Movie Review: The Little Death

Netflix is a treasure trove of awesome movies that sometimes just randomly make themselves known to me. This one showed up on one of my lists, and though I was going to just throw it on the queue, my friend suggested we go ahead and watch it. And I’m not one to say no to a movie about orgasms.

Trigger warnings: There is both talk and the actual acting out of a woman’s “rape fantasy.” I had a hard time with this one, so if you’re really sensitive to it, I would suggest giving this movie a pass.

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One-Sentence Synopsis
Different couples experience different sexual issues, each one revolving around some sort of fetish and each one connecting with another at some point. For a full synopsis, see this movie’s IMDB page.

Everyone Has Their Thing
The different couples each have a thing: one woman has a rape fantasy that her boyfriend really isn’t into; one woman gets aroused only by seeing her boyfriend cry; one couple tries role playing with some strange results; one man needs his wife to be asleep for him to connect with her (though it’s not clear if that’s because that’s his fetish or if it’s because she’s a raging bitch during the day); and a sign language translator gets caught in the middle of a 900 number sex call.

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Laughing, Crying & Cookies
There were all kinds of feels in this movie, not all of them good, and many of them gave me anxiety about what was going to happen. Besides the individual stories, there’s also a man walking around the neighborhood giving people cookies as a distraction while he tells them that he’s a convicted sex offender. And strangely, no one seems to really care that he’s a sex offender. Most of them are really into the cookies though.

Major Gray Areas
I was never sure where the stories where going to go, and they don’t all have a happy ending. At the same time, there are some really sweet moments. I think the most interesting thing is that on a certain level, I connected with all of the characters. Not because I share their fetishes, but because the movie portrayed all of them, weird fetish or not, as very human and very three-dimensional. There were characters I didn’t like, but at some point, I felt sorry for them because they were dealing with their struggle the best they could.

To Laugh or Not to Laugh
At other times, things were hilarious. The couple trying to figure out roleplaying cracked me up, even though what was happening actually turned out to be emotionally painful. The emotions were like a roller coaster ride. At times, I was afraid to laugh since I thought something not-so-funny might be getting ready to happen.

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The Romance Factor
While not traditionally romantic, there were a few romantic moments that set a tone for the whole movie, my favorite being the woman translating sign language to the guy on a sex line. I realize that doesn’t sound romantic, and most of the scene is just funny. But it turns out to be one of the most amazing, sweetest scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie with the fewest words spoken by mouth. That scene alone gives this movie a top romance score. 5/5

The Steam Factor
Obviously, there’s some sex in this movie. That’s kind of the whole point. However, not all of it is titillating. To be honest, very little of it is, and it mostly serves to highlight the secrets the characters are keeping. However, there is one scene that I found to be very short, very simple, and very hot. There’s not even a lot of actual sex, but the first roleplay the one couple engages in is so potent, it’s enough to bring some heat. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I loved this movie, and I’ve actually thought about it a lot since I watched it. I feel I’m going to need to watch it again. It’s like a sexed up Love Actually, and I’ve seen that one many times. I could do a few more rounds with this one as well.

Movie Review: Take Me Home

Guys, I’m getting a little overwhelmed with my reading life right now. I have a full list of NetGalley books because I can’t seem to stop requesting them. I have the new Jim Butcher book that has limited time in my house and it’s long and I have no idea when I’m going to get to it. Pair that with limited reading time over the next few weeks and Nanowrimo in November, and I have some serious time management that needs to happen. But with all that, I still have time to watch the occasional romance movie, because sometimes, it has to be all about Netflix.

Take me Home

One-Sentence Synopsis
After a woman receives news that her father is in the hospital, she convinces a cabbie to take her from New York to California, not realizing that he’s not a real cabbie. For a full synopsis, see this movie’s IMDB page.

The Good Stuff
Considering how unlikable the main characters are, this movie was surprisingly entertaining, and is one of the few that actually pushed my emotional buttons the way most books do. Claire is already on the verge of a meltdown from finding her husband with another woman in their house (not actually doing anything, but leaving enough room for doubt), so when she finds out her estranged father had a heart attack, she kind of loses her mind. And it’s kind of riveting how crazy she goes, like she knows she’s losing her grip but she can’t help it.

Thom is a hot mess himself. He’s not a real cabbie, but a down on his luck photographer who pretends to be a cabbie when he needs extra money. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s not exactly honest either. So when Claire tells him to just drive, he does just that, figuring he’ll make a few extra bucks. $5,000 of them to be exact.

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But then things take a turn of the unfortunate, and the road trip turns out be a comedy of errors. This is the perfect hate-to-love trope, starting with two people who literally have a physical fight in the front seat of the cab. It was a funny scene, but honestly, who can’t relate to being so drained and stressed that you just need to attack someone?

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
There are two different times where the characters fall asleep at the wheel, which isn’t surprising since they never stop. They can’t get a hotel, for reasons, but seriously…hasn’t anyone ever heard of a rest stop? For all intents and purposes, Claire isn’t really on a timetable, and the money she offers at the beginning of the trip, while somewhat moot at one point, doesn’t really seem worth the possibility of an accident due to lack of sleep.

The Romance Factor
Here’s the funny thing about this romance: there are no blatant romantic scenes. By that I mean, there’s no sex, there’s very little kissing, and there is little dialog about how either one of them feels. But the dialog that does happen is effective, and the actors are really good at conveying things with their expressions and body language. At one point, Thom makes an apology to Claire and tells her a whole mass of truth about himself, sliding in a very subtle note about wanting to sleep in with her (it really was just sleeping though), and it caught me off guard and then kind of melted my little romantic heart. 5/5

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The Steam Factor
If you’re talking the type of steam that comes from anger, then there was some of that here, but as for sexy times…nope. The movie was great without them, and I actually think a steamy scene would have ruined the simple romance of the film. 1/5

Final Thoughts
While some mainstream romance is good, I find the most gems in the indy romance genre. This was a great film with an interesting premise, some beautiful landscape, and two people who I found myself rooting for, not just to end up together, but to find some sense of happiness in the gloomy lives they were leading.

Movie Review: Leap Year

In general, I prefer to read romance and watch horror, but I can also be down with watching a good romantic comedy (though I often find romance to be better in my head). So I took a break from reading and watched the movie Leap Year, because it was on Netflix and because it looked interesting. Also…Ireland.

Leap Year

One-Sentence Synopsis
A house stager follows her boyfriend to Dublin in hopes of proposing to him on February 29, a tradition she learned about from her father that’s “guaranteed” to lead to an engagement. For a full synopsis, see this movie’s IMDB page.

The Good Stuff
I love movies set in Ireland. They have pretty scenery and I love the Irish accent.

This movie is pretty much a Murphy’s Law cautionary tale, as everything that can go wrong for Anna does go wrong, leading to some pretty funny moments, my favorite being a flying shoe incident at an Irish wedding reception.

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There are also two Irish men in the first town she ends up at whose banter and arguing about Irish superstitions cracked me up.

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I generally like Amy Adams, so I don’t know if it was her or how the character was written, but Anna was a pretty horrible character. She’s uptight (she has reasons, but meh), she’s rude, and she’s kind of dumb. The woman tries to hike up a hill in high heels and “demands” to be flown to Dublin regardless of the fact that all flights are closed due to weather. So annoying.

I also wasn’t sold on the whole Leap Year proposal thing. It might be romantic to some people, but I thought it was dumb. It was a story her father told her, and in the course of the movie, we find that her father wasn’t really that smart or trustworthy. Plus, it bothered me that she didn’t think she could propose anywhere and that she seemed to have a one track mind about the whole engagement thing in the first place.

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The Romance Factor
Because Anna was so annoying, I had a hard time feeling the chemistry between her and Declan. She had no redeeming qualities, so it felt weird that Declan started to have feelings for her. This is generally why I prefer books. I need some insight. Having said that, the end was sweet, even if it was expected, and Declan was adorably snarky. 3/5

The Steam Factor
Except for a scene where Declan walks in on Anna in her bra and underwear and an awkward “we can share this bed” scene, this was a tame movie. No sexy times to be had. 1/5

Final Thoughts
It’s hard to like a movie when the main character sucks, but even though I didn’t like her, I still enjoyed the film to an extent. I don’t know that I’d watch it again, but because the side characters and Declan were so entertaining, it definitely wasn’t a waste of an hour and a half.

Valentines and Palentines

Jon and I are super non-traditional about Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been a big fan of V-Day, though this year I was a lot less cynical about it. Since Jon and I are always doing stuff together, Valentine’s Day just seems like any other day to us. Of course, that’s a personal thing, and I hope other people had fun doing whatever they do on Valentine’s Day.

We decided to ignore the commercials that said we were horrible people if we didn’t buy our significant other flowers/jewelry/a giant teddy bear. Instead, we chose things we actually wanted. Jon got some gaming supplies (play mat and sleeves for MtG) and I’m going to treat myself next weekend to some spa type things while he’s out of town (manicure time).

We did the whole Palentine’s Day thing. Jon went the game store, and I got together with the normal crew for some hang time and a Twitter party, which also included a fun Twitter conversation with my brother-in-law.

On Saturday, Jon and I chilled, then hijacked Terry’s boys and took them to see The LEGO Movie with us. All four of us liked it. It was a really fun movie, and the kids are always well behaved, so no worries there. There were so many kids in the theater, but we knew that going in, so it wasn’t obnoxious. We didn’t mind the child chatter during the movie.

Today we hit the gym, went out to eat at Longhorn’s, and went to gaming. I shared it on Twitter, but not FB or the blog – I logged a half hour on the elliptical machine last week. It’s been several years since I’ve been able to do that, so I felt super accomplished. I only logged 20 today before shifting to one of the other machines, but logging anything more than a few minutes on the elliptical is a pretty big thing for me.

The weekend was relaxing, but as always, I’m sad that Sunday night means returning to the work week. Going to shower and read myself to sleep in preparation for whatever Monday’s going to through at me.

A.

 

“Mama” and Movie Etiquette

A couple Tuesdays ago,  I went to see “Mama.”

I enjoyed the movie. It was creepy and had some spooky images. I’m not sure if the most well plotted movie nor do I think much time was spent getting us to really like the characters. But I enjoy the “haunted” quality of Guillermo Del Toro movies. In this one, I appreciated the fact that the “ghost” was subtle at first but eventually had a “reveal.” It’s not every movie where we actually get to see the ghost up close and personal.

The actual theater experience left a little to be desired this time. I think I get spoiled in that I’ve had a lot of good trips to the movies, so when I have one like this, it almost feels like a personal insult. I know it’s not, but seriously…what is wrong with people?

We chose our seats in the middle front part of the theater, not too close to the screen but close enough to get a good view, and pretty far away from anyone else. There were only a few people in the theater, which was awesome. I love being in a non-crowded theater. But just as the movie started, a group of people came in and sat behind us.

A whole theater, and they sat RIGHT behind us.

But okay, it’s cool, sit where you want, it’s a free country. Until the talking started.

Wasn’t there a time when it was considered rude to talk and make loud noises in a theater? Do people not get the fact that when you spend money to watch something, there’s a good chance you want to watch it and not listen to their weird commentary, inappropriate laughter, or…in some cases…strange grunts (not of a sexual kind…I hope).

There was nothing funny about the opening of the movie, yet these people managed to laugh and talk through it. I wondered if they were some of those people who get drunk and go to the movies to make fun of it because they think it’s hilarious (it’s not).

I’m not a confrontational person, so I just told my friends I was moving to the front because I didn’t pay money to listen to that the whole time. All three of us ended up sitting in the second row, and I escaped without a headache from movie screen overload. Moving up made it better, but we could still hear them during the quieter parts of the movie.

The thought occurred to me that maybe I should have moved back a few rows and found something heavy…like a brick…to help quiet things (I have a violent imagination). Of course, we survived the rough movie going experience and enjoyed the movie, but it doesn’t mean that it was okay.

Common courtesy, people. If you’re going to the movies, remember that other people in the theater might actually want to watch the film and not listen to you. If you can’t keep your trap shut, sit far away from others. Or better yet, wait for the DVD and go chat in a coffee shop where that’s welcomed. Because unless you’re in a crowded and fun movie like “The Avengers” where people expect noise or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” where there’s all sorts of audience participation (also goes for musical movies…please don’t sing out loud when you watch Les Mis), then you’re not cool…you’re just kind of a douche.