Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review of Between Love & Goodbye

Let’s begin with how I discovered Between Love & Goodbye. Between Love & Goodbye was released in 2008 but I just saw it today. I saw the movie title on Logo TV so I clicked on the INFO button to see what the movie was about. The summary read:  “When two young men meet and fall in love at first sight, they hatch a scheme to keep one of them, a Frenchman, in the United States by way of marriage.” I saw that summary and thought that I would be in for a good love story so I dvr’d it. 

I decided to watch the movie today and I quickly discovered that the summary was incomplete. The movie was not about the scheme to keep the Frenchman in America. That scheme took place within the first fifteen minutes. The rest of the movie was a lesson in what happens when love goes bad.

The movie upset me. It exacerbated the shortcomings of both lovers (Kyle and Marcel) then it had the nerve to end in a way that pissed me off even more. It took me a few minutes to decompress and realize that it wasn’t a bad movie. Between Love & Goodbye aggravated me and irritated me but I kind of felt like that was the point. Sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile oneself with the aftermath of love.
 The official movie description (on Amazon Instant Video) reads:

Kyle and Marcel are in love at first sight. Marcel, who is from France, marries his lesbian friend Sarah so he can stay in the US with Kyle. Enter Kyle’s sister, April, a former prostitute who needs a place to crash. Taking a quick disliking to Marcel, April methodically drips poison into their happiness. But where Marcel sees a conniving woman with a not-so-hidden agenda, Kyle only sees his sister in need. The perfect couple falls headlong into possessiveness, jealousy and rage; trapped in the tangled emotions found in that space between love and goodbye.

That summary is a much better description of the movie. Between Love & Goodbye is a painful look at what can happen to a seemingly good relationship. Kyle and Marcel each have their own issues and April only makes things worse. April wants Kyle for herself. As an outsider, it’s easy to see how April manipulates Kyle, but it’s also easy to see how Kyle is blinded by his bond with April and that he doesn’t see how toxic she is until it’s too late. 

I spent most of the movie pulling for Kyle and Marcel. I wanted Kyle to wake up and see how April was playing him and I wanted Marcel to find a way to be gentler with his tone. Somewhere along the lines, things changed. I reached a point where I thought their relationship was beyond repair. There are only so many nasty comments that any relationship can take and Kyle and Marcel quickly reached their limit and then repeatedly crossed the line. 

Between Love & Goodbye is the classic ‘nobody wins’ story. If you’re looking for happily ever after then don’t waste your time, but if you’re looking to watch a loving relationship fall to pieces before your eyes then this is the story for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mea Culpa – Lusty Eye Candy is no More

I recently read two articles about the illegal use of photographs. The articles were very informative. I was shocked to learn that I may have infringed on someone else’s copyright. I started Lusty Eye Candy because I noticed a few other bloggers had similar things. When it comes to blogging, I tend to be more of a follower than a leader because I don’t know many of the rules. I thought it was enough to give credit to where I found the picture. To avoid copyright issues I went to Tumblr instead of Google Images. In my stupidity, I thought that the people who were posting pictures on Tumblr must have held some kind of rights for those pictures. I saw that pictures could be reblogged and thought it was okay for me to blog a picture too, as long as I acknowledged the Tumblr portfolio that I pulled the picture from. I rationalized that if I selected older images, they would have been on Tumblr long enough to have been noticed if they infringed on anyone’s copyright. I realize now that I am an idiot. Just because the site says that you have to own the rights to anything you post, doesn’t mean people listen and doesn’t mean that the site checks. I thought I was doing the right thing, but now I know that Tumblr is right on par with Google Images.

Tumblr is no YouTube! I post YouTube videos all the time. YouTube is a beast when it comes to copyright. Although I guess in a few years I could be reading about why embedding videos is wrong. I doubt it though because YouTube puts advertisement on pretty much everything so someone’s getting paid every time one of my embedded movies is watched (not me of course, but whatever).

Anyway, I have deleted all of my Lusty Eye Candy posts because I don’t know who owns what and I now know that simply giving credit to where I found the picture is not enough. As my mother would say: “When you know better, you do better.”

I’m sure I probably need to go back through my other posts and check the copyright for some random images that I may have posted over the years. I’m hoping to do that soon, before I forget that it needs to be done.

Below are links to the two articles I read that scared the bejesus out of my broke behind:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review of The Skinny

I recently saw The Skinny. The movie was written and directed by Patrik-Ian Polk.

My one line summary of the movie: Five black former college classmates meet in NYC for the Pride Parade and as with all reunions, drama soon joins the party.

The characters:

Magnus – The star of the movie. He discovers a secret about his boyfriend.
Ryan – The boyfriend.
Kyle – The perpetual playboy.
Sebastian – The unbelievably naïve friend. He has a crush on Kyle.
Langston – The only woman in the group of friends. She is a lesbian who can’t find a girlfriend.
Joey – The male equivalent of Langston. He can’t find a boyfriend.

My Review:

I really liked the movie. I saw a lot of myself in Langston and Joey. Their main problem was that they were too afraid to put themselves out there so they settled for admiring from a distance. 

Kyle’s character confused me. One second he was flirting with Sebastian and the next, he was off with some random guy. He came across as one of those poor souls who are afraid of love and I felt sorry for him.

Sebastian is a member of the group of friends but he comes across as much younger and in desperate need of someone to look out for him. For a second, I wondered if people were really that innocent at his age, then I thought of a few people who reminded me of him. Some people really are too naïve for their own good.

As for Magnus, well, well, well, Jussie Smollett has grown up! I always wondered what happened to the Smollett family. With the exception of Jurnee, most of them seem to keep a low profile. I don’t know what Jussie has been doing but he needs to get back in front of the camera and stay there. It felt kind of weird to look at him as he is now while remembering him as a child. At first I felt a bit perverted, but I googled him and had a good laugh when I discovered that he’s my age so it’s okay for me to admire the man who he grew up to be.

There were a few storyline issues that I thought could have been dealt with better, but nothing major.

On a superficial note, I thought the cast was beautiful. There was variety in their looks yet each was cute in their own way. 

This is definitely a movie you can watch without regretting it afterwards. As for the overall rating, I think the movie is a solid B+

I have noticed that this video goes directly to full screen (at least for me). If you can't enter your birthday in the full screen mode, just press Esc and enter it in the small box. You can go back to full screen.

Without further ado, here it is:

The Skinny

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Morning for Subtlety

After a week of focusing on other people, I finally had an opportunity to spend a little time on me this morning. The first thing I did was end my procrastination and make some of my books available on Nook. Starving for Love, And Eat it Too, and Bump This will soon be available on Nook. Yay!

In other news, this morning has been a lesson in subtle differences.

The second thing I did was inform Goodreads that not all of my books have been properly linked to my author page. The problem: books listed under L.T. Ville are automatically linked to my author page, but books listed under LT Ville are not. Yes, you’re seeing it correctly. Without the periods, the only way to link the books to my author page is to get the Goodreads librarians to do it for me. Is it me or is that weird? Shouldn’t L.T. Ville and LT Ville be the same person unless otherwise noted?

The third thing I did was what any self-respecting author does from time to time: I googled myself. Well actually, I googled something that often pops up in the auto complete section when I google myself. Anyway, I was surprised to find, that at least a few minutes ago, if you go to Amazon and search the books for “self-mutilation” Starving for Love is number 1. If you go to Amazon and search the books for “self mutilation” Starving for Love isn’t even on the first page, instead it’s three pages in and ranked at number 31. I’m not complaining, because who knows how long I’ll be in the top 100 for either, but I am wondering how a hyphen could make such a major difference in placement.

Status: Wondering if I’ll notice any other subtle differences today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

LT Ville’s Free Promotion Weekend

I released a new book this weekend! And Eat it Too is a love story. It’s about giving in to temptation and being surprised by what you find. In celebration of the new release, I am making three of my old stories free for Saturday and Sunday. This is the first time that I have done a "big” promotion, so I’m a little excited.

The free stories are: Before Dinner, Regifting and The Gift of Air. I have blurbs about each story below. Click on the book title to go directly to its page on Amazon.

The new release:

And Eat it Too

After being caught with his pants down, Jarvin Lynch makes a promise to his father that he will swear off men. Jarvin focuses his energy on his dream of playing in the NBA. He goes a whole year without being intimate with a man. Then he meets Marcus. Marcus is sex on legs and probably as close to irresistible as any man can be. Jarvin does his best to stay away from Marcus, but his best isn’t good enough. Marcus corners Jarvin in his room and Jarvin gives in to temptation. Once Jarvin has a taste, all he wants is more. Can Jarvin have his cake and eat it too?

The old stories aka the FREE for the weekend (July 14-15) stories:

Before Dinner

Marge allowed her husband to chase away their fifteen year old son, Johnny, because he was gay. Twenty years later, Marge still agonizes over the decision. Johnny comes home and Marge is forced to deal with all of her family’s secrets.


Nathan is being sexually abused by his father. This short story is told from Nathan’s perspective. Nathan is 18 years old and struggling to come to terms with his secret. An incident at a movie theater becomes the catalyst for change in Nathan’s life.

The Gift of Air

Paul’s best friend, Mark, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The diagnosis forces them to admit their true feelings for each other. Mark’s condition gradually deteriorates and eventually Mark is sent to a long term care facility. At the facility, Paul meets Ronnie, a young man who has been in Paul’s shoes before. The two young men find solace in each other and develop a friendship that begins to raise the eyebrows of the people around them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If Ever There Was a Time to Buy American…

I try not to go off on tangents, but I read something today that really bothered me. I don’t have a problem with the fact that some of America’s Olympic athletes were made in other countries, but I do have a problem with the American uniform for the Opening night ceremonies being made in China. That’s right, the uniform that the AMERICAN athletes are going to wear in the Opening Ceremonies will not be American made. What the hell is that about? Are there no American factories that were capable of producing the outfits? I’m sure most American clothing factories would have been excited to receive that order. I understand that it’s a business decision and that I don’t know anything about business, but I’m from Cleveland, so I know a lot about loyalty. The American Olympians will be holding the American flag while wearing a uniform that was designed by an American, but made in China. I’ve never supported the “Buy American” movement because people are often misguided as to which products are more American than others but in this case, I’m going to make an exception. How could the people who made this decision not buy American? Did they not realize that you can’t slap an American name on it and call it American? That’s just as disgraceful as the Fords that are made in Mexico. I’m almost tempted to ask where the American flags that will be used during the Opening Ceremony were made, but I’m afraid that I might not like the answer.

Here is the official preview picture of the uniforms:

Disclaimer: As I said previously, I’m not involved in the “Buy American” movement. I don’t look at where a product is made before I buy it, because I’m not that concerned with it. I don’t care if the outfits that the athletes wear on the other days aren’t made in America, but Opening Night should be an all American blackout. Everything the athletes have on (minus the hair for some of the ladies) should be American made.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Difference Between Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean

This week, I read two very different stories about coming out. There was Anderson Cooper’s email and Frank Ocean’s letter. I will admit that I thought it was common knowledge that Anderson was gay so I was shocked by the reaction that his email received. 

Anderson is a journalist through and through so I wasn’t surprised by the tone of his email. His email read like an article and was very matter of fact even down to the most significant sentence: “The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.” I understood Anderson’s dilemma about coming out. His sexual orientation is his personal business. It shouldn’t be important, but it is. As Anderson put it, “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted.” Now the rumors are over and there is no need for speculation. Anderson Cooper has stood up to be counted as a gay man. 

As for Frank Ocean. If you haven’t read his letter, then you need to read it (click here for the letter). It is one of the most beautiful letters that I have ever read. He’s a song writer, so his letter reads like poetry. It tells a story and paints a picture and takes you there with him. I was touched by his words. At one point in the letter, Frank writes, “I’d hear his conversation and his silence.” I wished I was at a poetry reading so I could give him snaps for that line. I felt it. I was with him from there. Whether Frank is gay or bisexual wasn’t really clear to me at the end of the letter. I got the message that he fell in love with a guy and realized that he had not been in love before that, but either way, his letter was sweet and seemed heartfelt. I’m not a big fan of his, but my sister used to play out one of his songs. I posted that song below:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lusty’s Review of “Savages”

I saw an advance screening of “Savages” last night. The trailers are fairly accurate about the content of the movie. Two guys, Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch), run a drug business. Ben is a peace loving tree hugger out to save the world and Chon is a violent veteran out to protect said tree hugger. In layman terms: Ben is the brains and Chon is the brawn. The two guys share one girl, Ophelia (Blake Lively), who goes by the nickname O. O is the narrator of the story.

Plot Overview: 

The Mexican Baja Cartel wants a piece of Ben and Chon’s weed business. Ben and Chon don’t want to partner with the cartel, so the leader of the cartel, Elena, has O (Ben and Chon’s lover) kidnapped. Ben and Chon will do anything to get O back. They hatch a plan to rescue O and the bloodshed goes up a few notches. Ben and Chon eventually discover Elena’s weakness and they exploit her weakness in order to save O.  

My Reaction to the Movie:

I was a bit turned off by the beginning of the movie. There was quite a bit of sex and since I knew very little about the characters at that point, it was more like watching soft porn than watching a regular movie. I’m not complaining about seeing Chon’s ass or Ben’s ass but it objectified them so quickly that it took me a few minutes to adjust back to the movie and stop looking at them and thinking naughty thoughts. I’m sure most people won’t have that problem, but the sex and the nudity at the beginning was terribly distracting for me.

Once I settled in to the story, I was struck by the fact that Ben is so much cuter with dreads than with wavy hair. The dreads made him look tougher and sexier. He looked too peaceful with the wavy hair; although that was probably the reason for the change.

Exhibits A and B:

Ben with dreads

Ben with wavy hair

The movie trailers paint Ben and Chon as innocent drug dealers who are pushed to violence because their girl is kidnapped. In the actual movie, Ben and Chon aren’t so innocent.

Each of the major characters is a combination of good and bad, except Lado, Elena's muscle, played by Benicio Del Toro. I didn’t see one redeeming quality about Lado. Even Elena (Salma Hayek) with her twisted logic and brutal orders has redeeming qualities. 

 Most Annoying Thing About the Movie:

The characters kept giving their definitions of “savages.” I would have preferred to draw my own conclusion about the title's connection to the movie.

My Reaction to the End Without Spoiling the Movie:

I didn’t like the end of the movie. For starters, I don’t like “gotcha” type endings. I’m just not a fan. I also thought that more people should have ended up dead. 

Overall Grade: B

Once I got on board with the story, I liked the journey; I just didn’t like the destination.