Sunday, December 7, 2014

Movie Reviews: Stud Life, Blue is the Warmest Color, Cloudburst

Stud Life (British)
Lesbian Stud-Femme/ Gay

JJ is a hot black British 'Stud' Lesbian. Together with her best friend Seb, a white gay pretty boy, they work as wedding photographers and run around the urban London LGBT scene. When JJ falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious woman, JJ and Seb's friendship is tested. JJ is forced to choose between her hot new lover and her best friend.

This was a really good film. I think it’s not easy to find a lesbian film with black characters, but even more so, harder to find a film about a sub group within the lesbian community. I enjoyed it on every level and thought it an interesting mash up of types of characters.

So the blurb for this film is pretty much what the movie is about. It’s basically about these characters going through life as GLBT persons and trying to find love.

JJ and Seb make and interesting friendship. Both get on great and I felt the writers, filmmakers, and actors did an amazing job of making me believe that these two unlikely friends really do love each other and have each other’s backs.

Both JJ and Seb are having short, non-serious flings with others but no one is really sticking for either of them. And for Seb, a dorky, sensitive drug dealer, Smack Jack, keeps hitting on him, but Seb can’t stand him. Since they all hang out in the same circles they keep coming across each other and Seb finds there’s more to him than he first judged. In the meantime, Seb is sexting through the internet with other gay guys. He is rather a romantic though and wants to find a keeper.

JJ is a stud lesbian who finds herself attracted to a femme lesbian she met at that bar they all hang out in. What I loved here is that she is a stone butch/ stud and the movie really shows the relationship/sexual dynamics of a stone butch/femme relationship. Her girlfriend Elle wants to have sex and touch JJ but JJ really does keep in control. I liked that contrary to the “stud” reputation of being tough, she shows vulnerability when expressing to Elle that she will not allow sexual touching. She’s worried that Elle will not accept that. They do hug and cuddle a lot, which showed how they feel for each other. They both accept the conditions just to be close to each other. However, Elle has a secret that derails their relationship for a while. And it’s something that I felt made Elle a lot more human and vulnerable.

As the story progresses, the average day in these characters’ lives is expressed in all facets, including homophobic attacks on them, back biting within the GLBT community and the use of GLBT by straight people for kicks. And it also shows JJ and Seb just being friends going through issues with each other as lovers enter the picture.

It also has an assortment of entertaining, colorful side characters as JJ and Seb are shown photographing all kinds of events with all kinds of straight/ GLBT people.

Finally, there is a happy ending for both JJ and Seb and it’s a really sweet, satisfying, romantic movie. It’s definitely a movie for anyone who wants to watch something a bit different in GLBT. All the actors in this film make it worthwhile to watch.

Heat Level 2: some sex scenes, some nudity, but nothing graphic.

Grade: 4 ½ Stars


La vie d'Adèle (French)
Blue is the Warmest Color

Lesbian/ bi/ YA

Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

This movie was hyped up the wazoo as you all know. I usually head the other direction of anything this hyped and talked about, and luckily I did, because I could watch it without everyone’s opinions in my head about it.

So right to the point, it didn’t do as much for me as I’ve read it did for others. Maybe it’s more due to my age. This is really a YA story and it’s mainly about the passion and pain of a first love. On that level it’s quite good and I can see how this film would hit all the spots for a young person. I probably would have loved this in my 20’s.

I almost didn’t finish it as well. This is a 3 hour movie and I had the feeling the director or camera person must be in love with the lead actress who played Adele because it seemed the camera was on her all. the. time, in every scene and with non-stop shots of her just staring blankly or expressing with her face. To be fair, I think the actress who played Adele did a great job. But I felt about maybe an hour of the film could have been cut because endless scenes of her crying or looking blank seemed too much.

Also, one of the reasons this film was so talked about is that it has one of the longest sex scenes ever in a regular (non porn) movie. For me, it was way too much because it wasn’t the only sex scene. Compared to other sex scenes I saw between women in the few lesbian films I watched before this one, I felt these were just one step below porn, which isn’t bad per se, if you want to watch porn. And while the sex scenes expressed the passion and intensity of the physical attraction between these two women, it didn’t express any of what might have been true love between them.

The other negative; I get tired of “lesbians fuck around and can’t commit for a long time” kind of thing I see and read so often. Emma is living with someone when she meets and has sex with Adele. Emma then starts hanging out with an old girlfriend while living with Adele. Adele cheats on Emma with a guy. I mean seriously, can’t anyone stay together?

On to what I loved. I loved that at least before the women get physical, there is a relationship build-up. They don’t just meet and suddenly they’re in-love, like some of the other films I watched. And the film did make an interesting statement about the difference between passion and love. What Adele and Emma have is a sexually passionate relationship. In the end it makes a statement that sexual passion doesn’t always equal long term love or that it’s enough to sustain a long term relationship.

It’s also a movie that shows the growth of Adele as she goes through all this pain of a first love and then moving beyond, learning and growing up. So this was a positive. 

Even though this movie didn’t float my boat as much as other people, I would still definitely recommend it. It is intense and show sexual passion in all it’s facets.

Heat level: 5+ -numerous, fairly graphic sex scenes with full nudity.

Grade: 3 1/2  Stars



The best geriatric lesbian road movie you have ever seen. Thelma and Louise eat your heart out.

I watched about the first 20 or so mins of this film and stopped. DNF. I had high hopes for this film. I love Olympia Dukakis and thought this would be a great lesbian film about older lesbians trying to stick together as they age.

Unfortunately, I felt it was off. Dukakis’ character Stella is rather crass from the get-go. I could see where she was coming from, but it was a bit over the top and off-putting. She’s gruff, but not in that older woman give a shit, cute and amusing way, no, she fights and argues with most everyone with lots of over the top cursing, and needlessly I felt. She pretty much alienates everyone except of course, those that accept her as she is.

It starts out with Dot, Stella’s partner for over 30’s years, breaking a bone after a fall and needing full care for a few weeks. She’s also almost totally blind. Dot’s granddaughter, who unbelievably is totally clueless that her grandmother is a lesbian and who has no real idea about what her grandmother is about, insists it’s time for her to go into an assisted living facility. This enrages Stella who feels she can still take care of her. And also it will mean they cannot be together. The granddaughter also tells Stella she may stay in their house for a little while, until she finds another place (the house was Dot’s mother’s house and so legally, hers), which of course pisses Stella off because it’s THEIR house. 

Where I stopped watching was when the granddaughter tricked Dot into signing some papers giving up her house and getting into the assisted living facility under the guise of keeping Stella from getting charged with any negligence in Dot’s fall. Dot is smiling as she gets into the car with her granddaughter, while Stella is bangs on the car window screaming.

The level of cluelessness all around is also what bugged me. Dot has been with Stella for 30 years and yet she trusts her granddaughter over Stella and doesn’t even try to stop the granddaughter from driving away, wondering why Stella is screaming.

Then, again, Stella’s personality is off-putting to me. As the granddaughter is driving away, she’s calling her a bitch and a fucking cunt, etc. No. Seriously, I have the mouth of a sailor, I drop the f word all the time. But there’s constant cursing with antagonistic personality type and then there’s just cursing here and there.

Maybe if I would have kept watching I might have loved it, but I just couldn’t. I think it probably told the story of many older lesbians who have no legal rights with each other and also who have no place to be together like assisted living, or nursing homes or such, which I think is an important story to tell. I just wish it was told a bit differently or that the beginning didn’t put me off too much to finish it.

Grade: DNF

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