look fat today,” only about a million times worse.
 

10. Christian Grey’s own mom thought he was gay.

Dude, come on. If that isn’t a red (or rainbow) flag, I don’t know what is. Also, while we’re at it, remember when Ana Steele’s buddy Kate Kavanaugh is shocked that Steele is “fascinated by a man?” Why wasn’t anyone asking if Ana was the gay one here?
 

11. Christian Grey buys the company where Ana Steele works.

It’s remarkable that someone as basic and useless as Ana Steele was able to find and keep a job at a publishing house, and it was a good sign of her growing independence and confidence. So Christian Grey takes that away from her and essentially becomes her boss in yet another arena without her knowledge. Hot.
 

12. Christian Grey arrives uninvited at Ana Steele’s mom’s place.

No normal man wants to spend extra time with his mother-in-law. Not even yours. Not matter how great your mom is. Know that.
 

13. Ana Steele gets pregnant by accident.

When taken correctly, birth control pills work. Ana Steele had a Blackberry. Why couldn’t she set an alarm? I’ve seen Maury. I don’t buy it.
 

14. No one says “jeez” that much.

Seriously. No one. Ever. Toddlers have a more sophisticated vocabulary than this.

 

15. Ana Steele’s “inner goddess” is about 11 years old.

Oh, need proof? Here, direct quotes: ”My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheer-leading pom-poms shouting yes at me.” Also, “My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.” Basically, Christian Grey may be an accidental pedophile if we’re going by mental age.

16. Ana Steele’s brain literally doesn’t function properly.

Early in the book when Christian Grey first visits Ana Steele at Clayton’s, she muses, “And from a very tiny, under-used part of my brain— probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata where my subconscious dwells—comes the thought: He’s here to see you.” That is not what your medulla oblongata does. Your medulla oblongata handles boring stuff like breathing, body temperature regulation and your heartbeat. Your “subconscious” doesn’t “dwell” there, and if it does, well, it explains why you think this is quality writing.
 

17. Ana Steele is taken aback by really mundane things.

From the multiple uses of baby oil to not realizing coffee shops also serve tea, Ana Steele’s epiphanies prove natural selection is a load of bullshit, because she’s almost too stupid to live.



12 Snowy Movies to Watch During Snowmageddon

January 27, 2015

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A snow day for the two of us means repeated sing-a-long screenings of Frozen with our respective kids. But for all of you who are lucky enough to be enjoying a Winter-Storm-Juno-related snow day without kids, here are twelve awesome movies – all of them better than 2007′s Juno, by the way – to cuddle up with. Pour a little whiskey in your hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a loved one, and think about how superior the East coast is to the West.

 

1. Fargo (1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forget about yellow snow — in this movie, the snow is blood red. The Coen Brothers’ small town murder movie is gory, funny, gorgeously exacted, and, you betcha, snowy. And the famous wood chipper scene is a great excuse to jump into someone’s lap and hold on tight.

2. The Shining (1980)

Think you’ve got cabin fever? Then you don’t know Johnny. And you’ve never been a snowed-in janitor at an isolated hotel. After watching Stanley Kubrick’s snow-white horror movie, drenched in both blood and snow, your own home will feel extra warm and cozy.

3. Alive (1993)

It’s amazing the random supermarket items people feel the need to stock up on before a snowstorm. Yesterday, Em saw a woman with only a loaf of bread and a pineapple in her cart, yet she felt she somehow was supposed to be at the supermarket before the blizzard. Anyway. We digress. This true-story survival pic, about the Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes, will make you think twice before complaining about how little you have left in the fridge because you forgot to stock up before the storm.

4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Nineties Aspen ski fashion, poop jokes, and three memorable life lessons: Never steal your best friend’s girl; never travel on a scooter in winter; and never, ever lick anything frozen. This movie is an awesome palate cleanser after some of the bleaker titles on this list.

 

5. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Those aren’t pillows! In another hilarious palate cleanser, John Candy and Steve Martin bond in cheap motels and burnt out cars during their very own snowmageddon.

6. Frozen River (2008)

A single mother earning minimum wage and struggling to survive in a mobile home in freezing temperatures? Not so many fart jokes in this one. It’s bleak, but brilliant, taking place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. The frozen river is a tempting but dangerous smuggling route, and (spoiler alert) OH MY GOD THE BABY!

7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen (just saying that name makes it snow harder) is a 37 year-old woman of Eskimo origin living in Copenhagen. When her 6-year-old neighbor (a boy from Greenland) dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to investigate. With bonus sexy tension between Julia Ormond and Gabriel Byrne.

8. Groundhog Day (1993)

Imagine this snow day over and over and over again. Then imagine being a weatherman experiencing this snowy day over and over again. You wouldn’t think that hilarity would ensue, but, as we all know, it certainly does.

9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Jake Gyllenhaal’s smoldering gaze can’t warm things up when global warming spawns a new ice age. He and a bunch of other people who manage to look attractive even while dying hole up in the New York Public Library and burn books to stay warm. (How warm do you think your Kindle wold keep you in the next ice age, huh?!)

 

10. Misery (1990)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be a tad annoyed at your loved one by the end of snowmageddon, but it could be worse: You could be a novel who just killed off an obsessed fan’s favorite fictional character. And you could just happen to crash in the snow and get trapped inside, at the mercy of this pissed off, obsessed fan. Yeah, it could be a lot worse.

 

11. Hanna (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a 16-year-old who never has to deal with mean girls and teen acne and boys who don’t like her back because she has been living in snowy isolation and being trained to be an assassin. And all you managed to do during the blizzard was bake cookies.

 

12. Frozen (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine, fine, we’ll admit it: It’s a good freakin’ snow movie! It makes fun of the whole fall-in-love-in-a-day trope, and the ultimate message is one of sister love. Just let it go, people! If you don’t have kids, there’s always the Frozen drinking game.

 

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What Did You Think of Jeremy Renner’s “Globes” Joke?

January 12, 2015

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screen shot from the Golden Globes on NBC

J. Lo wore one of her, shall we say, memorable numbers to the 2015 Golden Globes, the kind of outfit that draws the unblinking stare of even the gayest gay man like greedy raiders of a lost ark. So when she and Jeremy Renner were about to announce the winner for Best TK, and Lopez said “I’ve got the nails” (meaning the long fingernails to best open the card with the winner’s name), Renner quipped, “You’ve got the globes, too.” So, what do you think? Poll below the Vine.