Sex

Drinking Games

Thirteen years ago, the small film American Pie revolutionized teen sex comedies. It didn’t necessarily do anything different, but for the first time, the teen sex involved the internet. Now, more than a dozen years later, the cast crawls from their (mostly) languishing careers to attend their 13th high school reunion. And they made a movie of it, not-so-cleverly called American Reunion. Anyone who has been to their own high school reunion knows that these things shouldn’t be attempted without at least a little bit of alcohol. That’s the best way to enjoy this film, but not too much, unless you want to miss Ali Cobrin’s best moments in the film.

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David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg has made many types of films, but all of them are unmistakably Cronenberg. From B-horror movies to a beat literature adaptation to a film about the working relationship between Freud and Jung, the Canadian filmmaking veteran’s oeuvre exhibits a versatility of subject matter that somehow maintains consistency in style. Cronenberg’s films are known for their complicated portrayals of sex, in-your-face depictions of violence, and unmitigated explorations of human transformation, whether that transformation be from a human to a fly, a patient to a psychologist, or an east coast mobster to a Midwest suburban father. David Cronenberg got his start in underground experimental films, then made interesting low-budget B-movie horror features, and has since risen to prominence as one of North America’s most respected and revered auteurs. In August, the 69-year-old Cronenberg’s 18th feature film will be released, and he may follow it up soon with his first ever sequel. So here’s a bit of free film school from an experienced filmmaker hailing from America’s favorite hat.

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Reel Sex

It only takes five minutes to realize Snow White and the Huntsman is going to be a storytelling disaster, and then another ten minutes to accept that short of taking a nap or switching your ticket out for the next showing of What to Expect When You’re Expecting that you are stuck watching as the fairy tale of your childhood is ripped apart in the most unsettling of ways. Normally, the twisting of classic stories for new audiences thrills me to no end, and I have to admit regardless of how terrible the trailers looked, I couldn’t wait to see Huntsman. A world where Snow White rejects her meek personality by embracing battles and carnage sounded better than Christmas.

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Reel Sex

If you’re like me and have slumped into a mind-numbing semi-sleep for the past five Sundays thanks entirely to the comings and goings of Westeros, then you have probably woken up with a jolt halfway through your Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) dreams to discover yourself staring down the barrel of a gun. And that gun is HBO’s freshman series Girls, a show so fraught with first world problems and entitlement it’s nearly impossible not to experience polarizing feelings. On the one hand, Girls is an engaging slice of life dramedy revolving around the personal and (maybe) professional lives of three recent college graduate lady friends (and one still-in-school cousin). Setting Girls apart from most shows currently broadcasting is creator and head writer Lena Dunham’s dedication to exposing the warts and imperfections of her four post-Sex and the City women while they each navigate the troubling landscape of sex, love, feelings, and career in New York. It’s just that her women, like their HBO godmothers, are living in a New York that doesn’t exist for most city dwellers.

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In a new piece provocatively titled “Robots: The Gateway to ‘Mind-Blowing Sex’?“, John Roach explores the idea that robotic sex partners might revolutionize not just the personal experience, but societal problems as well. The base idea is that the existence of a robotic alternative could greatly reduce the demand for living women in prostitution. Good luck with that. While James Cameron is mining space asteroids, the conversation has just started about the role AI and sex dolls will play in our culture. Hell, even House touched on the topic. If they can fight our wars for us, why can’t they provide companionship in all its forms? Director Allison de Fren is exploring those questions, but she’s also proving that our fascination has been around for centuries in The Mechanical Bride. The documentary focuses on the history of sexualized non-human entities and the psychological elements that go into a world’s fascination with loving something that isn’t alive. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Reel Sex

The past few weeks have been incredibly exciting for anyone following the curious case of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the sexually adventurous stars of E.L. James’s erotic romance e-book Fifty Shades of Grey. What started off as a Twilight fan fiction has turned out to be at the center of an American literary explosion not seen since James’s own inspiration was up for auction at Little, Brown, and Company in 2007. Now the foreign erotica import has not only been snatched up for seven figures by a literary arm of Random House Publishing known as Vintage (I am shocked, honestly), but as Kate Erbland mentioned Monday it has also been optioned by Focus Features and Universal. This has been a very busy month for the British author, and I don’t even have the heart to hate her for it. As an unabashed fan of erotic romance novels, I was taken aback by the fervor this bondage novel has caused, but not for the reasons many of my colleagues and friends share. Although I do tend to favor BDSM in cinema, bondage in erotic literature has never been my favorite. I’ve often felt it to be far-fetched, overly clinical, and even a bit stale. I mean, as clinical and stale as sexual power play, leather cuffs, and object insertion can possibly be when story and character development take a back seat.  This isn’t to say something like Fifty Shades of Grey couldn’t change my mind, because it instantly intrigued me […]

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As we all sit here at Reject HQ, gathered around an absurdly long, but incredibly imposing, table discussing what to do with the nuclear missiles we just “creatively appropriated” from a breakaway Russian republic, it occurs to us that 2011 was a great year to be bad. For every boring, dopey, goody-good hero that popped up on the silver screen, there was a brilliant, super cool, woefully misunderstood villain doing everything he/she/it could to thwart the zero hero at every turn. So when Supreme Commander #1, better known to the world (and those pesky Avengers so they’ll stop blasting our lair) as Neil Miller, issued an official order (delivered by a specially-trained, fire-breathing, gun-toting alligator who lives in the moat) to construct a supersonic death ray…that assignment went to Kate “Femme Fatale” Erbland. But then I got asked to do this list of the 20 Best Villains of 2011, a decided promotion from my usual position as sinister cocktail-fetcher and cleaner of the diabolical gutters.

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Why Watch? Good old Jason Reitman has another movie coming out this week, and it just so happens that I stumbled upon one of his early short films – one I fell in love with years ago and only recently realized the name behind it. This dry, hilarious movie delivers the standard (often wordless) negotiation that happens whenever two people get back to the bedroom after a great first date. It just delivers it in a bizarre, strangely sensible way. Go grab a Notary, and don’t even think about Article 20. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out Consent for yourself:

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Feel free to stand up from your seat and slow clap while loved ones and strangers stare, because one studio has decided to slap the stigma of the NC-17 rating right in its moronic little face. As we all know, that stupidity is two-fold. The first is in its existence in the first place. A betting man or woman could win easy money that most don’t even know that the NC stands for No One 17 and Under Admitted (because there’s a confusing C in there), but it might as well just stand for No Children. There’s an absurdly thin line between R and NC-17 that becomes all the more apparent when you hear a screaming 4-year-old in the theater where Jason Statham is beating a dude to death on screen before banging down Amy Smart’s doors. Come to think of it, the No Children of NC sounds pretty good in those cases. The second part of the stupidity surrounding the rating (which inherited its bad reputation from the X rating that it morphed into), is in the connotation that some doomed by Puritanical high horsemanship slather onto it. Yes, NC-17 means adult, but there’s also nothing wrong with making a film for an adult audience. Those that don’t think so, aren’t adults.  In a way, the rating’s reputation does a small service in weeding out those too emotionally, psychologically or sexually infantile to handle a solid adult drama (no matter their age). Sadly, that small service is a life […]

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Why Watch? Haven’t you always wanted to see a man and a bathtub procreate? This experimental short film from director Bobby Miller is the kind of movie that portrays a man masturbating in a shower while overdubbed 70s intermission music plays. It’s also the kind that can force cry-laughing, a confusing emotional state where fear, sadness, and pure laughter somehow live inside the same facial expression. Feel free to ball up in a corner for the rest of the day after watching it. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out Tub for yourself:

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I think it is safe to say we have all struggled with the blurring of reality and fantasy in our romantic lives. Film, while marvelous, often leaves us starry-eyed and convinced love will find us regardless of who we are or what we do. That is its biggest gift to audiences, and one of the reasons people line theaters to watch even the most offensive of Katherine Heigl offerings. Decades of studying romantic gestures in film, however, has left me a little touchy about the real life application of such moves. While we might find Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) absolutely adorable when he’s proving his endurance by bravely holding a virginity theme song blasting boom box over his head outside his ex-lover Diane’s (Ione Skye) window in Say Anything, he’s actually more crazy than not. The truth of the matter is that if some man stood below our window blaring music at six in the morning, someone might get shot. (Full disclosure: I’m from Texas, y’all). It’s sweet and silently exaggerates his devotion to Diane, and leaves the girls in the audience swooning and the boys thinking they could be so suave. But in the real world, Llyod is very pathetic and arguably a little stalkery. Lucky for him, Diane likes that about him the most and races down to take him back, wearing nothing but her nightgown and personality.

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Last week’s discussion on the sex appeal of animated characters sparked a little offline controversy. Why did we forget to include sexy villains in our list, when everyone knows they can be just as mouthwatering? Now we could spend an entire novel talking about the awkward crushes we have on certain animated villains, just as we could in the opposite direction, however I’m more interested in the modern rejection of Hollywood’s traditional “uglying up” the bad guy. See, this is where movies have always lost me. A true villain, one who is charming, relies on henchmen, and has a bevy of beauties would never be a disgusting, rotted, warted-up mess. In fact, no matter how determined a villain is to get his or her way, their tinge of crazy (read: psychotic levels) often makes them more attractive to those sharing screen time.  This is probably why you feel the need to shower after watching anything starring Vincent Cassel. But recently mainstream films have taken a page out of the indie playbook and started making their villains just a touch more delicious. Movies.com’s Jenni Miller wrote earlier this week about the sexification of the rapist in next month’s Straw Dogs remake. She discusses her discomfort with the film’s marketing decision to highlight the sexiness of the gang of deviants and how the film’s “down home” feel will get lost with such good looking villains. I have to disagree. Although Alexander Skarsgard (Charlie) has made a career of playing a hot Viking […]

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While nudity is generally regarded as an awesome thing, the fact of the matter is that it’s just not necessary for a lot of movies. Enter the gratuitous nude scene, where an actress strips down to her birthday suit for reasons completely unrelated to the plot. Frequently, these roles are covered by B- and C-list stars who like to add an extra zero to their check in exchange for giving the movie-going audience a thrill. While many big name actresses refuse to do nudity — a totally respectable choice, don’t get me wrong — some change their minds when there’s a chance their career can benefit from it. When those women go for a gratuitous nude scene, it usually takes one of four forms:

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In the past, I have used this space to examine the cultural implication of sex in cinema, the hotness of naked people, and even exploited some of my own personal going-ons. After last week’s titillating BDSM discussion and the official welcoming of summer, I chose to approach some lighter fare this time around. We all love sex in its many forms (unless for some, I’m sure, reasonable reason you do not), and more importantly we are all fascinated or turned-on by sex on film (for artistic purposes, surely). With summer upon us we have at least a fistful of sexy films whetting our appetite before September 20th. I have done some preliminary dirty work to present to you, fair reader, a double stuffed list of films tailor-made for the erotica lover.

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New Cronenberg means that Christmas comes in September this year, and Christmas Eve happens today with the release of the first trailer for A Dangerous Method. The film focuses on the real-life story of Carl Jung developing his methods with mentorship from Sigmund Freud and getting a little on the side with one of his patients. The drama is heady, and the cast is superb. Michael Fassbender as Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Freud, and Keira Knightley as the mistress Sabina Spielrein. It’s Cronenberg doing kinky sex. Check it out for yourself:

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As the temperatures here in Dallas rise to anger-inducing levels, I’m reminded of my summers spent avoiding the sun at my grandmother’s house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My parents would ship me off to visit our “Amish” relatives, experience a simpler country life, and even spend a week at Jesus camp, which happened to be my concentrated dose of religion for the year. While I would come home after the month-long excursion thankful to be around luxuries like air conditioning and cable, I secretly loved visiting Grandma because I had the chance to work as child-labor at my aunt’s video store where she paid me in free movies. Unlike my cautious mother, my Aunt Katie never censored the videos I picked to take home each night. However she did require I watch the original of any remake or sequel of a classic. I guess that explains why one summer I spent almost every night watching Hitchcock films in preparation to see the remake of Psycho. When most people think of summer films, images of explosions, beaches, sweating, and (most importantly) sex fill the brain. Yet not all the films I watched those formative summers were, in fact, happy summer fare. The films that remind me the most of summer are ones involving a heavy amount of smut and questionable characters making despicable decisions.

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When faced with impending doom, people fit into two camps: fight or flight. Most basic instincts tell them to run from disaster, while risk takers and crazies instead rush right into the line of fire. In film, it’s a lot more exciting to watch those lacking common sense battle Armageddon, pirates, or hired thugs. We pick our sides and sit back as other people fight against an unreal force. However, movies have led us to believe that we must outlive the baddie in less than two and a half hours, or we’ll just become collateral damage. The world coming to an end has such a sense of urgency that it is almost impossible to avoid getting swept away by films like War of the Worlds, Zombieland, and Deep Impact, regardless of quality. Uncontrollable circumstances make it both exciting and unbelievable, but what about the films trying to be more than just an action piece? Romantic relationships shoved into the subplot of any film can feel contrived more often than not, and it’s most noticeably offensive when the world is coming to an end. Using whatever ingrained war skills or developing a game plan for the impending (and completely likely) zombie apocalypse should be priority number one over hanky panky. Or making it out of the dilemma zone of a volcano should take precedent over locking lips. Sometimes sex furthers the plot, rounds out a genre, or is just straight up gratuitous, but sex has its place in action films. However, […]

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Why Watch? Because it’s all about sex. This short film is like a truncated My Dinner with Andre if Andre happened to be a smoky woman, Shawn Wallace was a handsome man, and they talked solely about sex in a way that stops breath. A light upright bass, plunking out floating notes, vibrates this entire exercise in lasciviousness. It proves that a moving picture might be worth a thousand words, but the right words might be worth a slowly skyrocketing blood flow to the right parts. Have fun exhaling. What Will It Cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Check out Touch for yourself:

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Why Watch? Because all of our sexual education courses seemed like something out of a monster movie. This clever, harrowing, funny, frightening short from director Craig Macneill places us all in the classroom of Miss Lovecraft as she tries to explain the horrific drawing that’s laid out in colored chalk on the board. What are those wings? Does it have teeth? Why does she keep making the class call it a “vagina”? It is the sweat on your brow. The darkness in your heart. The sticky release that comes at the climax. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft and anyone who’s ever had an awkward sexual encounter should be able to relate. Plus, the voice over makes it. What Will It Cost? Just 11 minutes of your time. Check out Late Bloomer for yourself:

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Although certain politicians and even scientists will suggest otherwise, most agree our basic human desire for sex remains pretty unchanged. Over the centuries we’ve acknowledged that ladies like it just as much as the men folk, both sexes can be completely uninterested, and there’s also the possibility that same sex lovers getting down and dirty isn’t, in fact, dirty. Every new generation accepts something as tame that the previous generation thinks taboo. My mother finds the practice of bondage troubling, but the idea is ordinary to me. Whereas I don’t quite understand her fascination with the word “slutpuppy” because that’s just ooky. I’m not saying one generation is better than the other, I’m more curious about how we got to the place we are. I am pretty in tune with the going-ons of Gwen, so I have no problem pinpointing a lot of my sexual identity development happening simultaneously with the films and TV that I watched in the 90s. Thinking back, the 90s stand out to me as a hodgepodge decade when it came to sex in film. We had the renewal of romantic melodramas as a reaction to the social commentary-filled erotic thrillers of the 80s, the depiction of realistic sex in comedies, and the rise in popularity of rape culture. Of course all these themes wouldn’t have been possible without the decades before them, but something happened in the 90s that made sex seem pleasurable through love, humor, and invasion.

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