Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” These days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films — the gay best friend has become a rom-com staple. But the gay side kick, as Hollywood portrays him, tends to be much more interested in shopping and gossiping with his straight female friends than in having sex.
Now that virtually every comic book hero and even a few 80s cartoons have become fodder for large-scale blockbuster treatment (we’re still waiting for THUNDERCATS: THE MOVIE), Hollywood is in the process of pillaging yet another trove of storybook treasures, namely old-school fairytales. Aside from this week’s much-anticipated Charlize Theron-Kristen Stewart vehicle SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, there was this winter’s other Snow White abomination MIRROR MIRROR (shame on you, Julia Roberts), as well as a slew of upcoming updates: Bryan Singer’s JACK THE GIANT KILLER, due next month, and next year’s update of HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS starring Jeremy Renner (behold the birth of a new genre: the action fairytale). Of course, this is territory Hollywood has trod before, always trying to update the classic fables and find twisted new angles. Behold our list of the Top 10 f’d up fairytale films to herald this next (and hopefully not too derivative) influx into the category.
As if you needed a reminder, the latest film from the always-stylized, super-quirky-in-a-good-way Wes Anderson is out this weekend, and in honor of MOONRISE KINGDOM’s release we’re hitting the books to bring you some of the outlandish, esoteric and intellectual films that are most definitely in Anderson’s canon of influences. Even Wes Anderson detractors would have to recognize that this auteur is desperately in love with his wood-paneled and wallpapered, vinyl record playing, ornate but slightly decrepit universe, and it shows. It’s a testament to Anderson’s considerable talent that although his style is supremely nostalgic, it is by no means derivative (it’s impossible to say he is the new “____”), and his influences therefore only represent slight nuances. So now to begin (cue the Futura title card, bearing the words “Chapter 1:”)
Mother’s Day might be upon us, but no, we are not going the cheap route and talking about the MILFs you’re used to (although we do love Jennifer Coolidge in everything she does; even AMERICAN PIE). This list is dedicated to a far more select—and somewhat more matronly—group, namely Moms In Legendary Films. Absolutely everyone out there has something to say about how to be the best mom (as evidenced by the
In honor of TRANSGENERATION airing Tuesdays at 10p on Sundance Channel, we wanted to curate a screening list of the best transgender-themed flicks out there. In order to make our list, the films in question had to feature a sympathetic portrayal of a transgendered character in a leading role — hence PSYCHO and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS did not make the cut. No, the following films are all thoughtful, moving depictions of people struggling through life — people who are human first, transgendered second.
Most of the contributions to the recent Twitter hashtag #2012PickUpLines were pretty uninspiring. (Exhibit A: “I’d like to buy a new router for you and your friend. And ‘Route Her’ and yourself into my bedroom tonight.” Er, okay, Beavis.) But we were inspired by Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson) of THE OFFICE, who tweeted, “Can I piggy-back on your WiFi?” Okay, we didn’t exactly pee our pants laughing, but something about imagining Dwight delivering that line worked for us. So here are our best attempts at 2012 pickup lines:
Sacha Baron Cohen, aka the Baron of Questionable Taste, is releasing his third opus in far-flung tomfoolery this week. THE DICTATOR follows the USA-bound travels of a heavily-bearded, thoroughly misogynistic tyrant modeled after… take your pick. You most probably have heard about this by now – what with Cohen’s shenanigans at the Oscars and a trailer featuring Megan Fox in bed, it’s hard not to be aware of him even if you’d really, really like to be. The question, however, is this: is THE DICTATOR coming to us a few years too late? Remember – the downfall of both Hussein and Gaddafi are history, especially when we have things like [insert name of favorite reality TV show here] to care about. Or, is this movie going to be just plain awesome?
We’re not going to focus on the negative portrayals of transsexuality, like in PSYCHO, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and the, thankfully cancelled, sitcom Work It. And we’re not focusing on the history of transitioning stories that takes us all the way back to the 1930s when an intersexed, Bohemia-born Zdenka Koubkova went from female running/jumping champion to male cabaret performer. Nor are we going to look at transgender issues in the news, like when the Girls Scouts of Colorado let their first transgender girl into the organization last year or when, two years ago, a federal court ruled in favor of a woman who was fired from her job after coming out as trangender. Nope. In honor of TRANSGENERATION coming back to the Sundance Channel, we’re looking at the top ten positively positive, purely pop-culture gender-bending movies, moments and movers & shakers of the past few decades:
Well, another Coachella has come and gone. This year, we got two weekends of insanity and two weekends of unique fashion choices. The belles in the crowd and women performing in the festival embraced the carefree attitude of the hippie movement, mixed with 70’s nostalgia and a dash of desert rogue a la MAD MAX. Think high-waisted shorts paired with a cropped top—or a bandeau for the brave—and lace up boots that have seen a tour of duty in one desert or another. Of course sundresses still have their place in a woman’s weekend bag, all topped off with crafty headbands, oversized sunglasses, and a flower or two in the hair for good measure. Nothing says party like a West Coast party!
Memorial Day is less than a month away and summer movie season is just around the corner. But if super-heroes ain’t your cup of cinematic tea, don’t fret: there are some excellent independent films coming out in the weeks and months ahead, and no one wears tights in any of them. In honor of the Tribeca Film Festival, which is rolling through New York City this week, here’s a list of some of 2012 festival favorites — from Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, New Directors / New Films, and Cannes — hitting art house screens in the near future. With movies like these to keep you busy, it’ll be Labor Day (and Oscar Season) before you know it.
So what happens when you come up with an idea for a web series that stars a woman, addresses the dearth of television shows about people of color, and makes viewers scream with joy as they think “so smart!”? Well, if you’re Issa Rae, you win a Shorty Award for Best Web Series…and then you’re inundated with racist attacks on Twitter. But if Kim K. can hold her ground in that realm, we’re sure the creator of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, can too. And if you haven’t seen the show yet, here are ten reasons why you need to play catch up. Right now.
I know the very IMPORTANT opinions of the showrunner, and executive producer, of Two and A Half Men are probably almost TOO important to you people. So you probably agree with him when he says there are just too many tv shows and movies starring women these day. I mean why wouldn’t you? He’s the guy that came up with the solution to “but what happens when three men are too much?” I happen to be on the same page as this dude. There are too many models on Entourage, too many Victoria’s Secret Specials, too many women wearing bikinis on Spike TV, and most of all, there are too many women having sex with Ashton Kutcher on Two and A Half Men. I happen to like a movie with a little more bite to it–starring females that are asskickers, every day heroes, or just happen to not worry what they look like in a bikini. You know, girls that stay away from Turtle (Entourage shout out!) and perhaps might be a role model for the millions of young girls out there who are six and already starting to worry about their love handles. Here are my favorites:
It’s worth asking again – who exactly is re-watching TITANIC? Apparently everyone, since it’s currently number 3 at the box office (btw, this centennial thing is getting completely out of hand). It makes perfect sense though; films truly worth re-watching are cult films, and TITANIC has definitely become one of those. As has David Fincher’s anti-establishment opus FIGHT CLUB. The 1999 film achieved cult status and more – it’s become a cultural touchstone of both male buffoonery and thoroughly artful storytelling. A story rife with psychological parables and higher thinking, not to mention some pretty hard-boiled violence, this was definitely a worthy entry in a year that included releases like MAGNOLIA, BEING JOHN MALKOVITCH and AMERICAN BEAUTY.
Yep, Tyler Durden is definitely going to be on our asses… we’ve clearly been breaking the First Two Rules of Fight Club. But without further ado, the Top 10 Reasons to Re-watch FIGHT CLUB are:
And no, we’re not talking about sex on the beach. Call us square, but we fail to see how a sandy crotch improves anyone’s sex life. Not to mention a mouthful of seaweed. Here are ten much better reasons why the arrival of warm weather is good for your love life:
When I heard David Lynch was releasing a music video, I immediately thought that I probably wouldn’t know what was going on in said video, but it would look awesome and also cool. Then, I began to reminisce about Twin Peaks, because every Lynch fan/future film student/cool weirdo watched that show! I myself tuned into Twin Peaks in high school because I wanted all the boys to think I was artistic, dark, and super good at watching television. To add to that mystique, I wrote a lot of poetry. It wasn’t GOOD poetry, but it did have the word “ribcage” in it a lot. To celebrate my high school Lynch loving self, I decided to get all nostalgic on you. Here are some Twin Peaks haikus, because really? Why the hell not!
Never let it be said that David Lynch takes sex lightly. To quote the man himself: “Certain aspects of sex are troubling — the way it’s used as power, for instance, or the way it takes the form of perversions that exploit other people.” And those “certain aspects” seem to be the only ones that interest Lynch. In his world, no one ever cracks up in bed after an inopportune fart ruins the moment. But no one has glamorized, Hollywood-ized, unrealistic sex either. “Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical,” Lynch said once, “but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way.” And by “flat” he either means “more fake than a declaration of true love on THE BACHELOR” or else “specializing in female subjugation, exploitation and masochism.” Whatever the case may be, the kind of sex his characters have — and the kind of sex his movies deal with — are best described as simply Lynchian, a term which has been defined as “having the same balance between the macabre and the mundane.” This top 10 list, in chronological order, should help further explain:
Movies are all about imagination, fantasy, suspension of disbelief — especially when it comes to their sex scenes. But the mind is capable of only so much mental gymnastics before it goes “Nuh uh.” If the sex in question — or any aspect of the movie, really — doesn’t have enough believability, we’re taken out of the experience, much in the same way an unfortunate bodily emission can kill even the most passionate mood. Here are the worst cinematic offenders of all time:
The fifth season of MAD MEN premiered last night on AMC with a two-hour special, and Don Draper did nothing to change our minds about his relationship potential. Peggy may worry that he’s a kinder, cuddlier Draper, but we have no such concerns. After all, she didn’t see him resolve a domestic dispute by pretend-raping his wife (what was up with that weird retro porn scene anyway?!). Here are our top ten reasons why Don Draper would make a terrible boyfriend:
What makes a sex scene great — at least in our opinion — is when there is some genuine realism in it: maybe heads get bonked or tears are shed or body parts fail or giggles erupt. Call it skinéma vérité. Anyway, we hear there is some big, film awards show coming up this weekend, so we decided to honor a few of our favorite, most realistic sex scenes of the past year. These clips are the real deal, so use protection!
Nudity is great (okay, it’s totally awesome), but sometimes the old adage is true: you really can get too much of a good thing. Oftentimes a film scene is enhanced by suggesting rather than showing, hinting rather than hammering. These ten notable sequences cut back on the graphic imagery for different reasons — to play a particularly lewd joke, to suggest the frustration of the characters, or to sneak around a pesky MPAA rating — but they all have one thing in common. They prove that sometimes less really is more.
A few weeks back we jumped on the Twitter hashtag #lessambitiousbooks bandwagon, with a list of our Top 10 Less Ambitious Sex Books (The Joy of Dry Humping, Slight Hangup About Flying, etc.). This time around we figured we’d create our own damn hashtag — #dirtierbooks — so that nobody could accuse us of being late to the game. The trick with #dirtierbooks is to be clever without sounding like a cheesy porno (The Da Vinci Load, A Tale of Two Titties, et al). Below are our top 10 best attempts. So, er, anyone want to jump on our bandwagon? (That came out dirtier than we meant it.)
We’re suckers for a good Twitter hashtag — they can make everyone feel like a stand-up comedian for a few minutes (not to mention giving us all a break from reading what our colleagues ate for breakfast). We particularly loved the #lessambitiousbooks hashtag that was trending this week, and of course we jumped on the bandwagon, finding ourselves hilarious @EMandLO. We were planning on publishing a round-up of our favorite sex- and love-related entries found on Twitter, but as it turned out, we had more fun coming up with our own. So here are our top 10 less ambitious sex (or sexy) books:
It’s the most top-10-list time of year! And we’re not even going to try to resist its allure. 2011 was no stranger to sex scandals (is any year?). Most were political and/or not really all that surprising. And so, without further ado:
photo of DSK graffiti via Flickr
2. Shirtless congressman on Craigslist
3. Arnold’s love child
If you have a gay best friend, consider yourself lucky–they’re the best of the best. However, you should know that there are certain rules that come with such a friendship, certain rules that make or break even the best of friendships. Learn them here, now: Top 10 Gay Commandments for Girl Friends.
Hey, it doesn’t matter what ‘type’ of gay guy you have in your life. If you love him because he’s the smartest guy you know, or because he’s the most loyal friend you’ve ever had, or just because he always shows you a good time. He’s the buddy in your life you can count on, no matter what category he fits into.
We’ve got our favorite Top 10 Gay Friends to Have.