Em & Lo's RSS Feed Em & Lo's Daily Email Feed Be Our Facebook Friend! Follow Us on Twitter!

Halloween on Amazon

Buy on Amazon Kindle!

Good Vibes Bat Crop

LEVI's on Amazon


Archive | Movies RSS feed for this section

10 Problems with the Sex Scenes in “Captain Phillips”

February 6, 2014

1 Comment

1. We know that when a movie is literally swimming in strong female roles, it’s tempting to include gratuitous lesbian sex scenes, but we simply didn’t feel they added much to the story.

2. Okay, okay, we get it. Sailors stranded at sea masturbate. A lot. But did we really need the close-up on that industrial-sized vat of lube shared by the crew?

3. We read Captain Phillips’ memoir, and we’re fairly sure that he didn’t, in fact, secure his release from the pirates by trading in sexual favors.

4. Yes, everybody loves tight white sailor pants, but we think that tight white sailor hot-pants was a step too far.

5. What happened to the Navy SEAL striptease?! We were told there would be a Navy SEAL striptease.

6. Sorry, but we simply don’t buy that a seasoned, responsible, safety-conscious man like Captain Phillips would choose to indulge in kinky sex without a safeword.

7. For any viewers who may take this movie at its word: No, dunking your dong in seawater immediately after sex does not protect you from STDs.

8. Tom Hanks used a prosthetic penis for this role?! WTF!

9. We love the idea of dirty-talking pirates roaming the seas with their two-way radios, but we’re not convinced that pirates, even the Somali kind, would use the term “throbbing python of love.” Something maritime-themed, perhaps, like “deep-V diver,” would have been less likely to take us out of the moment.

10. Why does Hollywood feel the need to sexualize every single story it takes to the screen? If any movie needed more sex this year, it was The Wolf of Wall Street. Leave poor Captain Phillips alone.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:



New Movie Encourages Open Discussion of Pregnancy & Infant Loss

February 5, 2014

0 Comments

There’s a new movie set to come out in 2014 starring Minnie Driver called “Return to Zero,” about a successful couple who lose their first child in utero. Its award-winning writer/producer/director, Sean Hanish, has teamed up with ReconceivingLoss.com to help break the silence surrounding the topic, calling for submissions of stories, essays, poems and other artistic expressions about this type of loss for a digital archive intended to help foster healing, with the best being featured in the Return to Zero Story Archive here.

According to the press release, it is estimated that 25% of pregnancies result in loss annually; in the United States, the number of stillborn babies, estimated at 36,000, is equivalent to the number of automobile-related fatalities each year. If you’ve been affected by these numbers in some way, you can submit your story for consideration in the Return to Zero Story Archive here. Below are three short excerpts from featured selections in this Story Archive:

Miscarriage lays an odd kind of grief on the table. My body, once buzzing with hormones that announced an undeniable presence, now echoes like an empty mausoleum. One moment I was pregnant with the future, the next moment that future disappeared in the shades of gray image on the doctor’s sonogram screen.
– from Cheryl Dumesnil’s ReconceivingLoss.com submission “Ex Utero, A Post Partum Notebook

That’s what still trips me up: I learned to be thankful because I lost Liam. I don’t have the regret of not having taken advantage of our time when he was in utero. That regret would kill me, but I only have this appreciation because I don’t have Liam. I don’t want this lesson. I want one moment with my son. I want to know the color of Liam’s eyes.
– from Nancy Mendez-Booth’s post “With Deepest Gratitude

I cannot shake the sense that someone existed, something beyond myself, beyond my hopes and fantasies, even if it was just the slightest phantom of a person, a shadow of a ghost. He has a name, he has a grave. We saw his face. These things were real. He has left his trace on me, like a fossil embedded in my flesh. He never existed – but he still exists. I have nothing to remember, and yet I can’t forget.
– from Michael Ravitch’s submission “The Neverknown

Learn more about the project, share a story, or read other’s stories, including New Yorker contributor Daniel Raeburn’s essay on writing as therapy, at ReconceivingLoss.com.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:



10 Thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street

January 28, 2014

0 Comments

photo via IMDB

1. Not since Requiem for a Dream have drugs looked so unfun.

2. This was billed as a black comedy. Which part was supposed to be funny, again?

3. Okay, so the part where Jonah Hill whips out his (prosthetic) dong in the middle of a party and starts jacking off to a female guest was kind of funny, but only because we think that Jonah Hill is the kind of guy who would never do something like this, which means it’s kind of funny to think of him filming the scene with a straight face. (Alright, alright, the scene where a stockbroker makes fun of Steve Madden shoes is kind of funny, too.)

4. We don’t have the same warm fuzzy feelings about Leonardo DiCaprio and the ladies, which makes his performance extra, er, convincing (you’re totally right: we mean extra icky).

5. Apparently, back in the ’80s, pro dommes didn’t take safewords seriously.

6. “Wolfie” is a terrible safeword.

7. The scenes of DiCaprio and Hill doing drugs together are a hell of a lot more intimate than any of the sex scenes.

8. If you’re whacked out on quaaludes, cocaine can instantly transform you into the kind of hero who saves his buddy’s life via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (see #7, above). Just like Popeye’s spinach!

9. STDs used to be a lot funnier.

10. Not since The Accused has sex looked so unfun.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

 



Which Disney Princess Are You? (Em & Lo Style)

January 27, 2014

2 Comments

Results from the Zimbio quiz “Which Disney Princess Are You?” have been popping up in our Facebook feed this week. Most of them are as saccharine and subtly sexist as the Disney movies themselves:

They’re just begging for a more honest edit, with a little tough love thrown in — one that reflects the disturbing messages about gender roles, romantic relationships and beauty often perpetuated by the Disney Princess Industrial Complex. Feel free to forward the following to any one of your friends who’s taken the quiz so they can read their real results:

 

 

 

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:



Do Naked Images Always Lead to Objectification?

December 4, 2013

1 Comment

The stars and director of Blue Is the Warmest Color; photo via IMDB.com

A lot of the commentary about the new film Blue Is the Warmest Color — in particular, its steamy lesbian sex scenes — has focused on the issue of objectification. The director of the movie is male, and many reviewers — both male and female, it should be noted — have questioned his male gaze. Some people question whether it’s even possible for a man to film two women making love without objectifying them.

Well, what does it actually mean to objectify women? Literally, the objectifier (usually a man) sees the object of his desire (usually a woman) as a thing rather than a person — a thing without feelings, experience, thoughts, or autonomy. But do naked images, whether still or moving, automatically lead to objectification? Some scientists decided to take to the lab and find out.

As reported in the New York Times, some studies have found that when we view people’s bodies, as opposed to their faces, we judge them as “less intelligent, less ambitious, less competent and less likable.” One neuroimaging experiment found that, “for men, viewing pictures of sexualized women induced lowered activity in brain regions associated with thinking about other people’s minds.” (That said, we’re always a little wary of findings based purely on neuroimaging — the results are often more complicated and ambiguous than the resulting headlines would have you think.)

Anyway, scientists across multiple fields have confirmed this finding: Many psychologists, for example, agree that viewing someone as a body strips away their personhood. “Even if you are a staunch science-minded atheist,” writes psychologist Paul Bloom in the Times article, “in everyday life you still think of people as immaterial conscious beings — we inhabit fleshy bodies, but we are not ourselves physical.”

But. But. There’s another side to the story, according to Bloom. Objectification implies that the objects in question lose their uniquely human traits, but recent research by Bloom found that this doesn’t necessarily happen with naked images. For his study, Bloom used a book by the photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (we remember his work well from our Nerve.com days) called XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits. The book features two side-by-side photographs of each pornstar, identical in all aspects (posture, expression, lighting, etc.) except that in one photograph the person is fully dressed, and in the other, naked. In other words, perfect for studying how we judge people with and without their clothes.

As expected, when participants in the study were shown the pictures, the naked people were seen as having less agency. But, writes Bloom, “they were also thought of as being enhanced experiencers, capable of stronger feelings and greater emotional responses.” In other words, kind of, er, human. Even more human, in certain aspects, than their clothed counterparts.

In a related study that Bloom organized, participants who were asked to give people electric shocks gave milder shocks to subjects who were partially clad vs full dressed. “Presumably,” Bloom writers, “because the flash of skin makes us more sensitive to others as experiencing beings.”

It’s not like anyone is saying (not yet, at least!) that viewing porn or naked images can make empaths out of men, but it does seem fair to say that the topic of objectification is a lot more nuanced and complicated than some of the “male gaze” theorists allow. (Of course, if there were an equally represented “female gaze” in pop culture, then we might not even feel the need for the debate to begin with.)

So if you’re looking for an excuse to see Blue Is the Warmest Color without beating yourself up about all of the alleged objectification going on, this may just be it. And just maybe you’ll find yourself musing, as you reach for another handful of popcorn, “How do these women really feel?”

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com



Get Mortified: How to Celebrate Your Awkward Teen Years

November 7, 2013

0 Comments

One of the most moving moments in the new documentary Mortified Nation — based on the popular and hilarious Mortified live show that has been staged across the country — is when a participant talks about how teens just want to be heard. They don’t necessarily need to feel understood — especially by adults — but they do want to know that someone’s listening. And performing in a Mortified show, this participant said, is a way to make people listen, albeit decades on. And, as the documentary notes, it’s still worth doing, because that awkward angsty insecure egomaniac sex-obsessed zit-ridden teen is still essentially you.

The best parts of this documentary are the live performances filmed at various Mortified shows: adult participants read aloud from old diaries or poems or song lyrics or letters in front of a live audience. If you’ve never been to a live Mortified show — and you really should — this documentary is the next best thing. One of the reasons why these shows are so successful and so fun to attend is that the audience is now fully on the side of the performer — even though the diary entries themselves might be full of loneliness and desolation. As one performer notes, “There was no one back then to say aw about my life.”

Sex and sexuality, of course, rule the day, and these journal entries are a fascinating glimpse into the way teens struggle with identity and sex. The way that kids lie to everyone, including themselves — even to their own diaries! — just to make it through the day. And the way that kids fantasize and dream about the future, so sure that as soon as they experience their first kiss/first love/first sexual encounter, everything will be okay.

They were wrong, of course, but they were also right, because for all of these performers — and for everyone in the audience, too — that excruciating period did end, and they were all able to embrace their angst and shame and terror and embarrassing teen misogyny and own it in front of a room of strangers.

We guarantee that after you’ve watched this film, you’ll want to dig up your own childhood diaries and start sharing the shame, too. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll squeeze your bumhole tight in mortification. Feels good, right?

Get tickets to screenings or watch the trailer and film online at MortifiedNation.com

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

 



The Best Dirty #AddAWordRuinAMovie Tweets

October 7, 2013

0 Comments

One of the funniest hashtags in a while took over Twitter this past weekend. Here are some of the best sex- and love-related ones. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Top 10 Things the “Fifty Shades” Movie Could Do Better Than the Book

September 4, 2013

0 Comments

Since the casting was finally announced this past Monday for the adaptation of the first Fifty Shades of Grey book — with Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele — the general consensus has been “They got it wrong!” We’re not sure any casting would have been universally warmly received (short of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), but we do think the filmmakers have a chance to definitely get some other things right. Behold, our top 10 improvements on the book we hope to see in the movie:

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 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 ultimately 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.”



New Movie: Afternoon Delight

August 22, 2013

0 Comments

Afternoon Delight, the directorial debut by Jill Soloway (best known for her work on “Six Feet Under” and “The United States of Tara”), opens next Friday in NY and LA, followed by other cities Sept 6th. It joins a (thankfully) growing number of projects on issues of sexuality from the female perspective with frankness, even raunchiness: think Bridesmaids, Friends with Kids, The To Do List, Girls… In Afternoon Delight, a stay-at-home-mom in Silver Lake makes a 19-year-old sex worker her savior project; dramedy ensues. The New York Times has an interesting profile on Soloway and her film that’ll make you want to see it too.

MORE LIKE THIS FROM EMandLO.com:



We Are So Over Celebrities Playing Strippers

August 8, 2013

0 Comments

Celebrities playing strippers seems to be a sort of rite of passage, a self-inflicted casting couch: Lindsay Lohan, Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayak, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Daryl Hannah, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Julianne Hough, Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Rose McGowan… we could go on. WTF? And to balance it out, you get the cast of The Full Monty plus Channing Tatum.

Maybe celebrities playing strippers are just the grown-up, well-paid version of college sorority girls who use Halloween as an excuse to dress like a “sexy cat” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy French maid” or “sexy stripper” (ha). Whatever it is, we’re over it.

But actually, you know what we’re more over than celebrities playing strippers on film? Celebrities talking about the crazy diets and work-outs they submitted themselves to in order to “prepare” for their role as a stripper. Because every real-life stripper totally spends hours a day in the gym with a personal trainer and hires a fancy personal chef to prepare kale a hundred different ways to trick her body into feeling satisfied.

The latest contender in this field is Jennifer Aniston, who plays a (yawn) stripper in the new comedy We’re the Millers. “I was on a very like, you know, greens and vegetables and lean proteins and kale,” Aniston said of her diet plan. “When I really wanted to have a cheat day,” she said, “I had to have a kale chip.”

Because that’s totally what strippers do to unwind after a hard day on the pole: Treat themselves to a kale chip. Not a bag of kale chips, mind you, but a single kale chip. In Hollywood, it’s only hard out there for a stripper because she’s so goddamned underfed.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com: