Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cat People (1942)

Cat People / The Curse of the Cat PeopleSTARRING:
Simone Simon
Kent Smith
Tom Conway
Jane Randolph
Jack Holt

A New York fashion designer falls in love with and marries a typical guy. But she is afraid to get passionate with him because she believes she suffers from an ancient curse that will turn her into a panther any time she feels any intense emotion.

I have seen this film twice and really like it. The 1982 remake, which has a somewhat different plot and a new character, a brother, played by Malcolm McDowell is not nearly as good.

This film has no sex in for two reasons: the era in which it was made and the story itself. The main character's fear of passion keeps her from even kissing her husband and they sleep in separate rooms. As his desires go unsatisfied, the husband's eyes start to wander. Then we get to find out if the curse is real or not.


IMDb page

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Lars and the Real GirlSTARRING:
Ryan Gosling
Emily Mortimer
Paul Schneider
Kelli Garner
Patricia Clarkson

An eccentric recluse purchases a Real Doll, a life-size doll designed as a sex toy, and treats it like a real person.

I expected this movie to be about a kinky sexual relationship but I was pleasantly surprised by the story. Lars doesn't have sex with the doll and instead has a very sweet and loving relationship with her. At first his family resists the idea of treating the doll like a real person but on the advice of the local psychiatrist they start to play along and then encourage the entire town to as well. It is in turns amusing and sad. Ultimately, the doll becomes his way of coming out of his shell and expressing his feelings about life and loneliness.

MY RATING: 9/10.

IMDb page

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Crying Game (1992)

The Crying GameSTARRING:
Forest Whitaker
Stephen Rea
Jaye Davidson
Miranda Richardson
Breffni McKenna

A British soldier gets kidnapped by the IRA, who hold him for ransom hoping to exchange him for one of their own. He befriends one of his captors who promises to take care of his girlfriend after his death.

Back in 1992 I was still too conservative to watch this movie but when I saw it on the shelf at the library a few days ago I decided it was time to find out what all the fuss had been about. All these years I have been missing out on this little gender-bending gem!

I already knew enough about the story to not be fooled by Jaye Davidson in a dress so the one nude scene didn't surprise me. The rest of the story, however . . . now that did surprise me. I was not expecting to actually like this movie I was just trying to be more liberal in my film choices. This is one choice I'm glad I made.

There was no actual sex in this movie, aside from an off-screen BJ, but there was one brief moment of full frontal nudity. And the very androgynous Davidson is just plain fun to watch (sci-fi fans will remember him as Ra, the sun god in Stargate).

MY RATING: 10/10

IMDb page

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Us vs. Them

There is an interesting phenomenon that first came to my attention while I was studying Deaf culture in college. It seems the members of minority groups tend to develop an us vs. them attitude about the role their group plays in the larger world. They spend a lot of time complaining about their treatment at the hands of people who are not members of their little category.

I have also noticed this happening in the Asexual community and, as time passes and the community grows larger and larger, this seems to be getting worse. Far too often I come across posts on the forum at that are demeaning to people who are sexual (that's our word for people who aren't asexual). They talk about how sexuals are constantly horny and looking for sex or making lewd comments and telling dirty jokes, as if there is nothing that happens in their day that isn't about their next potential roll in the hay. Even though it only shows up on your computer screen you can almost hear the slime and cooties dripping off the word "sexual" as the say it. The sad part is some of them actually believe what they are saying.

To be fair, it is true that a lot of people do not understand asexuality and their minds reject the concept when they first hear of it. There are even some people who actively try to discredit it, saying that every healthy adult human experiences sexual attraction to someone or something. However, this by no means makes all sexual people the dunces that some aces try to make them out to be. There are a lot of very decent and classy people out there who do not share our point of view. In fact, I would go so far as to say most of them at least try to accept that it is the way we feel even if they don't understand how we can not feel a need for sex.

Fortunately, there seems to be a cure for such hypocrisy among aces. As we spend more and more time with each other and talk about how we feel and share our experiences with each other we become increasingly comfortable with who we are. As our comfort with ourselves and our identity grows we begin to tear down the walls we have built up in our minds that stand between us and the rest of the world. Eventually we reach the point where we can be as compassionate and understanding toward them as so many of them are toward us.

So, when you young'uns first come to the board full anger toward what you see as an over-sexualized world and you see us old folk shake our heads or even reprimand you for making disparaging remarks about sex or sexual people it isn't because we've lost touch with what's going on out there, we've just grown out of feeling offended by it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Penelope (2006)

Christina Ricci
James McAvoy
Catherine O'Hara
Reese Witherspoon
Peter Dinklage
Richard E. Grant
Simon Woods
Michael Feast

A modern day fairy tale about a young woman trying to break a curse passed down to her because of one of her ancestors' indiscretions.

One of my favorite new films. It's a cute story with beautiful cinematography and some very good acting. One of the highlights of the film is James McAvoy, whom I first remember seeing in Becoming Jane although he was also Mr. Tumnus in the recent adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And let's not forget Christina Ricci . . . (I think I actually had a crush on her at one time).

I really can't think of anything negative to say about this film. It's just an all-around good film.


IMDb page

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain (Widescreen Edition)STARRING:
Heath Ledger
Jake Gyllenhaal
Michelle Williams
Anne Hathaway

Two cowboys meet while herding sheep one summer and begin a secretive homosexual relationship that spans many years.

I heard a lot about this movie before I saw it. Some people said it was a beautiful love story, some said it was immoral, and one just said it was sad.

There were a few things about this movie that I liked. For one, the acting was believable and the story did have its touching moments. The mountain scenery was stunning, even for someone like me who grew up in the Rockies. It also portrayed the struggles these two faced as a gay couple in the 20th Century quite well.

Unfortunately, this film had some serious weaknesses. The two main characters were rarely likable, even when they were together. And it was mostly boring, I honestly think the story could have been told in half the time. There was also the sex, which could have been implied rather than shown.


IMDb page