Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mother and Child, (2010)- R

This is an excellent film. Naomi Watts is both provocative and powerful in the sex scenes with Samuel Jackson. The film has erotic passion; heart felt stories of three families and raises profound questions about the deepest of emotional bonds. It is rated by critics as 78% on Tomato meter and 76% by viewers. The film is about the lives of women. Men are put on the sidelines. The story is of women and their lovers, their pregnancies, their parenting and in later life their care giving. Tears will be shed. I highly recommend it. Paul Bray 2/12/19

Dangerous Beauty, (1998)- R

The late Roger Ebert (4.5 stars) reviewed this film with the opening description: "The life you lead, the freedom you have--will you deny my daughters the same chance? Not the request every mother would address to a prostitute, but "Dangerous Beauty" makes a persuasive case for the life of a courtesan in 16th century Venice. At a time when Europeans are bemused by our naiveté about dalliance in high places, this is, I suppose, the film we should study. It's based on the true story of Veronica Franco, a well-born Venetian beauty who deliberately chose the life of a courtesan because it seemed a better choice than poverty, or an arranged marriage to a decayed nobleman.”
In the era of 2019 #metoo, I believe this IS a film we should return to and study. Catherine McCormack was brilliant as the Venetian beauty. Her performance 20 years ago that unmasks the sexual and gender hypocrisy would be equally brilliant today.
Ok, if these larger gender issues are not why you see a movie, here are more reasons to watch this movie; the beautiful photography of Venue, costumes that are breath taking, a truly romantic movie, tasteful nude and erotic scenes, a sex positive non-monogamous theme and a powerful leading actress. I truly enjoyed revisiting this film. The film is available on Netflix streaming. Paul Bray 1/12/19

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Three Suggestions for the Holidays that Give Us Hope

Real Woman Have Curves (PG-13) is the 2002 heartwarming coming of age story of a Mexican American teenage girl. It embraces positive body image, positive sex, a champion teacher and diversity. It is also the breakout performance of America Ferrera. This is a very enjoyable film that gives us hope. This is available on Netflix.

The Warmth of Other Suns, The Story of America Great African American Migration North by Isabel Wilkerson is the epic 2010 book making everyone “must read” list. The book chronicles 3 African American families who migrate to northern cities from rural south. This IS a must read book for all of us who continually seek to understand race and racism in America. It is also a must read for all of us that hope for a better America.

Civilization- 9 Part PBS Series on The History of Art starts from the earliest cave drawings and continues into the 21st century. This series illustrates the necessity of art rather than simply the value of art. It gives us hope for our further because it shows how in the worst of times, art gave us hope. This is available on Netflix.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fragments of Love (2016)- NR

A woman reveals stories of previous lovers to her present lover, and he becomes one of those fragments of her love. The film is very erotic and plays on the switch of gender stenotypes where the woman reveals multiple lovers and very high sexual energy. Her sexual “trophies” force the male lovers to adjust to a greater sexual appetite. Most are unable to adjust. The film is stylish and well made. It is available on Netflix. 5/7/18

Below Her Mouth (2017)- NR

I wanted to give this five stars, but due to a lack of an ending and more plot development, I could not give it a full five stars. This however, does not detract from how great a movie it was.

I read other reviews pointing out that it has that realism which is why the plot it tried and true. The characters Dallas (Erika) and Jasmine (Natalie) have AMAZING chemistry!! You cannot turn away when they are on the screen and it does seem like they enjoyed each other and had a good time making the film. It shows and I think that only adds to their chemistry, seriousness, and humor.

The rating: I think that they chose an Unrated rating, because if they chose an NC-17 rating, it would hurt their viewership. By choosing an Unrated, it allows for a greater population to view the movie, and it does not have the scrutiny of what goes along with it. NC-17 ratings are often associated with either brutal violence, or extensive sex scenes, along with how much is shown for that extended period of time.

The United States has much to learn from this film, as they have yet to produce a worthy lesbian with a happy ending of a film. Sure they had Carol with Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara based on a Patricia Highsmith novel set in the 50's, and yes it did receive Oscar nominations, but they have yet to achieve what other foreign countries are capable of producing.

If you are in the mood for a good lesbian film where there is actual chemistry, and full frontal from the male in the film along with the women, this is for you. I am glad that the nudity does not exclude gender, as it is more often than not the female fully nude and the male not.  The film is available on Netflix. 3/1/18

Come Undone (2010)- NR

European acting is so superior to Hollywood. . It's a typical European film that depicts real life. ...And as so many times in European movies, the ending leaves you feeling uneasy and disturbed, very different from Hollywood movies.. makes you THINK. .. the moral of the story is adultery complicates lives. .. make your decision in current relationship first. To stay or to go, and if go. only then jump into something else. .. otherwise it will eventually leave everyone involved very hurt. .. The file is available on Netflix. 3/1/18