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


Archive | Movies RSS feed for this section

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

February 5, 2015

0 Comments


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‚ÄĒ probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata where my subconscious dwells‚ÄĒcomes 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

3 Comments

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‚Äôs 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.

 

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:


Tags: ,

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

January 12, 2015

1 Comment


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.




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

January 9, 2015

1 Comment


photo via the movie website

The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in the mega-selling erotic trilogy by E.L. James, is almost here! It arrives in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend (ladies, get your limos ready!). With the casting of Jamie Dornan (The Fall)¬†as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele, many diehard fans cried foul, saying that the filmmakers 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 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:

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!¬†



25 Romantic Comedies Turned Very, Very Scary

December 23, 2014

0 Comments

We’re suckers for a good Twitter meme, even if they do make us feel like the clumsy kid who always gets picks last in gym class (i.e. when we contribute to a meme in what we consider to be a hilarious fashion, and are met with resounding Twitter silence). But like the clumsy kid in gym class in a John Hughes movie, we refuse to give up. Our favorite Twitter meme this week is #MakeAComedyScary. We happen to think that an unhealthy proportion of romantic comedies have a terrifying approach to love, dating, and sex, so this one is perfect for us! Below, you will find our top 25 romantic comedies turned very, very scary. Oh, and you if want to make us feel like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, you should go ahead and follow us on Twitter @EMandLO.

1. Harold & Maude 2: Love in a Morgue

2. It Happened One Night But Nobody Believed Her

3. Pretty Woman Doesn’t Know She Has Chlamydia

4. My Big Fat Gay Wedding (okay, so this one is only terrifying to Republicans)

5. The Porn Shop Around the Corner (ditto)

6. (500) Days of Zooey Deschanel

7. The 40-Year-Old Virgin Suicide

8. Pretty in Pink Because She’s Been Culturally Conditioned to Shun Blue

9. Four Weddings and Four Funerals, Then One More Wedding

10. When Harry Met Sally’s Expectations

11. How to Lose a Guy By Doing Everything Cosmopolitan Magazine Tells You To

12. 10 Things I Hate About Your Teddy Bear Collection

13. Breakfast at Bill Cosby’s

14.¬†Bridget Jones’s Red Room of Pain

15. Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Safe Word

16. Knocked Up in a State with Restricted Access to Abortion

17.¬†My Best Friend’s Shotgun Wedding to a Guy Who Thought She Was on the Pill

18.¬†Love Actually Doesn’t Conquer Mismatched Libidos

19. Three Republican Men and a Fetus

20. Sleepless in Seattle 2: Crabs vs. Bedbugs

21. Some Like It in Furry Animal Costumes

22. The Princess Child Bride

23.¬†Say Anything So Long As It’s About Me

24. Clueless About Sex Ed

25. 13 Going on 30: Unrated

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com



New “Fifty Shades of Grey” Trailer

November 14, 2014

0 Comments

 

It’s like the tingly excitement you felt in your stomach as a kid as Christmas approached with the promise of your most wished-for present, except now that tingling is lower, the holiday is Valentine’s Day, and the present is the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The second trailer was released yesterday and it’s already approaching 2 million views on YouTube!:

Not bad, not bad. But not great either: Too much dialogue betraying the lack of chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and not nearly enough male toplessness. We can see more clearly that Grey’s hair is just not coiffed properly. Plus, it just doesn’t have the same suspense now that we know for sure there’ll be no full frontal on Dornan’s part — not even partial side, a la Affleck in Gone Girl! The first trailer was better: sexier Beyonce song, steamier innuendo, and just more hope:

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:



The 10 Sexiest Scary Movies

October 22, 2014

0 Comments

A lot of horror movies just throw in the obligatory topless scene and consider that “sexy.” We’re raising the bar here. All the movies below (except one) receive fresh ratings on RottenTomatoes.com’s¬†’s Tomatometer and were seminal contributions to the horror genre in some way. Or else they just tickled our fright fancy. (There was some natural crossover with our recent “10 Most Romantic ‘Monster’ Movies” post, but we left off any of those to avoid repetition.) The sexy scary flicks are listed in chronological order (there’s only one real spoiler, which we’ve alerted you to below). Let us know in the comments which other titles we should have made the cut.
 

1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)


The somnabulist that Dr. Caligari keeps in a coffin is tall, pale, dressed in¬†black, and wears lots of goth makeup — in other words, totally sexy! When¬†it comes to tormenting pretty ladies dressed in white, we’ll take him over¬†1922′s long-nosed Nosferatu any day. ¬†”Portlandia” did a whole sketch on¬†how¬†The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari¬†is one of those films you know you¬†should¬†watch (it’s a landmark, cinematic masterpiece of German Expressionism!) but you never do. Do it finally! (We’ve embedded the full movie above.)
 

2. Cat People (1942)


Not to be confused with the graphic cheese-fest that was the 1982 remake, this moody, suspenseful thriller subtly tackled big issues for the time: sexism,¬†sexual abuse,¬†the power of female sexuality, and the dangers of jealousy. The main character refuses to consummate her marriage for fear she’ll turn into a ferocious panther when aroused, a condition caused by her repressive and abusive childhood. One can imagine ISIS using it as a propagandistic cautionary tale; they’d be missing the point.

 

3. Horror of Dracula (1958)


Time Out London’s list of the top 100 horror films of all time put this film at #74. Here’s what they had to say:

The British horror boom¬†which ran from the late¬†‚Äô50s until the early ‚Äô70s¬†received short shrift on¬†this list ‚Äď which is¬†disappointing for great films like ‚ÄėCurse of Frankenstein‚Äô, ‚ÄėTheatre of Blood‚Äô and¬†‚ÄėDeath Line‚Äô, but perhaps inevitable given the fact that so many films of the period¬†have aged so poorly. But it‚Äôs no surprise to see a solid placing for the film which¬†started it all, Hammer‚Äôs (for the time) groundbreakingly savage and saucy take on¬†Stoker‚Äôs classic novel, and one of the key works in the modernisation of horror. All¬†those frilly frocks, heaving cleavages and creaky sets don‚Äôt look especially modern¬†now, but this was the film which clarified forever the link between vampires and¬†eroticism, as embodied by Lee‚Äôs stately, stalking presence as the ultimate¬†gentleman sex fiend.

We agree.

 

4. Daughters of Darkness (1971)


The fabulous silver sequined dress Delphine Seyrig wears as the ageless Countess at an old grand seaside hotel is enough to get this Belgian movie on our list. But her and her¬†sapphic sidekick’s¬†sensually sadistic seduction of two sad honeymooners scream sexy with a capital S. (That’s a lot of esses.)
Bonus: ¬†DoD reminds us of another disturbing seventies flick: Andy Warhol’s Flesh for Frankenstein (1974), an over-the-top camp concoction that shamelessly mixes sex and gore until the two are indistinguishable.

 

5. Don’t Look Now (1973)


Super creepy movie about the tragic death of a daughter from the perspective of the two parents trying to keep reality from descending into horror (yeah, good luck with that!). It’s beautifully shot in Venice, which is sexy in and of itself, but what makes it stand out is the incredibly realistic sex scene between husband and wife intercut with post-sex shots of them getting ready for the evening. One of the most intimate sex scenes ever made. Just remember it was the 70s — hopefully you can get past the flute music and Donald Sutherland’s perm.

 

6. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)


It’s about the sexual awakening — and then some — of a conservative, virginal couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Boswick) ¬†in the hands of Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), the mad scientist who’s incredibly and inspiringly comfortable in his “transvestite” skin. Almost every song in this twisted cult classic send up of old sci-fi and B-horror is an ode to sensuality.¬†”Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me” sung by Sarandon’s Janet is pretty obvious (“I wanna be dirty/Thrill me, chill me,¬†fulfill me”) but there’s no sexier line than the one from “Rose Tint My World” sung by the newly empowered Janet: “I¬†feel released/Bad times deceased/My confidence has increased/Reality is here.”

 

7. The Hunger (1983)


Another Susan Sarandon vehicle, The Hunger is¬†the only one on our list not to get a fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com. But come on, it’s got Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie as vampire lovers! (Pictured above.) That’s the definition of sexy. Add to that the lesbian “love” scene between Deneuve and Sarandon, plus the kickass soundtrack (with Bach’s Cello Suite #1 alongside Bauhaus’s goth classic, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”), and we’re giving this a thumbs up.

 

8. Angel Heart (1987)


Spoiler alert: If you can get past the the fact that the sex scene involves an adult (played by Mickey Rourke) fucking a minor (played by Lisa “Cosby Show” Bonet)…who’s mother is his ex-lover…whom he murdered…and who, it turns out, is his daughter from that dead ex-lover…whom he will kill after they have sex…by shooting her in the freakin’ vajayjay, well then that scene is pretty damned hot (emphasis on the damned).
 

9. American Psycho (2000)


We realize that by including American Psycho in this list, we’re guilty of the same kind of sexually shallow, consumeristic, image-conscious obsession the movie (based on the Bret Easton Ellis book) is making fun of with its¬†sexually shallow, consumeristic, image-conscious obsessed, serial-killing main character. But it’s not often that movies gaze so lovingly and longingly (however ironically) at the idealized male form (yet another reason Hollywood needs more female directors like this one’s, Mary Harron). So Christian Bale’s chiseled pecs and glutes earn the film a spot on our list.
 

10. Thirst (2009)


In his 1996 essay “Hail the Returning Dragon, Clothed in New Fire,” David Foster Wallace argued that obstacles are what make sex meaningful and sexy (dragons got in the way of maidens, AIDS got in the way malaise-inducing free love). South Korea’s Thirst is a tale with some serious obstacles: he’s a Catholic priest, she’s a married woman; he’s a vampire, she’s not…not yet at least. It doesn’t get much more forbidden than that.


MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

 

 



The 10 Most Romantic “Monster” Movies

October 8, 2014

1 Comment

It’s Halloween time, when every network piles on the scary movies. We’re not ones for blood and gore, but give us a good love story, and we’ll happily take a fright or two. Not that these ten flicks are all that frightening, or blood-curdling, or horrifying — they’re mostly pretty tame compared to the usual October fare. (The scariest thing about this list is the prevalence of bad 80s hairdos and synth pop throughout.) No, these 10 films probably won’t turn your blood cold; instead, they’ll warm your heart. By the way, as a matter of principal, we left off the Twilight trilogy completely — not only did we use romance as a criteria, we used quality, too. Warning: spoilers ahead!

1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

A lot of people like to claim that Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 rendition of the 19th century novel is the truest to the book, despite the fact the entire love story between Dracula and Mina — the central element of the movie — was nowhere in Stoker’s manuscript! (And there certainly wasn’t any half-man half-beast date rape in the novel, either.) But that doesn’t make the flick any less romantic: A guy who forsakes God, becomes a vampire, and waits 400 plus years just to be with you again? That’s not scary, that’s sweet. (What’s scary are Keanu Reeves’ and Winona Ryder’s horrendous British accents.)

 

2. The Corpse Bride

Tim Burton’s 2005 stop-motion animated fantasy details the Victorian era love triangle between a shy woman (Emily Watson), her awkward fiance whom she’s just met (Johnny Depp), and the ghost who wants to marry him herself (Helena Bonham Carter). Having been killed on her wedding day, ghost Emily is eternally always a bridesmaid, never a bride — but when she finally gets the chance to tie the knot, she realizes that when you love someone you have to set them free. Awwwwwww! Honorable mention goes to Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas for the love story between Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and animated rag doll Sally — their duet in the final scene is one of the sweetest love songs ever:

 

3. The Fly

Probably the grossest of the films in our list, 1986′s The Fly, directed by David Cronenberg (of course), stars Jeff Goldblum as the mad scientist working on teleportation and Geena Davis as the reporter who falls for him. (That the two were falling in love in real life during the filming only adds to their on-screen chemistry.) Not only is The Fly about a guy with a god complex slowly becoming a disgusting fly-man hybrid after a sci experiment gone wrong, it’s also about the dangers or jealousy, the inherent right of women to have autonomy over their own bodies, and the tragedy of loving someone who’s really, really wrong for you.

 

4. Ghost

The Dirty Dancing of ghost stories, this 1990 film is most famous for the threeway scene between Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopie Goldberg. Just kidding, it’s most famous for increasing cultural interest in pottery classes and making super short hair on girls cool for the first time since Rosemary’s Baby. Despite the cheesy demon shadows and heavenly silhouettes, there really are some nice moments exploring the depths of love and loss.

 

5. Near Dark

Before Kathryn Bigelow won a Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, she made this 1987 Western/biker movie, which Time Magazine called “the all-time teenage vampire love story.” It’s a blood-soaked star-crossed lovers story, you see, except with a happy ending: Mae, a vampire, and her victim Caleb, must escape the violent clutches of her disapproving, bloodsucking family in order to walk off into the sunrise together.

 

6. Warm Bodies

This is another Romeo and Juliet remake (the main characters are “Julie” and “R”) complete with balcony scene and a Hollywood happy ending. It’s about the transformative power of romantic love — so transformative in fact that it can turn zombies human again. If only it could make your partner’s irksome bad habits disappear, too. (Btw, is it wrong to think main dead guy Nicholas Hoult is hotter with his zombie makeup on?)

 

7. Only Lovers Left Alive

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, this 2013 vampire film captures the banality of long-term relationships (Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston’s marriage is centuries old), without giving up on the romance of true love. Or the potential for continued eroticism. This pasty yet sexy, depressed yet funny couple make marriage so cool. The kickass soundtrack doesn’t hurt, either.

 

8. Bride of Frankenstein

Poor Monster. So alone in world, so alienated. He just want love. Just want understanding. A friend, a mate, a bride. But when Dr. Frankenstein creates one for his monster, complete with awesome hair and wicked goth makeup, she’s just not ready to settle down. “She hate me. Like others.” Heartbroken, Boris Karloff and his neck bolts decide that if he can’t have her, no one else will — indeed, no one else should. “We belong dead.”

 

9. King Kong

Not one, but three versions of this story (1933, 1976, 2005) have accomplished the miraculous feat of making bestiality seem kinda sweet. After all, King Kong is a star-crossed — there’s that word again — love story about a giant gorilla with the hots for a normal-sized human. Like Frankenstein’s monster, he’s a misunderstood softie who just wants a little companionship, someone to bathe in waterfalls and climb up phallic symbols with. Is that so much to ask? Since none of the three versions ever attempted a happy ending, with Kong and his gal picking out china patterns together, we guess it is too much to ask.

 

10. A Chinese Ghost Story

Isn’t it always the way: you find someone you really click with and it turns out they’re a ghost beholden to an evil hermaphroditic tree spirit and betrothed to a demon warlord? But hey, if it’s true love, you may just have a fighting chance.

 

What movies did we miss? Remember, we were looking for romantic monster movies, not sexy scary movies — stay tuned for that list from us next week!

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

 

 



Film: How to Lose Your Virginity

September 10, 2014

0 Comments

“How To Lose Your Virginity” Trailer from Trixie Films on Vimeo.

Two years ago, we asked you to give some Kickstarter lovin’ to the fledgling documentary,¬†”How to Lose Your Virginity”, being made by¬†Theresa Shecter and the gals at Trixie Films. You must have come through, because it’s now a full-length doc, all growed up! The film aims¬†”to undo centuries of myths and contradictions around¬†virginity, and to encourage an honest conversation with people¬†navigating the confusing process of deciding when and why to become¬†sexual.” Its subjects include a rock violinist, an Ivy¬†League blogger, an Ohio engineer, a porn¬†producer — all subverting the virginity narrative. The¬†trailer¬†is compelling, with interviewees including former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and author of “The Purity Myth” Jessica Valenti. The world needs virginity taken off its pedestal,¬†as we’ve argued in the past, and this could be just the film to do it. So check out the website, watch the film online or buy the DVD, and read the V-card Diaries. If you’re in NYC this Friday, there’s a free screening of the film at 6pm at Hostos Community College presented by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

 


MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:



Dads Suffer Too: Helping Bereaved Fathers Cope with Loss

June 12, 2014

0 Comments

The following is a guest post by Tara Shafer, Psychology Today blogger and founder of¬†ReconceivingLoss.com, a site dedicated to helping parents cope with pregnancy and infant loss, especially through story sharing. She’s teamed up with the filmmakers of “Return to Zero“¬†(which has been getting Emmy buzz lately, especially for Minnie Driver’s performance) to create a digital archive of submitted stories, essays, poems and other artistic expressions about this type of loss. In honor of Father’s Day, Shafer writes about the new roles of fathers in today’s society, and how that sense of egalitarianism should extend to men during times of grief, as well.

Father’s Day & Baby Loss

by Tara Shafer

The German poet Friedrich Ruckert once wrote: ‚ÄúO you, refuge of your father/light of joy/extinguished all too soon‚ÄĚ in reference to the death of his child. Following the stillbirth of our son in 2005, my husband and I wandered around in deep states of¬†grief¬†unable (or unwilling) to fully discuss what had happened when our baby died. In a certain way, there was no more perfect mirror of the despair I felt then than Gavin, and I think he probably felt similarly; it may have caused us to avoid one another. I am not sure. We have never really discussed it.

Some very close and dear friends somehow managed to endure us during those early dark days and invited us to dinner regularly. One night, in the car on the way home from their house I turned to Gavin and asked how he could¬†eat¬†anything. I probably said this accusingly more than I meant to. I like to think I wasn‚Äôt that angry then, but maybe I was. Gavin looked over and said, in an unbearably sad way, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know. I just eat until I am kind of full and then I stop.‚Ä̬† He looked bereft to me. I turned my face away and looked out into the barren winter moon-swept night and focused on the backlit clouds hanging on that moon.

With Father’s Day upon us, it is time to speak to the unacknowledged grief of men who suffer baby loss.

If women feel alone in grief following the loss of a¬†pregnancy¬†or infant, the solitude of the father is both palpable and largely unacknowledged.¬† “Helping Men with the¬†Trauma¬†of Miscarriage,” published inPsychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training¬†in 2010, Mark Kiselica, Ph.D, and Martha Rinehart, PhD examined the issue of men following baby loss and concluded that the fathers’ grief was often dismissed by others. In ‚ÄúPsychological Impact of Stillbirth on Fathers in the Subsequent Pregnancy and Puerperium,‚ÄĚ researchers found that following a stillbirth, men had elevated rates of anxiety and were at heightened risk for¬†PTSD, in much the same way as their female counterparts.¬† Many fathers report wishing that they had had more and better access to care.

Speaking in broad generalities, there are a number of factors that may influence how men seek support in grief and which conspire against them. In a medical setting, for example, the health care is administered to the woman, reinforcing the outmoded notion that men are necessarily peripheral to pregnancy. Instead they are relegated to the distancing effect of phones, forced to make arrangements, and ‚Äúbe supportive.‚ÄĚ

But wait. Men are now expected to be far more involved in the day-to-day of childrearing. The expectation that Dad will be absent from the delivery room, opting instead to hand out cigars in the waiting room like Don Draper, now seems patently ridiculous.  The role of fathers has shifted over time. This raises the question: why not allow men emotional space in pregnancy, as well as companion grief in loss?  While there is no one way to experience loss, and the spectrum of grief is complex, these men would do well to receive support as they navigate and define their ownexperience.  It is a mistake to paint the masculine experience of loss with one broad stroke.  This costs more than we know.

The assumption that men are peripheral to pregnancy may unravel rapidly, especially in situations of loss. We have all heard it said that a woman becomes a mother when she discovers she is pregnant and a man becomes a father when he holds his baby.  I am not convinced that either one of these sayings is really all that true, but if it is said enough times one grows complacent and believes some version of this.

Until.  In an instant everything is gone.

Writes “Return to Zero“¬†writer/director Sean Hanish, whose son was stillborn in 2005,¬† ‚ÄúAs a husband, a partner, a man you are a passenger on the pregnancy express. You can look out the window and watch the scenery go by, her belly grow, her skin glow, and if you‚Äôre lucky, catch your baby‚Äôs elbow as it presses against her belly like the dorsal fin of some alien sea creature making it more real for you. But you‚Äôre not the engineer. When the crash comes you are struggling with your own emotions, grief and loss, desolation and¬†depression, and watching as your wife, your partner, your life jumps the tracks. Twisting metal tumbling out of control in slow motion. Prepare for impact.‚ÄĚ

I am reminded of a day several weeks or months after our loss when Gavin came home. He remarked that a lot of people were asking how I was.  We always took this beautiful gesture of concern in the spirit it was given and were, in fact, deeply appreciative of these questions. But we did laugh ruefully (and just a little) at how frequently Gavin was inadvertently left out of the equation, the expressions of concern.

On our website, Reconceiving Loss we collect the stories of loss for the Return To Zero Project. This archive reflects, in part, the lonely experience of men. Artist Louis Hemmings created a video, Goodbye, Au Revoir, Slan that shows the loss of his daughter decades ago through the eyes of his young son. Other fathers have lent their experience to the archive and their words reveal a well of sadness and loss.

As we approach Father’s Day, I call on women and men to support dads who have lost pregnancies or infants. We can begin by acknowledging their grief and understanding its nuance. We can remember to ask how they are, not just about their wives or their partners. We can engage them in a dialogue that begins to bear out the idea that we want to know how they are, how it feels to them to be missing something so central. We can acknowledge the role of fathers in childrearing as post-traditional by re-enforcing that they share the loss. This is the dialogue that creates healthier, happier families. And for the future of the men that we love, this is what will be required.

Visit ReconceivingLoss.com for more info, support and stories on this topic.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com: