Kink

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:20 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

Kink
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Peter Acworth, Maitress Madeline, Tomcat, Five Star, John Magnum
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Kiddie Movie: For the love of all things great and small, no. It’s got boobs, penises, bondage, flogging, and all kinds of fun for adults.
Date Movie: If she wants a look into the industry of making BDSM films.
Gratuitous Sex: There really isn’t any sex, except with machines.
Gratuitous Violence: Um, duh.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Learning how to step on a dick and not having it hurt too much.
Memorable Quote: My dream is to be a yoga teacher.
Directed By: Christina Voros

I liked “Kink.” There, I said it. Phew.

Now will my friends and relatives who read my site and think things like bondage and discipline, domination and submission, or sadism and masochicm (a.k.a. BDSM) are sick, disgusting, and the devil’s work, well, as one person says in the documentary, “just move on,” because it’s going to be hard to write this review without some risqué terms, and maybe a mention of a penis or boob.

Let’s get to it.

It’s not every documentary that has a line “Give me about five minutes. I’m putting together a glory hole,” but “Kink’ does. In the easiest way to put it this is a documentary about a website, kink.com, and it’s internet business of making movies for the BDSM crowd. As simple as that might be, it’s also a look at the personalities and people involved in the business, the seriousness in which they take their movie-making craft, and also a look into those that enjoy the BDSM lifestyle. It’s kind of like a “day in the life” look at what happens at kink.com, and let me tell you, a lot happens.

Opening up with a look around the offices of kink.com, we learn of its nondescript facade and how the building they took over, with it’s nooks, crannies, and various rooms, is pretty much perfect for all of the filming that goes on, and as we move along we are introduced to various directors, talent coordinators, and actors, or as they call them, models, in various stages of productions. There are the women who like the machines, and I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill vibrators, but picture an industrial type jig-saw fitted with a certain apparatus and set up so the woman can be tied up and, well, you get the picture. Then there are the dudes, looking to be dominated with the director telling the actress-model, “If you want to step on it…”, the dude saying “My dick?”, with the director’s quick retort “Of course.” Then she proceeds to show them both how it doesn’t hurt if you step on his penis a certain way.

The thing is as taboo as the topic of BDSM might be to some people, the documentary does show that this is a lifestyle for the people, one that translates into their business, and they don’t mess around because in the world of BDSM there are rules. You find out that in a twist of a thought the submissive is actually in charge of the dominating person because the “safe” word is the key. You find that there is a lot of coaching and maybe changing things on the fly if some of the models end up uncomfortable with certain scenarios, and even on the business side it’s all about statistics and sales because at their meeting we are finding that gang bang videos sales are up, but the machines are down quite a bit, and they want to figure out why because yes, for kink.com, it is a business and they want to keep their customers coming back.

Most of the scenes didn’t bother me, well, except a scene where I said “Ouch, she’s got his wang tied up in a rope!”, but what did start to turn me off about the movie was that most of the people kept justifying what they did and the lifestyle they enjoy. It seemed to get a little too preachy, and I think it would have been better had they toned that aspect down a bit, keeping most of it to what I mentioned before, “That if it isn’t for you, just move on.”, and get back to the filmmaking side.

If you don’t like seeing dudes with penises, and I’m not talking a lazy, boring, limp penis, but porn penises being teased or stepped on, or naked women, and sure, they might be naked, but they also probably have nipple clamps or are hanging upside-down by their ankles and chained with a collar with giant vibrator between her legs, well, this movie probably isn’t for you. However, if you want a pretty decent documentary about a company dedicated to BDSM movies, may I highly recommend “Kink.” Maybe get Howard Stern to do the on-screen interviews to really find what makes the people tick, and I could see this getting a solid 4 stars at the look into BDSM movie-making, but with too many stock answers of how they are good people and BDSM isn’t bad, I’ve got to drop it to 3 1/2 stars.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Only 68 Days Left

The man is on the TV spouting how we should get our billions back, the people are on the side of the road in their Statue of Liberty costumes asking you to come on in, and companies are supposed to have sent you your tax forms by now. Yup, it’s tax season. It’s the time of year when some people will go “Shit, I owe how much?”, others will be cheering because they are getting a giant refund and can go buy that new TV, and others will be proud of the fact that they owe, or will get refunded, next to nothing which means they didn’t give the government a loan with their money.  There will be stories, especially come March, how taxes are a clustur-f&^* of complicated rules that only a tax accountant might be able to understand, as more candidates hit the trail many will give the familiar rhetoric about tax reform, easier tax filing, how the rich should pay more, yet for the most part the tax rules will just become more complicated, and the rich will still figure out loopholes left by the same politicians who said they will get rid of them, and in the end, April 15th will show up, a deadline everyone knows is there, and some people, probably the same people who crammed for a final exam the night before, will scramble to get their taxes filed on time.

I’ve filed my taxes crazy early, I’ve been on that cusp of April 15th, but with it being early February I wonder: Have you filed your taxes yet?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Yes, It Snowed. We Know Because of Patio Furniture.

It's snow-covered patio furniture time!I’m guilty. I admit it. I post pictures of things covered with a lot of snow. It seems, however, that I’m not alone. Yes, one thing that has always been a given, probably since the dawn of the cave drawing, is that when it snows we feel the need to convey the amount of snow by taking pictures of outdoor things with snow on them. The cave drawings may have had pictures of maybe a wheel, or a round rock, with snow on it, there is probably some painting with a castle with a foot of snow on the top of it, and I know even when I was a youngin’, with one of those cameras that used that film stuff, when it snowed I would be out the door taking pictures. Now of course, with the camera phone, the pictures are everywhere. Pictures of the outdoor grill (like mine) with snow on it, pictures of patio furniture with snow on it, pictures of cars with snow on them, and pictures of people playing in the snow. For whatever reason, whatever the need, we have to show the world, even our neighbors right next door who can see our patio, how much snow we have.

There was a viral video of a news anchor who was sick of the patio furniture covered with snow, but I have a feeling the dude is fighting a losing battle because it has happened, happens today, and whatever technology happens in the future, when it snows I’m sure we will tell everyone.

I’m guessing this is a 100%er in the world of polls for those who live where it snows, but let’s do it: Have you taken a picture of patio furniture covered with snow?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

 

The Overnighters

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:30 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

The Overnighters
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jay Reinke
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: Drafthouse Films
Video Release Date: February 3, 2015
Kiddie Movie: Nah, it’s about a lot of down-and-out people.
Date Movie: If she’s interested in a good documentary and not something mushy.
Gratuitous Sex: Some talk of sex offenders, but nothing graphic.
Gratuitous Violence: Just one person trying to get the Reverend off of their property and threatening to shoot him.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Ehh.
Memorable Scene: The reveal by Rev. Jay of something from his past.
Memorable Quote: “A man with no teeth and living with his daughter calling other people trash.
Directed By: Jesse Moss
Cool things about the DVD: Some of the deleted scenes actually should have been left in the film, and the extended interview with Rev. Jay is actually interesting.

The OvernightersThe stories were out there: Move to North Dakota! There are tons of jobs, waitresses are making $15+ dollars an hour, and you can easily find a job making over $100k a year! While some of this may be true, when stories like this get published what happens? Tens of thousands of people, mostly out of work, consider moving to North Dakota to find work. Here’s the problem. While there are jobs, there aren’t that many, and it’s North Dakota. The fracking boom has come mostly to smaller towns that don’t have the resources to accommodate such a giant influx of folks, many of whom are down on their luck, have questionable pasts, and think that North Dakota, or in the case of the documentary “The Overnighters,” Williston, North Dakota, is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. “The Overnighters” focuses on these people, the ones not getting the jobs, as well as Rev. Jay Reinke, a pastor in Williston who opened his church to those who couldn’t find a place to say, much to the dismay of the town, especially when the questionable pasts of those seeking shelter came to light.

As the documentary opens we see the Reverend waking up the people he has sheltered for the night. Most of them are men, those who came by bus or train are sleeping throughout the complex, in hallways and rooms, while those with cars would sleep in the parking lot, and the documentary begins to key in on a few of them with Rev. Jay, trying to help them through the transition to find a job. He advises them to clean up, cut their hair, get a resume together, and keep trying, but challenges await most of them, especially as background checks reveal criminal records, but more importantly for the documentary, people on the sex offender list.

We see Rev. Jay’s family who is trying to do the Christian thing and help everyone they can, but you can see the strain the situation is placing on them as well. The key to this story is the town of Williston, torn by wanting to be good Christians, yet wanting to keep their small-town feel, worried about crime, and trying to keep their children safe.

Progressing through the documentary we learn that the Reverend is housing men with sex offender pasts, both in the church and in his home, and while some might be a blip on a record that follows them for life, others are not so seemingly insignificant, and when the local paper brings this to light, the blow-back for Reinke is insurmountable, especially as he is harboring some of his own secrets.

What I loved about this documentary was that it really showed the flip side to the stories of the boom of North Dakota. You see the people and some you root for, but many you question because at one instance they seem like people just trying to restart their lives, but then you see them slip into being assholes again. The thing is this even happens with Rev. Jay when one minute he seems like the great-natured guy, just trying to help, but, and sure every story has two sides, from the commentary by some of the people he helps, there are times even his motives seem questionable. There is an extra with a detailed follow-up interview with Reverend Jay when he addresses this, mostly in a manner consistent with his personality shown in the film.

There are a few times the documentary drags, but other than that “The Overnighters” is a fantastic look at the other side of the North Dakota story. Sure, those with a little bit of a better plan than the people just “showing up” and thinking millions await them probably have a decent chance of the good jobs, but it’s this other side people don’t hear about.

This documentary shows people doing a lot of soul-searching, losing even more, like their families, by even coming to North Dakota, and a Reverend who has his own demons that he can’t come to grips with. It’s a great look at the town reaction, those who don’t have it so easy, and the challenges faced when the “boomtown” event happens because not everyone is happy about it. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for “The Overnighters.” I guess I would have liked a few success stories on people who really made it, though there was the one dude who was excited because he was actually going to have someone to supervise. Other than the little blurb of “What is happening now,” a little more follow-up on some of the characters might have been nice. Also there is some “niceness” about the documentary, although one of the outtakes, “I Used to Stay Here,” really shows the flip-side and the volatility that can be there. I think I might have like to have seen a little more of that.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Another Story of Super Bowl Gluttony

Chicken Wing Preparation for the Super BowlEric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune had a story about gluttony, or at least the preponderance of gluttony as explained by The National Chicken Council in Washington. The National Chicken Council came out with some crazy number of chicken wings that would be eaten during the Super Bowl. Eric’s story explains how his father did the math and pretty much the average consumption of chicken wings during the game would be 11+ wings should the Council’s numbers be accurate, and that upon further review, or a phone call to the chicken people, Eric found out that they meant the number of chicken wings during the entire Super Bowl weekend would be over 1.25 billion, Sure, that’s still a lot of chicken wings, but nowhere near the boisterous chicken slaughter needed for Americans to get their chicken wing fix during the Super Bowl.

Missing in the story, though, is the fact that we have a National Chicken Council. I guess it’s not really missing, I mean there are trade groups for just about everything and their dual purpose is usually to promote their goods to the public as well as make sure Congress has their group’s best interest at heart, in other words, doesn’t screw them over with bad legislation.

Me, although I helped the National Chicken Council work to achieve their boisterous claims of chicken wing consumption, it seems I came a bit short of the average needed because, from the preparation photo of our chicken wings, we’ll fall a bit short of the average between me and my wife. I do wonder however: Did you eat more than ten chicken wings during the Super Bowl?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

 

The Real Office Competition

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time. Yup, the postings are happening on Facebook (“Ashley is selling Girl Scout Cookies! Let me know how many boxes you want!”), the girls are walking the neighborhoods with their parents selling them door-to-door (at least I assume they still do that, though no one has shown up at my door, yet), we’ll probably hear of some enterprising young girl outside of the fitness center, and in corporate offices nationwide the rush is on to be the first to announce, “My daughter is selling Girl Scout Cookies! Place your orders now!” The problem is what happens when multiple people work in an office, and said multiple people have daughters selling the Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos? Do you wait for the co-worker who is your “friend” to sell them, or just fill out the giant form from the first person who leaves it in the break room? If you’re waiting for your friend, what happens if you don’t fill out the form for the first person only to find out your friend isn’t selling them? Maybe you just put in an order with every parent selling the cookies, finding that when delivery day comes you are stuck with enough Tagalongs to last until 2018? I image the office complexities of selling Girl Scout Cookies can be a challenge. It’s probably important to be that first Dad putting out the form so you don’t have to lie to your daughter that your entire office is on a diet right now and won’t be buying her cookies, only to have her find out on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day that Shelly’s dad sold 10,000 boxes because he was there first.

Usually I end up buying my Girl Scout Cookies from the girls in front of the grocery store. First, it’s kind of an impulse buy, which is nice, because I can get some instant gratification, and it was also fun the one time I bought them for my Mom, who likes to freeze them, and I asked for a dozen boxes and the girl’s eyes lit up. I have to say I rarely buy them from people I know, mostly because I don’t have time to wait for them, but at the end of today I wonder: Who do you buy Girl Scout Cookies from?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Eww, it’s gross in there!

I’m not an everyday flier, but as I’ve written in earlier blogs, I have been on an airplane before. In my earlier flying days, whether solo or with friends, I have to admit that I never thought twice about pulling magazines, and especially SkyMall, out from the seat-back pocket in front of me. I would always check out the airline magazine to search out the crossword puzzle to kill some time for the flight, but SkyMall was always where the entertainment was at, and I was a little sad to hear it was going away, filing for bankruptcy because people use their electronic devices for everything nowadays, including buying that speaker that looks like a rock.

If you’ve flown you probably remember something in the SkyMall magazine that you wanted to have, thought was inventive, imagined would look good in your front yard, or even thought would be perfect for your pet. Undoubtedly you would put the magazine back in the pocket when done, get along with your flight, and most likely forget about the pet feeder that was going to free you from that daily chore of feeding your best friend. SkyMall was there to help you discover a world of things available around you that you didn’t know existed, and sadly, even though the internet is filled with the same crap you don’t really need and can find at a cheaper price, it was the discovery that made SkyMall great, but because no one would buy, or even look at the magazine any longer, it’s going away, along with cool items like the Brew to Go Sippy Cup and the proverbial globe that was also a bar.

The thing is, with the end of SkyMall, I really have no reason to gross out my wife when we go for a trip somewhere. I recall the first time we flew together, and I reached for that seat-back pocket. You would have thought I was digging into a diaper to take out some poop and smear it under my nose by the look on her face, and while yes, I knew there was probably gross-ness in that pocket, there are many times I just do my best to ignore what might have been left there, who might have been touching those magazines earlier, and sit back with the “Why didn’t I think of that?” thought constantly in my head.

My wife will probably be happy it’s gone so I won’t have a reason to take anything out of the seat-back pocket, but I wonder, at least up until this demise of SkyMall, do you take anything out of the seat-back pocket in an airplane?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Cyber-Seniors

MPAA Rated – Not Rate
It’s 1:15 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

Cyber-Seniors
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Shura Eadie, Ebert Hobbs, Henri Pelletier, Max Schellenberg
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: Virgil Films
Release Date: January 27, 2015 – Online and VOD
Kiddie Movie: Not too young. It’s a documentary and there’s a lot of talking.
Date Movie: It’s cute enough for the two of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Nothing that will make you blush.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: The seniors with no governor on some of the things they say.
Memorable Scene: Shura cooking the grilled cheese with an iron.
Memorable Quote: Annette says “I’m not eccentric.” and Henri the mentor just rolls his eyes.
Directed By: Saffron Cassaday

As I was watching Cyber-Seniors I couldn’t help but think of three people, my Mom, my Mom-in-Law, and my Dad-in-Law, and although a little older than all of the mentors in the documentary, my experience with each my seniors was pretty much the same as the mentors had with theirs. My Mom was an early adopter to the Internet though she passed away before Facebook hit it big which would have helped her re-connect with many more people she lost touch with than she had found just through email and Google searches. My Mom-in-Law’s adoption, especially on her iPhone, quickly accelerated once she hit Facebook, even to the point she has now discovered Snapchat as “GrandmaEleanor” and loves posting her “stories” while keeping in touch with the Grandkids. My Dad-in-Law stays away from social media, but loves finding any news site he can discover. Teaching all of them various aspects of the internet and social media takes a lot of patience, but as the mentors show in the movie, the patience pays off the minute you see the smile of the elder discovering the wonders of Skype, Facebook, and finding out that the younger generation swears too much in their Facebook postings.

As the documentary goes, Macaulee and Kasha Cassady had a high school project back in the late 2000’s after they witnessed their grandparents discovery of the Internet, and they started a program to help other seniors get online. They ended up setting up a group, recruited friends to help teach the seniors, and their sister, Director Saffron Cassaday, started filming the sessions. The documentary keys in on a few of the seniors, their mentors, the elder’s challenges in understanding the concept of the Internet with the youngin’s challenges in finding ways to help point the elders in the right directions, and the excitement of discovery as the elders realize their is another world out there beyond the walls of the retirement home by becoming part of their families everyday lives again.

The training progress showing everything from just turning on a laptop, to using webcams and Skype, even to online dating, while the movie concludes with a contest amongst the seniors, namely to see who can be the biggest “YouTube” star amongst them. Their worlds open up again, and it’s a joy to see.

The beauty in training seniors is that they rarely have a governor any longer, and some of the best moments in the documentary are times when the seniors don’t hold back about people’s looks and their opinions on life, and while some are a little hesitant at first, worrying that if they unfriend someone on Facebook that said “unfriend” will come and attack them, eventually, once they see the benefits, they love it.

All in all it’s a nice documentary about the youngins helping the oldins learn how to get online. There is a little bit of a side story as Macaulee and her grandfather came down with cancer during filming which kind of took the story off the rails a bit, and things dragged a tad as we came to the YouTube contest, but the touching commentary by Ebert Hobbs on having a purpose in life long past your retirement is both poignant and a nice ending to the movie.

A fun look at the old folks learning about technology and it’s 3 1/2 stars out of 5 for “Cyber-Seniors.” If you’ve ever tried to help an elder learn about technology you can relate to the patience the mentors have, but mostly you can relate to the joy when the senior finally “gets it.”

On a side note, if you are interested more about the movie, want to be a mentor or cyber-senior, be sure to check out the the Cyber-Seniors website.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Ernie Banks – Lets Play Two

Cubs  Opening Day 2008With the passing of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, as much as I thought he seemed like a nice guy, I don’t recall ever seeing, or reading, in the social media world, such an outpouring of support and kindness for a person. I’m sure there are some “Glad he’s gone,” posts somewhere, but it seemed everyone loved the guy, or at least respected his contribution to baseball. Sure, there were the normal, celebrity remembrances, but across my Facebook friends, people I grew up with in Ohio whom I wouldn’t have imagined really knew who he was, were there posting “Rest in Peace” comments, “He will be missed,” and even the White Sox fans, who are supposed to despise with all of their being anything Cub, had nice things to say. The other thing? Most of them had an Ernie Banks story. There were the stories of meeting him at a Cubs Convention, in an airport, on the street, and I’m sure there was someone regaling to his friends how he took a pee next to Ernie Banks in a bathroom somewhere.

And yes, even I have an Ernie Banks story.

Cubs Opening Day 2008I never did meet the man, though from everything everyone has posted I’m sure he would have been nice to me, but my story relates to his statue that is currently being tidied up for the next Cubs season and not available for fans to lay flowers, or other mementos, out of respect for him. It was back in 2008, another Cubs Opening Day with kind of crappy weather, but it was the official unveiling of the Ernie Banks statue. I wrote about it in a blog post at the time, and remember it to this day, because his saying, “Let’s play two!”, was synonymous with Cubs baseball, was spelled wrong. There, for eternity, or at least until it could be corrected, on the base of the statue, was an English teacher’s nightmare, “Lets play two.” Silly me, I didn’t take a picture of it, instead just some pictures of the crappy weather, but it’s one of those thing you look at and might wonder “Is that correct? I mean, it’s on the statue?” Sure enough, the apostrophe was added, all was right with the Ernie Banks legacy, and me, I at least have the story of seeing his statue with “Let’s” engraved incorrectly.

I’ll admit I’m not always the best at my own editing, that I’ll miss an apostrophe or two, but there’s my Ernie Banks story. It’s not much, and I do wish I would have met him I suppose, but I also wonder: Do you have an Ernie Banks story?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

 

Refrigerator Stickiness

Growing up, well, I suppose not even growing up but just back at home at the old homestead, my mom had all kinds of crap stuck to the refrigerator. Schedules, appointments, maybe the occasional report card, hell, I don’t really remember it all, I just remember there was a lot of stuff on there. It was her version of the pocket organizer, only it involved a lot of magnets and a lovely, brown, refrigerator. Refrigerators have come a long way since then, especially in color (good luck finding a brown refrigerator on the floor of your local appliance store), as well in features, but one thing that still seems to be sort of a status quo, at least for people I know is there is stuff stuck to them.

I know some of the new stainless refrigerators won’t let magnets stick, but there are tons of ways to get around that with a variety of sticky solutions to the posting of your child’s latest artwork. Our current refrigerator is also a kind of hodgepodge of stuff (and my wife might kill me for posting the picture), but it includes a little magnet of Chicago, some magnets of vegetables, a nice saying about God, and a giant calendar we received from our local church, complete with an advertisement for a funeral home to remind of our final destination that will come eventually. There are also these magnetic hooks that aren’t really strong enough to hold much, yet there they are, but oddly none of the photos she had up at our old house made the move, or at least made it up on the refrigerator yet.

There are some people who prefer a clean slate if you will, no clutter, no magnets, no sticky-tack, and although not the daily organizer my mom had, it does make me happy that my wife likes stuff on the fridge. It also makes wonder: Do you have anything stuck to your refrigerator?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!