Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sud Pralad (Thai) [Tropical Malady]

What an utter piece of garbage this was. I mean common. You can’t just make anything in the same of visual masterpiece. In my opinion this is the height of self-indulgence. What use is a film, if only 10 people are going to watch it? I just read that when it was screened at Cannes, people left the screening and then boo-ed it but then later it was given jury prize and suddenly everyone started praising the film. This is just ridiculous.

Keng is a soldier assigned to a post in a small city in rural Thailand. Everyone likes him in the village but his heart is set on Tong, who he meets in a truck in the village. They start blossoming a friendship which slowly turns into romance. They have a connection between them and we just see the two guys taking random country trips and walking along jungles and killing time. Then suddenly film shifts into a second act, following some ancient Thai fairy tale. Tong has now disappeared and is believed to have become a ghost tiger. We then suffer through 45-ish minutes of Keng wandering around jungle looking for this spirit. This spirit of Tong taunts and bedevils the soldier, causing him to run through the woods and become lost and isolated himself.

The pace of this film is a major flaw. A languidly paced film does not always equal a soulful, moving film experience. I had to fast forward pretty much the entire second half of the film because there wasn’t anything happening. I do not need to watch a soldier wandering off in jungles for 45 minutes to understand whats going on. The same feat can be easily achieved in 5 minutes. This is not art. This is torture. Tong was good as a shy man who is getting all the attention from a soldier but Keng as a soldier did nothing for me. His body language and his voice were so bad. I just don’t wanna go on and on on how bad this film is and how utterly waste of your time it will be.

I really doubt, how and why are there positive comments abut this film. People need to get a life. (1/10)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

To Catch A Killer (Canada/USA)

Ok, so this is not a gay themed movie, per say, but the fact that it chronicles the true gruesome story of a homosexual serial killer who killed almost 30 young boys after sexually molesting them, makes it for a contender here. This was a made for TV film. At length of almost 3 hours, it doesn’t get boring because you are waiting to find what will the cops do to nail this criminal.

When a local teenager Chris Gant disappears in Des Plaines, detective Joe, is assigned to the case. His initial investigation makes him believe that local businessman John Gacy might have something to do with the disappearance. He assigns a team to find out evidences but almost overtime their evidences are found to be circumstantial and hence an arrest is never made. Things get worse, when he threatens to sue the police department and Joe for almost million dollars. Also everyone, including joe’s boss thinks that Gacy is innocent and is a respectable member of the society. Gacy and Joe then begin a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse as they both try to manipulate each other. Detective Joe is personally very invested in this case because he feels something is wrong. Eventually more evidences are gathered and after securing a second search warrant for Gacy’s house; they eventually find out not one but many many bodies buried under his basement. Gacy is charged with the rape and murder of 33 boys and young men and convicted, being sentenced to death.

Although it is quite an old movie and the production values show that, but the subject is quite relevant even today. Macy’s performance is simply superb as the respectable yet menacing man who is out for some mischief. We feel the pain that Chris’ parents go through. Thankfully, most details surrounding Gacy's crimes were left out. The sole focus was on how did the detectives go about nabbing the criminal, including tricks to make him break down. We don’t see any violence, gore, killing in the film. It is left to the viewer's imagination as to what happened to Gacy's defenseless victims. This film is not for thrill, rather it is more  semi-documentary style thats meant to show the evils of some of the respectable members of our society.

A terrifying film when you think of everything that a single man did to 30 plus teenage boys. A true crime representation. (6/10)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Secrets Of The Gay Sauna (Documentary) (UK)

Yes the title is very attractive and immediately catches your attention as a viewer but do not be fooled by the title. It is clearly chosen to attract more viewership on television.  Amore apt and suitable title would have been “Inside a Gay Sauna”. Just adding the word ‘Secrets’ makes it much more appealing to attract more audience and higher viewership on Television. This is made for TV documentary focussed on CS2, a popular sauna in Nottingham U.K.

For most of us gays, a gay sauna is not an unfamiliar term. But outside the community, not many may be aware of its existence, let alone what happens inside a gay sauna, commonly also known as “gentlemen’s relaxation zone”. People can tell you whatever stories, but men usually visit these sauna for one and only one motive; sex. Yes there are showers, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room but there are also dark rooms, sleeping rooms, porn room, glory holes, sling room and what not !! The documentary follows the gay couple John & Joe who run CS2 and who have been in an open relationship ever since they can remember. They also do not remember when was the last time they both had sex with each other. To make it more sappy, we are also witnessed to one of them proposing to the other for a wedding (which for me was clearly for the sake of this documentary). We also meet Narvel, man in his late 60s who is pretty much addicted to sauna and the idea of casual random sex. We also hear his partner’s views who has never been into saunas. Over the course of this 50 minute documentary, we will find out that for John and Joe, ‘owning a sauna is a lifestyle choice. They both are more than happy to mix business with pleasure’. We also meet the cleaner who has been working there for 6 years and happens to be a straight man. He doesn’t have anything against gay men but at the same time he is quite uncomfortable admitting to anyone that he works in a gay sauna.

The title sounds more titilating and raunchy but the documentary is not. It takes you inside sauna, walks you through the premise and shows us perspectives of owners, workers/cleaners and of one of the frequent visitors of the place. As a gay viewer, nothing may seem new information to you but the documentary may (just may) succeed in shocking some people in what actually happens inside a gay sauna. (4.5/10)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Gay Short Films : 36

Hofesh Hagdol (Israel) [Summer Vacation]
A family is on  vacation when the unexpected happens. Yuval is enjoying with his wife and kids when suddenly because of water pressure, he needs help getting out of sand. This is when his ex-lover arrives and saves him. Has he just saved him from bring buried or will he also save him from the suffocation of a pretentious straight married life, when truly is gay and struggling to come to terms with it.  Leaving an open ending for viewers to interpret as to what happens, but I really enjoyed the way and sensitivity with which the subject has been handled. I loved this short film. Acting, direction and story were brilliant. This has a potential of making into a full length features film on this subject by extending the story. (8/10)

Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall (USA)
If you think business decisions are made strictly on the basis of profit and loss, you need to see this short little film. When our hero Cal is looking for a job, he is advised by a friend that everything happens by making contacts. An all male dance hall is the place where everyone goes. The film highlights the politics of the dancehall in the same way as making contacts in the business world. And as what happens in the corporate world, most of us of us dance to the tune that is chosen by those with power. I am amazed to know that this film won an Oscar for best short film in 1987. (7/10)

I quit (USA)
Finn Page, a 20 years old guy has recently ended his first relationship. However, he’s not dealing with it very well. He resolves that quitting dating is the only option to prevent his heart from breaking again. Now, its up to his friends to convince him that sitting on the sidelines won’t make him happy. And one of those friends may also happen to like him but Finn would have nothing of it. Following arguments, Finn realises that his friends only want the best for him. Shot in Philadelphia, it was like going back into memories for me. (6/10)

Anochecer (Argentina) [Nightfall]
When two guys move in together and the night falls, its time to face the first step of mutual attraction.

Spasibo (France)
Clément, a French actor, goes to Saint Petersburg to participate in a films festival. When he gets there, he realizes he has disappeared: nobody can hear him and see him. He meets Andrei, a Russian gay who lives the same thing. This film was made as a reaction to the censorship of a gay short film in Parisian season’s festival in St. Petersburg. The film denounces the social invisibility who are reduced homosexuals in Russia. The film is marked by urgency and spontaneity in which it was made. Spasibo means ‘Thank You’ in Russian. (6/10)

Félix et le Poisson (Mexico) [Félix and The Fish]
Felix is a young lonely guy. One day he finds a finds a young man by the beach, unconscious who hardly speaks anything. He takes him home to take care of him, he then realizes he has scales on his back. Is he a mermaid (manman). This guy loves water and feels close to it and happy but Felix now fears that he will go back and may never return again. He goes back between reality and dream, where one moment the merman is with him, whereas, the other moment he is not. Interesting concept but amateur acting and lame direction in my opinion. (4/10)

Calogero - J'ai le droit aussi [I Also Have the Right]
A music video of a teenager’s obsession with his friend and imagining him kissing the boy under various circumstances.

Naděje (Czech Republic) [Hope]
A poignant film about hope and survival. A young man is dying of AIDS and just can’t it any more. He wants to die but of course his mother wouldn’t let. When his estranged father visits, they dwell on the past. Father apologise for disowning him and he didn’t mean. And he was the proudest man, overtime the son would win a race. So, the question is if he didn’t give up throughout his life while racing, why giveup now when its time to die. He needs to fight for it. A sad tale and excellent direction and acting. This again has the potential to be treated as a longer duration film with some background on characters and what happens to the family after he is gone. (6/10)

What Grown-Ups Know (USA)
After splitting from her husband, Roy’s mother takes his car and leaves home with her son Roy but they are struggling to make ends meet with dead end jobs and fleeing out of motels in middle of night. A chance encounter with a man in public toilet makes him realise he might be gay. He then recognises him again as the owner of the caravan park where Roy and his mother have settled in. Roy wants the man but what does the man think of him. Probably a son, who was taken away form him years ago? or something more? When the mother wants to leave, Roy goes back to manager but comes back devastated and rejected just like Roy’s mother was from his father. Great acting and superb story and direction. Could use some production polishing. (7/10)

En Compagnie de la poussière (Luxembourg) [With the dust]
At the frontier between youth and adulthood, François is in love with Michel. Michel doesn’t seem to care. The arrival of Alice, a capricious young woman, threatens to disturb this strange balance. I am not quite sure of who was the dead body in the morgue and which among the two friends was now dealing with it, but it seems like it was Michel who had now become a doctor. I wish that was a bit clear. But apart from that. I think the film and the story had potential, but I personally did not understand bits and pieces of the film. (6/10)

Benny’s Gym (Norway)
Alfred is a teenager who gets bullied all the time by Benny and his friends, who beat him up. But when Benny is alone and spends time with Alfred, he is a different lad. The high school bully shares his secrets, his fears and hopes with the unpopular kid. An outlandish bond takes place between them. In high school, Benny keeps ignoring Alfred, but when they're together everything is different. One night, Benny kisses Alfred passionately. Alfred acts surprised but he had been longing for such a moment. When the bullying continues by Benny’s friends, will Benny just be a ute spectator or expose himself before the eyes of the others to save Alfred because the possibility of losing Alfred forever is more than he can bear. (7/10)

Antes de Palavras (Brazil) [Before Words]
A fragmented account of the growing attraction between Celio and Dario; two classmates who are brought together by a series of serendipitous encounters and their own naive curiosity. It is Celio’s girlfriend Sofia, who realises even before the boys that there may be some karmic connection between the two boys who want read the books that the other one is reading and also they both listen to the same music. She is the one to decipher the feelings she knows exists between the two boys. Absolutely brilliant short film. Great directorial debut and brilliant acting. Please please make a full length feature on this keeping the same sensitivity of the characters intact. (9/10)

Alguma Coisa Assim (Brazil) [Something Like That]
Caio and Mari, two teenagers are discovering Sao Paulo' s night. Something unexpected may just occur when Caio would realise he is probably gay and break Maris’s heart. Little did Mari know that her joke up pairing Caio up with a guy would lead to this.

Friday, July 24, 2015

La Chatte À Deux Têtes (French) [Porn Theatre]

Was this is artsy film or was it just something else in the name of soft-porn; these are the arguments we can all have and never come to a conclusion. The makers could also argue that this is a study of human psyche. In either case, does this film provide anything for a viewer? Different people look for different things when they come to watch a movie. Thankfully, when I watch a movie, I try to not watch it with expectation and hoping to be offered something interesting. Unfortunately this film failed to do so.

We look at this old worn out porn theatre in Paris. It shows only straight pornography for a clientele of men of various types: military men, straight men look for gay sex, married men in need of exploration of their senses, transvestites, old men for whom such places provide the only sexual outlet, and the regulars who spend their evenings in the dingy darkened atmosphere for anonymous sex. The theatre is run by a single 40-ish lady, who by now has seen every aspect of sexuality and nothing surprises her. The film focuses mostly on her talks with the young straight projectionist where they are getting to know one another. Another piece of the puzzle is this regular visitor who the lady knows. During the course of the film the cashier manages to discuss her open views of sexuality with these two men and the three of them seem headed for a communal experience. And of course between all this, a major part of the film focuses on various acts happening inside the theatre. Bathroom group encounters, Transexuals, approaches and rejections and quick satisfactions. A lot of man-on-man action and a lot of nudity between them, qualifies for the film to feature on my blog.

Let’ be honest, the film does not provide entertainment but sparingly enough it make you a voyeurs into life of these people watching porn. We are curious know whats gonna happen to each of these people. While the interaction between the characters is touching, and their openness with one another seems genuine, the viewer cannot help but feel unnerved by the lack of sexual scruples of the audience members. As I mentioned above, it can be argued whether it is porn or art but these days anything can be made into a film. This was not a boring film but then at the same time, nothing much really happens. If you enjoy voyeurism, then you may enjoy it. For me, some of the happenings inside the movie theatre were way too long and I was hoping something more substantial to happen. But instead, we watch the regular ongoings and interactions between people, which to be hones, I expect is what really happens. The film doesn’t unnecessarily sensationalise it.

It is not entertaining but its not boring either. I personally could classify it as an artsy fartsy fair, a little too much on one side of the spectrum, which is not really my cup of tea. (4/10)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Boys of St. Vincent - Part 1 & 2 (Canada)

Horror, disgusting and unbeleivabale are some of the phrases that come to mind after you are done watching this 2 part mini-series / made for TV movie. Having been made in 1992, I can only imagine, how difficult would it have been to get it broadcast without repercussions. Based on some real life child sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, This is actually a 2 part film. The first film, "The Boys of St. Vincent", covers the sexual and physical abuse of a number of orphans by Brothers. The second film, "The Boys of St. Vincent: 15 Years Later", covers the trial of the Brothers that happens 15 years later as the title suggests.

Brother Lavin and 10-year old Kevin Reevey form the central protagonists of the story. St Vincent’s Orphanage is run by All Saint Brothers led by Brother Lavin. Their authority is overwhelming both physically and sexually. Brother Lavin fancies Kevin and sexually abuses him on multiple occasions including beating him up badly a couple of times. Another child Steven who is abused regularly also had a elder brother Brian in same orphanage. When a janitor complains, a detective takes the matter in hand and starts investigations when horrifying secrets are revealed. But the events are concealed and hushed by authorities, both fro the church and the judicial system. Brother Lavin leaves the church and a report is prepared minus any sexual references. First part ends with Kevin and Steve back in orphanage to deal with more. The second part moves 15 year sin future. Laving is now married with 2 kids and the case is suddenly re-opened and he is arrested. Kevin is now a young man but still haunted by his past. He refuses to stand at witness. A public hearing is setup for the case. Justice department, social services and church; they are all questioned. You still don’t see any regret in Lavin’s eyes. At the suggestion of the lawyer, Lavin starts seeing a psychiatrist and we get to know more about his past. But even still he has no regrets. He still believes it was his love for Kevin that made him do these things. Steven is also a grown up man but is now a drug addict. He is destroyed by the defence advocate, who reveals that he abused seven-year-old boys at the orphanage when he was 16. He dies of overdose which gives courage to Kevin to come out of his shell and testify against Lavin. His fate is left unanswered at the end for us viewers, even as we are left wondering like his wife, as to whether he ever molested his own two young sons.

These 2 part series is a highly powerful series. It is not a easy subject to watch. and even more difficult is to direct the subject with sensitivity and I think the makers did a splendid job. Acting by everyone is pretty good. Brother Lavin is pitiful yet vicious and ver dangerous at the same time. All child actors are superb. I am glad the sexual abuse scenes are now eroticised but at the same time, enough is shown for the viewers to know what exactly is happening. As hard and disturbing it is to watch this film, I think it i important for parents to watch this. The issue should not be hidden. We need to acknowledge and do something about this. At 90 minutes length of each part, this doesn’t fee stretched un necessarily. You feel exactly what the kids must be going through. The parts where the kids are playing also show that they did have some real child moments at times when they were not fearing getting abused by someone.

A disturbing film dealing with very unpleasant issue that some people would rather forget about. I highly recommend watching it. (8/10)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Eat With Me

A gay them film that also enters around food is pretty rare, so in that context kudos to the film makers for making this. But then, in all essence the primary theme about he film is not about being gay. Promoted as maybe a rom-com for a gay couple, the prime focus is actually on the protagonist’s mother here. The film is more about acceptance, both for parents and kids. A film that focuses on the bonds between mother and son, husband and wife and also the fragility of a more fledgling relationship.

Emma has woken up to the realisation that she is in a lacklustre marriage. She only knows how to add spice to her life in one way, by squirting it from a bottle of hot sauce. The rest of her life is cushy but bland. When she needs the space, she moves in, unannounced with her gay son at his LA apartment. Elliot, is a cook, running his uncle’s restaurant. Emma’s relationship with him are  bit strained Emma’s inability to come to terms with Elliot’s sexuality. It’s not that she disapproves, she just doesn’t get it. So now they are living together but with awkwardness. Tense unspoken moments. Feeling lonely, Emma accidentally befriends the lady next door Maureen who's so eccentric that Emma's way over her head. When Elliot meets smart, funny and loving Ian, sparks fly and they both want more but something about his mother stops Elliot from pursuing things. Plus he is struggling to keep his restaurant open due to lack of payment of six months mortgage. Unable to communicate with words, they use the medium of food as a common ground. There is the possibility that the business can be saved, if only Elliot is willing to admit he needs help, which he seems unable to do. Finally things fall in place when Emma slowly gets educated about what being gay is, accepts her son for who he is along with his status quo with Ian. With right support from family and friends, together the mother and son just might be able to save the restaurant.

The film is no great shakes. It is a feelgood film with a strong ensemble cast and high production values. It’s sweet without being sappy. The awkward relationship that Elliot and Gemma share is something that a lot of people will relate to. It is freakishly real, which means that makers have done a good job of capturing the acting potential of individuals. Elliot’s struggle between doing the right thing for restaurant vs his mom vs Ian is real. Its important to address that the characters are Chinese American, where the family culture is important. It is because of family values, that elliott’s priority for his mother will always be higher than hi love for Ian. Emma is outstanding in this role. Her scenes with the neighbour Maureen are the highlights of the film and bring in much relief to the proceedings. The film never gets boring. But then at the same time, it is never explained, how doing one evening of dumplings will save the restaurant from 6 months of non-payment within a week. Also if Elliott enjoys cooking, why hasn’t he already broadened his skills and change the menu and bring some spice. Keeping these things aside, the film is easy and smooth.

It is a film for anyone that shares a love of food, a will to endure and also the capacity to love. Someone who cares for their family as much as they do for their love. (6.5/10)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Big Gay Love

“Big Gay Love”, a phrase that you will hear way too many times during the course of this film, is a film about a overweight gay man coming to terms with loving and accepting himself the way he is, while also trying to find true love of his life. The concept is quite interesting and the film constantly kept reminding me of someone I know, but still there is a lot missing in the film to make it a good comedy.

Bob, a man in mid-30’s is a successful party planner and is doing well for himself but he is not too happy. He is very conscious of how he looks and believing that no one could ever fall in love with him. A thought that would soon change, when he meets a chef Andrew Darcy at one of the parties that Bob has planned. Andrew is not only good looking but is also nice guy, level-headed and is very curious about Bob. Because of his own insecurities, Bob cannot fathom why someone like Andy would be interested in him. He just fails to see that a hot man can also look something beyond physical appearances (as hard as it is to believe). Subsquent scenes follow, which follow the pattern of Bob self-loafing and wondering why Andy is with him and doubting and suspecting on Andy. The paranoia of maybe he broke up with Bob o maybe he set with someone else, just doesn’t leave him. His gym rat best buddies (stereotypical gay queens) and his once upon time pin-up-model mother doesn’t help much. Andrew can’t take it anymore when Bob accuses him of cheating, only to be seen that it is Bob who ends up cheating on Andy. The misunderstandings are ultimately cleared but Andy makes it clear that it doesn’t man they are back together. They will have to start from beginning at a place where Bob will have to love himself, be confident about himself and then appreciate having someone like Andy in his life.

A lot of things and characters do not make sense; but do we really care? Bob’s fabulous friends, the gay couple, are amazingly supportive of him but why the change is heart (or it seems like) when Bob actually finds Andy in life. Th mother’s character is funny but it is a two-dimensional character that contributes nothing useful to the story at all. Bob acts well but he seems to have this tired worn-out expressions on his face most of the time. The film has some forced and awkward moments like Andy recognising Bob’s mother. Another problem is that the film doesn’t have a smooth flow. It just moves form point A to B. Having said all that, the film is not bad. It doesn’t become boring at any point and the length of the film is just right to keep the interest alive. For whatever reason, the film is shot 80% at night time or in dark rooms, which I found was very disturbing, at least to me.

Nothing extraordinary about this film. I was expecting much worse somehow because of the cheesy title but it was strictly time-pass. (5/10)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gay Short Films : 35

All these are quick short films, most about 2-4 minutes.

100 crushes chapter 6 - They (Canada) - A bad animation introducing concept of addressing as pronouns rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’.

By way of love (USA) - A man discovers his lover has found another prompting him to enact upon a deeper, darker side of human nature.

Cruising Electric (USA) - A commercial for a cruising game Based on Al Pacino’s film.

Dunkin Love (USA) - A musical interlude between a trans and a man

Europe is Our Playground (Spain) - Suede music With a naked main jungle

Franz (Dominican Republic) - No dialogue. A naked man reliving his past love in dreams.

Golden Age of Hustlers (USA) - Interviews with Bambi Lake and archival projections from San Franscisco’s queer community in the 1980s.

Kahanne Bez Mežaў (Byelorussia) - 2 couples - one gay and one straight. Their delicate romance.

Maricón (Spain) - A young, aggressive-looking man wakes up at 3:00 a.m., lights a cigarette, throws on his clothes and goes out for the hunt.

Straight White Men (USA) - An experimental short that deals with stereotypes.

Último beso, El (Spain) [The Last Kiss] - After the break-up, he heartbroken lover gets his last kiss in a way that wasn’t expected by anyone.

Flames of passion (UK) - A doctor falls in love with a man in a train station after finding a photograph.

Ti sposerò (Italy) - A really great fantastic video showing a gay couple in love from their journey of love to wedding.

Homobros (USA) - A very cute parody of machismo, brotherhood and hombres. Brilliant !!

Honeypot (USA) - A restroom hookup leading to a dancing performance.

Ties that bind me (UK) - Two guy stalking about working out together, while one of them secretly comes out.

Verfuehrung von Engeln, Die (Germany) - A young man cruises through the nightly city. He meets all kinds of people and they all end up in a dim night club.

Work it out (Australia) - On a hot work day, two mechanics are at each others throats. What can they do to work it out?

Jie (China) [Boundary] - A man reliving past to explore boundaries of gay life. Yawn !

L'escale...1938 (France) - A musical where a young priest meets a sailor.

Concerning the events on the bridge (USA) - A brother wants to film his gay brother jumping off the bridge when he cries in pain after the fall.

Compañía (Spain) - In today’s world of rush and racket, keeping the balance between independence and solitude is difficult, for anyone.

Dickson experimental sound film (USA) - A film from 1894 with a man playing violin and 2 men dancing. The film was created to demonstrate a new Thomas Edison machine, the Kinetophone.

First kiss (USA) - A few couple, gay and straight, are brought together for their first kiss with each other.

Just friends (Canada) - A video exploration the theme of ‘Rejection’ in the world of dating. Lets be “just friends”

Oil (UK) - Through the mists of a Sunday morning hangover Richard looks back at a failed relationship.

On all floors (UK) - Stuck in an elevator, when people stat confessing, including a story about a man sleeping with a horse.

Time for change (New Zealand) - An animation film about who will be left standing on a old clock tower. Super brilliant !!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

G&T: Season 2 (Italian) (Web Series)

I was surprised to find that G&T came up with season 2. And it was a pleasant surprise. Although the season 1 had a definite ending, there is always a possibility of introducing new characters and new happenings in the lives of the individuals that can make for an interesting viewing. Although prime focus this time is also on G&T, there are a lot more new characters introduced and thankfully each one of them is given a good character sketch and something to build on. This time there was not a specific ending for the series, and I am expecting a season 3 may follow soon.

The series starts with a shocker when we see that Tommaso & Giulio have broken u and are not staying together. It turns out that at some point Tommaso cheated but we don’t know the details until later. Giulio has now a new boyfriend, a guy with who he has worked for a long time, is a perfect gentleman and had a crush on Giulio from before. Tomes regrets and wants to make things better with Giulio but G doesn’t want to have any of it. Clearly there is tremendous love between the two, but the bond trust has been broken. Giulio’s friend Sara who was dating the bar owner Gianluca, is also not together anymore. Turns out that Sara lost her baby while Gianluca didn’t even know about the pregnancy. She now has a room mate, who she wants to convince herself is gay but he is not. He is actually very cute. Over the course of the series, we see possibility of Sara and Gianluca coming back together but the new guy also fits in as a third wheel very happily. Meanwhile Tommaso’s elder brother is quite jealous of Tommaso’s seriousness about work and is scheming along with Tommaso’s ex girlfriend Serena to get a lot of money from company insurance putting all blame on his brother. They almost succeed towards the end. It turns out that Tommaso just had a kiss with Serena in a drunk state and that was the reason for their break-up. Pretty stupid if you ask him, considering that they were about to get married. Some more interesting new characters are introduced, like Gianluca’s brother who is coming to terms with his sexuality and has left home and is looking for acceptance. Giulio’s parents are back and add a lot to the story. There is a lesbian couple also in the mix and some secrets are revealed about Serena’s past with her parents. Things get better. Trust and re-established when Giulio’s father has heart-attack and he explains to his son what true love is all about. The two get back together but get a shock of their life when cops show up anther door one night arresting Tommaso for the fraud done in their company.

As I mentioned, there is clearly a scope for season 3 here. There are many loose ends like Tommaso’s arrest, Serena’s past, what happens to the company, and Gianluca’s younger brother. Season 2 still had great production values and excellent acting. I am still wondering how come and why is this a web series? Given the content, acting, story, it should have been picked up by some major TV network by now. I just hope that the makers are making some money out of it. Tommaso and Giulio continue with their roles and are still quite good. Though I have to say that the reason for their breakup was not convincing enough. If you love is strong, which apparently the two had, just one kiss (even with an ex), cannot make you throw away everything. If we forget that aside, everything else was quite nice. Sara is still the party and life of the show. he way she talks, her dialogues, her acting; everything about her is just perfect. A lot of detailing has gone in her character and the girl totally takes this opportunity to outshine everyone around her. The new guy as Sara’s room-mate is pretty good looking and ho with a very infectious smile. I think th best among all male cast of the show. This series also continues going into flashbacks every now and then; but then thankfully the past stories of all characters slowly open up layer by layer and it starts making sense of why things are happening, the way they are.

I am quite happy thatchy came up with season 2 of this series. It met all the expectations and beyond of what I had from original season. (7.5/10)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gay Short Films : 34

Andamio (Spain) [Scaffolding]
Eduardo, a snob and grumpy journalist, and David, a shy literature student, are neighbors in a building under maintenance. For six months they have never greeted each other. A scaffolding is put up for the renovation of the building, which provides them with a platform to finally socialise with each other. We see the two characters break the ice by talking about scaffolding, then they smoke, drink coffee, play cards. And that's it. I am not even sure if this is really a gay short film. (3/10)

It's nothing / Less Than Zero
A collection of 7 real small (a couple of minutes or more) clippings focussing on nude performances, videoart etc. , most focussing on nudity and not necessarily queer. (0/10)

Escapade (Netherlands)
The film is about 2 friends, living as neighbours. They are both dealing with having a hard time at home.  Their parents don’t like the way their kids are living and are constantly mad at their children. One of kids os completely controlled by his parents who are busy in their own life. While the other guy’s single father just doesn’t care about his son. The boys decide to run away from home and go live their own life. Sometimes, you have to make your own decisions, and that they make your life great, although they may not always sound the best. (6/10)

Bug chaser (USA)
Nathan’s one-night stand ends abruptly when his date finds an alarming growth around his ass. As it rapidly gets larger, Nathan gets sicker. He looks to alcohol, the Internet, and a needle for help, but to no avail. Drunk and desperate, Nathan finally reaches out to an unlikely source: a former hook-up, a nurse, who can’t believe what he sees. A well made with a real scary feel to it, but a lousy ending :( A lot of hot guy on guy kissing and full frontal male nudity but freaky and scary at the same time. (7/10)

The Single Mother (USA)
A young gay guy loves kids and wants to have a baby. With the unfortunate predicament of being unable to conceive himself (but not for lack of trying), he pursues increasingly desperate means to procure a child of his own. Things change when a single father moves in his neighbourhood and he not only finds a child but also love of his life. (6/10)

Tonight It's Me (USA)
A hot young hustler finds himself in uncharted waters when he spends the night with an unxpected client. The night that started just as a fling between a hustler and a trans woman, slowly starts becoming a night of love. Love that appears as soon as a wall between you and other person starts crumbling. You know this because of the 2 explicit gay scenes - one motivated by money, and another one for love. A very very interesting short film. (7/10)

Sirenito (Spain) [Little Siren]
When little Saul announces that he wants to dress up as Little Siren, early parental fears start to build up. They take him to psychologist and are now convinced that there little one is gay. They start forcing him to play with dolls and shaping his future, including getting him a red dress with lace for fancy dress competition. Little do they know the Little Siren was a fireman. (7/10)

Tout n´est pas en noir (France) [All Is Not Black]
Two young black men live together in France. When one decides that he’s pregnant and the craving that he has for caviar must be satisfied, his lover goes in search. While he may not be pregnant he does reward his boyfriend upon his return for being such a good provider. Very short but sweet. (6.5/10)

The Pool Date (Canada)
A 'big' Canadian man who is on vacation in Brazil has a surprising encounter around the hotel pool, a moment that is filled with desire, curiosity and acceptance. When he puts his towel on a chair and comes back from the pool, he finds a young hot man already there. He decides to just sit. Hilarious, unspoken yet very caring moments follow between the 2 men including sharing personal space, drinks and even a fan to dry themselves off.  The film examines the themes of intimacy, social interaction. (6/10)

Os Sapatos de Aristeu (Brazil) [The Shoes of Aristeu]
The body of a dead transvestite is prepared for the wake by others transvestites. The family, after receiving the body, decides to bury him as a man. A procession of transvestites heads to the wake to say goodbye. The shoes are put on. Death is nothing but a window. Good acting and very sensitive direction. (7/10)

Lo que quiero de ti (Spain) [What I want from you]
Dario is obsessed with a Victor &. Victor is obsessed with all the guys. An erotically dark short film that reminds you to be careful who you fall in love with - they may not be all they seem. None of the individuals maybe what they seem to be. They are both dealing with issues, but which one of these will ultimately have to pay the price? (7/10)

Tomorrow (USA)
The film takes place on New Year’s Eve 1999, when a love triangle emerges between college-bound high school students. Trevor is determined to win his girl friend Sarah’s affection, while Clark struggles to express long-unrequited feelings for Trevor. Things happen when Sarah kisses Clark and Trevor sees it. In anger, Trevor ends up kissing Clark but it is Clark who feels guilty of breaking the bond. The people and emotions are real. The struggles, specially with teenagers, to come to terms with their own sexuality is brilliantly portrayed in this short film. (8/10)

Cock N' Bull (USA)
Wes invites his best friend Chris over for a night in after being dumped by Henry. They attempt to blow off some steam by prank calling strangers, but soon realize that may have been the worst idea ever. Funny yet terrifying. Superb acting. (7/10)

More Of Last Night (USA)
Three friends go camping at the end of their last summer in college. But that drunken night threatens their friendship as well as their plans.They have to face the harsh reality of their inebriated decisions. Was the couple really a couple? Have the lines between straight, gay and bisexual just been erased? What kind of love does the trio share? Was the night just a one off thing or can it be something more meaningful? This film shows how sex and sexuality can confuse even the best of friendships. Brilliant story, acting and direction. (9/10)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

John Apple Jack (Canada)

Touted as a comedy, 'John Apple Jack' supposedly brings East and West together to create one sumptuously heart-warming dish. Unfortunately, I will end up remembering this film for how annoying and irritating the characters were, pretty much all of them. I mean, how to expect that with a wafer thin plot line, stereotyping asians, bad over the top acting, can actually make people laugh and appreciate the film. Trust me I have sen worse films; so giving a balanced opinion, this film is not terrible; but it sure is very irritating.

John, a handsome young gay man lives a privileged luxurious life. He is a playboy who beds anyone. Jack works as a chef in one of John’s restaurant. Barring an incident hat maybe the two boys had a crush on each other in childhood, there is no other scene that shows that either had a crush on the other. Maybe to a certain extent Jack had crush on John. When Jack finds out that John is marrying his sister Vivienne, he is confused. Meanwhile, we also suddenly see that Vivienne and John have a 10 year old son. By this time, I am totally confused as to what the hell is going on. John thinks that Vivienne should not be marrying Jack because he is gay. Or maybe because he finally admits to himself about his feelings (love) for Jack. When his father cuts off John to push him to make something of his life, John gets more focused on life and even confesses his love to Jack. A fake marriage for Jack and Vivienne is arranged to have some fun, but finally John and Jack unite.

The film is as confusing and irritating as it may have sounded while reading the synopsis. There is no mention of how long have been Jack and John in touch. How and why did John not know about Jack working in the restaurant. Why did the 2 men even lie each other. They had nothing in common. Vivienne’s angle and her need for family was totally ill-fitted. A weirdo mother in the family might have been added for comic relief but even that doesn’t help. The only good thing is good looking guys and perfectly toned bodies. But the screenplay is TERRIBLE. The gross depiction of certain gay activities with john’s boytoy Mario are pure annoying. The dialogues are awkward. In my opinion, the actors were not bad but the screenplay and the direction was all over the place.

Low-budget albeit good and crisp production values; I would only recommend of OOT comedies are your flavour. I was thankfully able to sit through the whole film without needing to fast forward it but i found the overall experience annoying. (4/10)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Vicious : Season 2 (TV Series) (UK)

I feel sad about what I am going to write but I can’t help but be objective. When I hardhat Vicious was returning for Season 2; I was incredibly ecstatic. I loved the season 1 and recent;y saw the entire season 1 with my closest friends when they were visiting me. We were all laughing uncontrollably, so I knew that even they were liking the show. Naturally my expectations were quite high even for the second season. But sadly, I was disappointed. By both writing and a bit of acting as well.

The setting is still the same and it seems the stories just move on. Stuart and Freddie are still together. Although Violet is now married to Jasper, who mysteriously disappeared 3 months ago after wedding night and has since not returned. Her flirtations with Ash continue who is dating her ex-girlfriend again, to re-breakup with her. The six episodes of season 2 continue to show brickbats between Stuart and Freddie, they being vicious towards Violet who hasn’t changed one bit and Ash, who is still as useless and jobless as before. We see Stuart and Freddie helping Violet to deal with her “rick” sister at her surprise visit, them join dance classes and then gym and finally ends with focussing on last 3 episodes on Freddie and Stuarts wedding. They propose, they fit, they break-up and they ultimately re-unite. Oh! And I finally find out that Mason is actually Freddie’s brother. Violet was my favourite in season one, but I have to admit that it is Penelope who steals the show this time. Her screen presence might still be less but she leaves a lasting impression with her forgetful antics, specially in the last wedding episode. The series ends with the couple finally getting married but Stuart’s mother passes away on that day. To reflect this sad loss, the closing credits rolled to complete silence.

The show continues as a 70s-style sitcom with a very uncomfortable blend of coarse humour and hence the name vicious. This time, the filming is not limited to just the flat. There is some outdoor shooting of the street that the couple lives in. We even get to see Ash’s flat. As I said, sadly the humour is not as vicious as the season 1 and invokes less laughter. I also felt there was too much make up for Stuart and Freddie to make them look a bit younger. Don’t forget, we love them as they are because  its their acting that saves this incredible series. Some of my favourite lines from last episode specifically were: Mason to Violet “Why are you dressed like the bride? Shouldn't Stuart be wearing that?” and when they all laugh. It was howlarious. And then when Stuart’s mother tells Ash “I want a little gay boy to walk me down the aisle”.

There was something new, raunchy, ludicrous and outright nasty humour but perfect humour in series 1. This season lacks that. It got a bit refined, still sarcastic but in the process lost its charm, at least for me. Its the acting of every character that still kept is watchable. (6.5/10) 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tiger Orange

What a beautiful small gem of a film ! I had never heard the name of the film, but something about the title and the cover seemed intriguing. And within few minutes i was hooked. Tiger orange, the color, is meant to be “the loudest thing on the block”. The small time setting, the silence, the acting etc. just caught my attention. A setting with 2 brothers (both being gay) though uncommon seemed very believable in this case. I think this director will be someone to watch-out for; at least in my list.

Chet and Todd are two brothers and we get to see bits and pieces of their childhood life in flash backs. We find out that they are both gay and at some point, Todd had run away to live in LA, because he though their father didn’t approve of him being gay. On the other hand, Chet decided to stay back in the small town taking over their father’s hardware store business after his death and doing his best to downplay his sexuality.. When Todd is moneyless and jobless, he comes back to town to meet his estranged brother.  Tensions rise a bit when Chet envies his brother’s freedom of life and expression, something he cannot do. And on the other hand Todd feels that Chet had their father which he did not. Even when Brandon, an ex classmate of Chet, returns back to town from NYC; he finds it difficult to go after what he wants. The two brothers work on mending their relationship and what each of them want from life. Is the small-town if so bad, do they both have right to live the life that they want to. The ending of the film is open to interpretation.

The thing that stays back with you after you watch this perfectly duration film are he performances and the sensitivity with which the film and the subject has been handled.  The story itself is simple enough, but the richness of the film comes in the themes, the characterisations, and the performances. It is very evident that it is Todd, whose character stays with us. Efficiently played by a former porn star (damn! he can act), he plays a rogue, free spirit, energetic, asshole and a dreamer with equal glance. He has a great screen presence and charisma. Had I not read online, I wouldn't have guessed that this is first film that this guy was acting in. That makers took a gamble probably with casting him, but it paid off. Todd was excellent. Compared to him, Chet feels a bit sidelined but its well explained because of the nature of his character. A shy guy who is forced to live hiding his sexuality and bit frustrated for not being able to do what he wanted to. All the supporting cast is very well fitted in. Brandon, the guy who Chet likes, is yummy and fits into the scene really well. There were small flaws with editing where clearly a scene should have been put in before a certain scene but only a major film connoisseur would be able o find it.

An intriguing contrast between its main characters, some strong performances and an unpretentious smoothly crafted film; this is a very strongly recommended. (8.5/10)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The 10 Year Plan

A gay rom-com. We have seen a few before and I am sure there will be a lot more coming out. Nothing wrong with rom-coms but at some point they need to be amusing and interesting or at least be sexy in case of gay themed films. This films just partly holds attention in all these attributes. This film may not be one of those underdeveloped badly made, produced and weakly acted so-called gay films which fail to enthral or impress. But at the same time it is no great shakes that could be talked about or even referred to our friends for a funny evening watch.

Myles is a successful lawyer but also a hopeless romantic, who is looking for the perfect Mr Right so he can settle down into romantic marital bliss. Brody is his handsome best friend, a Los Angeles police officer, who beds every man he crosses paths with. Why are these 2 men friends, we won’t know. One night when Myles get dumped on a date (yet again),  the two make a pact that if they are still single in ten year’s time then they will settle down with one another as boyfriends. fast forward 9 years, 11 months later, neither of them wants to be each other’s last resort. Brody decides he needs to find Myles a boyfriend and may be even teach Myles that it is ok to hook up. When it looks like Myles may have met a guy, that leaves Brody in a state of jealousy, something that he is not too keen to admit. When a misunderstanding threatens to question the friendship of two friends, Myles decides to move to NY to get a change. Its time that Brody either excepts his true feelings for Myles and make sure he thinks the same way or probably lose him forever.

The big problem that I felt with the film is the unreal characters. Myles, as a hopeless romantic goes over the board even just in first meeting. Thats just not normal. Brody as a gay cop always talking about sex with his straight partner is another unreal character. The film could have been scripted better. Mot scenes did not bring any laughter or smile on my face although they were meant to do exactly that. There's the potential for humor when Myles and Brody both end up sleeping with the same guy, but the explosive comic climax that we anticipate never materializes. The best lines and scenes unfortunately are with Myles fag-hag and Brody’s partner at work. Thankfully both Myles and Brody are pretty good looking actors and make for a good eye-candy but somehow lack the charisma. ( Although what’s up with this terrible DVD cover! The guys look horrible.)

By the time the inevitable happy ending arrives, we're too dispirited to care about the outcome. Just a very average evening fare. (5.5/10)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gay Short Films : 33

Nubes Flotantes (Mexico) - They swim and dance in water like wandering clouds.

Maremoto (Brasil) - Two childhood friends head to at a deserted beach, to surf. When they get there, however, the sea is flat. As they wait for a wave that never comes, one of them decides to make a revelation

MUM (USA) - In this nearly wordless short, a deaf swimmer—a regular at his gym’s pool—tries to attract a guy he has his eyes on, but wonders if his disability may get in the way.

Manifesto (Spain) - A free adaptation of Mario Benedetti´s poem with gay snapshots.

Katie and Arin (USA) - Set against backdrop of conservative Oklahoma, two transgendered hare their stories.

Hercules & Love Affair ft. John Grant (USA) - A musical video “I Try to Talk to You”

First Time Gay Sex (Germany) - 10 things you shouldn't do... when you have sex the first time with another man.

Battlefield (Australia) - Two young gay men embark on a one night stand. Both with very different understandings of the situation, they struggle to realise the true connection they long for.

We Are Fine (Australia) - A lyrical celebration of the male body in all its summertime glory.

Mudanças (Brasil) - Two apartments. Two changes. Through a forgotten book, a meeting.

Dreamboat Jesse (USA) - Jesse goes through sequence of dreams after moving into the new house. Is someone trying to get to him. Where is the thin line between paranoia and reality.

Models Hit on You (USA) - Models talk about pickup lines… on helium.

Todo queda en familia (Spain) - If the father is a man of traditional morals, a suspicion like that can turn a pleasant family day into a private hell in which this man will discover how far he’s willing to go for his son.

Placer (Spain) - Two friends realise that losing interest in same porn may not be very different from losing interest in having sex with same person.

Rugburn (USA) - A young painter works up the courage to contact the collections agency that has been hounding him and gets embroiled in a more personal confrontation than he bargained for.

Une sensation de vide (Spain) - What happens during celebrations and parties: love, brawl and more.

Puertas adentro (Argentina) - During Summertime, Nahuel moves to his friends to spend vacation time together. Between drinks, weed and foolish games, sexual tension starts to raise, but none of them dares to take the first step.

El rosario de la aurora (Spain) - A religious mother confronts her transgendered son after years of the kid abandoning her.

Hincando (Spain) [Having Sex] - A new promotional 3D glasses show you what you miss the most. Our protagonist sees himself having crazy sex.

Perky Little Pornstar (USA) - From the musical ‘Naked Boys Singing’

Audition (USA) - A young man auditions for a role with requirements he was not expecting.

Dol (USA) [First Birthday] - A gay Korean-American man yearns for a family life just out of reach.

The Queen (USA) - A Korean-American teenage outcast works at his parents dry cleaners. When the prom queen and her boyfriend, stop by with their dress and tuxedo, he has his own prom to remember.

Rabo de toro (Spain) - A accident meeting with his secret lover while celebrating two year anniversary with his life. What would happen once they finish dinner?

Alone Forever (USA) - Oliver can't help but wonder if his new tattoo is the cause of his recent spate of romantic bad luck. Gay and single in San Francisco, he spends a lot of time out and about meeting other like individuals.

On The Nature Of Hotness (USA) - The nature of 'hotness' is explained in 9 minutes via one man's sexual and spiritual awakening. The film uses a variety of story telling techniques including animation, montage, narrative, and lecture.

Labels (USA) - An interracial couple get into a witty debate when one of them decides that he no longer wants to be labeled “gay”.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Helicopter Mom

Probably the intentions behind this movie were nice but everything that looks perfect on paper may not necessarily translate into something meaningful. This becomes even harder when the subject is comedy. It is not easy to direct a comedy, so full marks to the film-maker for attempting this subject. Unfortunately a lot of scenes of the film just fall flat.

Lloyd Cooper, a high school, nerdy shy guy lives with his financially pressed, over-bearing single mother Maggie Cooper. Maggie likes to be involved in every detail of life – from homework to activities to love life. Lloyd hasn’t figured out if he is straight or gay and no intention yet to pursue a relationship. But this doesn’t stop Maggie from assuming that her son is gay. She even manages to ‘out’ him at the school. Even worse, she takes it upon herself to surreptitiously submit an application for him for a gay student college scholarship, forcing her horrified son to play along with the deceit. The proceedings then mostly show us how Maggie continues to force herself on anything and everything that Lloyd is involved in; we get to meet his father Max, who tries to empathy with him but can’t do much because of Maggie. We also meet Cassie, the cheer leader, who has a crush on Lloyd and finally becomes friends with him knowing very well that sexually Lloyd is still confused. Things turn ugly when Maggie barges in school prom and tries to sabotage Lloyd-Carrie relationship just so Lloyd can get the scholarship from the gay foundation for college. The film ends alright when Lloyd still manages to get scholarship, and heads for NYC. Will Maggie Smith finally stop interfering in his life. Guess not, when she shows up at his dorm unannounced in NYC :)

The plot is simple but a lot of scenes are sitcom-ish style and fail to draw laughs. Maggie after a point becomes supremely annoying and it would take a very very good son to not go crazy in her presence. Maggie acts well, I guess, since her character was supposed o be so annoying and over-bearing. Lloyd, for a change acted really well. He suited the part of a shy teenager, who is totally in shadow of his mom. Max, his father, is the only character that brings some normalcy in Lloyd’s life. The good thing is that the films not stretched beyond a certain time, so its easily manageable. Sure its probably a low budget independent film, but that doesn’t give it a free pass. A little more sensitivity in Maggie’s character or maybe some background in her history might have added some charm to the film.

Its a slapstick comedy. Don’t have too much expectations. (5.5/10)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Boys Like Us (French/German)

A story of friendship and re-assessing your life, this film does bring a relatively refreshing subject from al the stereotypical gay stuff that we get. But does everything that sounds good as an idea, actually translate into something interesting; we will have to wait and read? But whatever happens, I would like to applaud the makers for trying something different. The characters here just happen to be gay. This film could have as well ben equally meaningful with straight characters because ultimately the film is about reassessing friendship, insecurities in life and whether or not we are in love.

Rudolf, a bookshop salesman and a wanna be writer gets dumped by his boyfriend. So after the break-up, he is heart-broken and decides to leave Paris to go back to Austria and start his life afresh including leaving behind his 2 best friends; Gabriel, an actor and Nicolas, a bar waiter. Unable to figure out how to react to Rudolf’s neurotic decision, the two of them decide to take off from work and join him on his trip to Austria to make sure things are fine. Rudolf decides to go back to his birth village, in mountains, in serenity and peace, far away from chaotic Paris so he can concentrate on writing his book. Little do the three of them know how eventful this trip will be for them. Rudolf rallies that even to get a home, he has to get a job first and that itself is not going to be easy in that small town. Gabriel, who sees a shrink because he cannot get over his ex-boyfriend  from many years ago, sees a man and starts losing control thinking that its him. And finally Nicolas, as always is looking around just for random hook-ups with young men around the town. The three of them even have an argument when they accuse each other of not having done anything meaningful in life. Ultimately, they all will have to find their own way of dealing with their insecurities and moving on with their life.

As I mentioned before, the story was quite interesting and the beautiful Austrian countryside landscapes are just beautiful and breathtaking. The acting from all three lead characters is quite good. Rudolph struggling with a break-up and wanting to leave everything behind including his closest friends, Nicolas avoiding true love by hooking up everywhere he goes and Nicolas trying to still nurse his heartbreak from many years ago. One thing is clear thither friendship is strong and the three of them are there for each other despite them having their differences. They may not have done well for themselves but hey care for their friends and sometimes, you have to be harsh to show your friends what the reality is. From an entertainment point of view, there is not much thats really happening. We just see Rudolph trying to fit in back to a quiet life while Nicolas and Gabriel trying to support him. There are some funny sequences where Rudolph does the translations from Paris to German and vice versa but they are just very few.

Overall, The film is not boring but is not great by any means. I would say that its strictly average. (5/10)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Best Day Ever

Oh My God!! yes, we still make terrible shitty gay themed films, where we want all attention on ourselves and torture the audience. This film definitely falls into this category. It has a simple story but it has been stretched beyong belief and it just tests our patience.

David, an independent filmmaker, is turning 50 and is questioning his life, whether he has done something meaningful, whether he has found true love.. blah blah blah. Does he truly love his long term partner? We find out that they have a minor aragonite over dinner and they decide to split (what?). David’s friend then introduces him to his cousin Shane, who is a loner from Indiana and because David’s friend thinks that the two loners can make a life together. Sure enough, for whatever reason the two click together and finally David finds the true love.

Yes the story is that simple but the screenplay and the direction and the acting is terrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. David keeps going on and on about he is almost 50 and how he is going through mid-life crisis  to the extent that i want to strangle him to remind us again that he is soon going to be turning 50. We are supposed to empathise with David but on the contrary he is the one who sounds like a whining, bitchy, drama queen and why would anyone wanna be with him. Shane, for whatever unexplained reasons get attracted to David (really?). David keeps going on and on about his past, about his life, about true love. As a viewer you have stopped really caring about him just after the 10 minutes of the film. It's just all drama and moaning from the get go. Editing was bad. There were sudden jumps form scene to scene and some very obvious glitches. I feel that if I spend anymore time on writing worse things about this film, I would actually be doing a favour to the film.

A one man show of a miserable charmless man, full o drama and attention seeking. This is a big yawn. Don’t let the charming poster fool you. (2/10)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gay Short Films : 32

Dirty Magazines (USA)
In the '80s, a mother-son relationship takes a wild left turn after she discovers adult material under her son's bed the morning of his 16th birthday. It is hilarious take on the extent that she would go to first make sure that his son is not gay. This includes even hiring a male prostitute so that nothing could happen. Over the top acting but quite a funny short film.

Beau mâle recherche (Canada) [Hot Guy Looking For]
We follow a day in life af a gay man obsessed with grindr trying to find his perfect match. We go through the different profiles of guys he is growing. Very interesting.

Nobody I Know (USA)
A boy brings home his first trick only to have his mother and little sister in way to his satisfaction. Funny!!

Fikon (Sweden) [Figs]
'He loved the sperm, especially my sperm, which he said tasted like sugar from all the soda I was drinking daily.' Memories of a brief, passionate affair. In all simplicity strongly portrayed debut with text and images engaging in a riveting battle. A very short film but visual brilliant. You feel like you have just entered the lives of this gay couple and have just witnessed what a beautiful memory they share.

Surprise, Surprise (USA)
Dylan has just moved into his first New York City apartment and his mom is visiting. Just then his boyfriend, Justin, suddenly shows up. Thinking that his mother will get surprised, things take an interesting turn when Dylan’s mo’s lesbian lover also shows up. Both mom and the son have “coming out” to do.

The Drama of Everyday (USA)
Lead male character reflects on a one night stand and how it affects him, sending him into an emotional abyss. Strictly ok.

Beard The Lion (USA)
A guitar shop owner and his shy younger brother live together. Their daily routine gets increasingly hectic by homophobia by two young men from the neighbourhood. The owner has a police record , so his lover and younger brother always try to stop him from getting angry but things take an ugly turn when the two homophobes will go to any extent to show their dislike for gays. This will lead to both the owner and the homophobes death.

Waschküchenstimmung (Germany) [Laundry Mood]
This short addresses the homophobia in football when the coach calls out all sort of faggot jokes to one of the players not realising that the player knows very well that the coach is gay.

The Scoundrel
Excerpt from the no-budget first feature film from the director of "Last Summer". Short and sweet.

O Melhor Amigo (Brazil) [The Best Friend]
Lucas and Felipe spend their first day of vacation together joking around and hanging out at the beach. Sun, sand, sea, music; everything sounds perfect until Felipe goes for a random fling with an older lady. And this is when reality hits Lucas. He has feelings for his best friend. He may look chill and happy but his heart yearns of this best friend. Lucas is brilliant and so is Felipe. The pain of that first crush and love that you can’t get is so real.

Fuckbuddies (Spain)
2 straight guys are in middle of nowhere in the car. They are trying to have sex but it starts getting uncomfortable in the car. They start talking about their wives and girlfriends while attempting to do it. It just ends up with the two guys sitting in the car, totally nude and just talking like str8 guys. It was pretty cool.

Burnt (Canada)
A recount of the events told by the lover's voice. A story of courage and despair triggered by a father's actions and by the traditional ways in which the boy's family was conformed.

Love, Ltd. (USA)
When a gay asian brother and sister decide to “come out” at dinner on the very same night the unexpected happens. The sister is shocked because she always felt the brother got away with all attention and the mother tries to objectively see the whole situation. Funny!!

Europe Is Our Playground (Spain)
A musical number with a nude man standing in middle of jungle almost naked and different interacting with him. Really weird !!

Swimsuit (USA)
Paul, a naive loner in a coastal town, meets a quiet young stranger, Charlie, on a gloomy day at the beach. They spend a sweet and quiet afternoon together, starting an unlikely friendship that blurs the line between romantic and platonic affection. Loved it!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hunting Season : Series 2 (Web Series)

I was relatively new to the whole concept of gay web series when I watched season 1 but it is so encouraging to see that these web series are doing so well that the makers are coming up with more season of the hugely popular series. I remember really enjoying the season one so I was quite looking forward to season 2. Unlike season 1, this time it was only 4 episodes of about 20 minutes each.

Alex, the blogger, is still the centre stage of this season and we also see what’s happening in the life of 3 of his friends. Alex has been single for a while and enjoying but when he sees his ex in a happy married life with another guy and a baby, he gets depressed. He always thought they would eventually get back together at some point in life. He unloads this all on a random guy he meets that night; who ends up becoming good friends with Alex’s sister who comes to visit him because she could use a break from their parents. Alex is still rude and mean to everyone including occasionally to his sister as well, specially after he is thrown out of his job. Alex’s gay couple friends have recently decided to go for a 3 way and they meet an interesting man. The sex is good, numbers exchanged but like most assholes, when the designer reaches out to the trick to show his designs, the resentment is obvious. Yes, we all still want just one time fun. And then we see the fourth friend, a guy full of himself, a big shot lawyer, living the New York dream. His life gets upside down, when a not so good looking guy makes him realise how truly unhappy he is in real life. Meanwhile Alex does end up meting an older hot guy, initially for a hookup and then later they both decide to ry it out for something more meaningful. There is no definite ending to this series but we do see a glimpse of the life of a typical gay New Yorker.

ok, I have to be honest. I was expecting a little more compared to season 1. I don’t know why but my expectations were higher. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad at all. In fact there were lot of improvements from season 1. A good amount of time and focus was given to other stories as well besides Alex but still that zing was missing and I still can’t point my finger at what exactly was it. Was it the slight arrogance in “ I am the perfect man” Alex, or was it because no proper ending was given. I would not know. Anyway, at least in terms of production, direction and acting; I would give full marks to everyone involved. For w eb series, it is still a commendable job done.

I hope the seasons continue and we get to see more. (6/10)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Virados do avesso (Portuguese)

How I wanted to like this film. The poster of the film looks nice and the premise seemed interesting as well but unfortunately the film went from being stupid to getting stupider as time went by. It was just so odd with everything that was happening. Some people (read film makers), may term this as dark comedy or something, but I for a change did not get any laughs on any scene.

João & Carlos have been together for 5 years. One morning João wakes up not remembering he is gay and freaks out seeing Carlos in bed naked with him. He is disoriented and thinks that everyone around him(his sister, his parents, his publisher) have all gone crazy and they are trying to make him gay. João is a celebrated writer and is soon supposed to finish his first gay-themed book but is not stuck in last chapter which becomes difficult to finish now, since he can’t even remember that he is gay. His competitor Isabella on the other hand has announced the launch of her book. One drunk night when they both meet, she confides that she hasn’t even started her book. They hook up that night and Isabella steals his book to complete. meanwhile Carlos meets Pierre, an artist courtesy João’s sister and sparks fly. The two paint the town red like 2 new lovers. When João goes to a doctor after passing out one night, he finds out that he had temporary amnesia and he therefore forgot he is gay and his memory should come back, which it does. Now all his well-wishers come together to get his book back from Isabella by hook or by crook. All’s well that ends well ultimately.

Story as you read above is simple and uncomplicated but acting y everyone was so over the top. Even if we ignore the stupid idea of João waking up forgetting he is gay, there are way too many cinematic liberties. How can Carlos let go of the fact that João has forgotten or is pretending and happily start an affair with Pierre to the extent of even considering moving to Paris with him. And then equally easily he forgets him when João’s memory is back. The less said the better about João’s amnesia. He is suddenly straight and even sleeps with Isabella but still has his traits of fashion etc. My favourite though were João’s sister Catarina and her husband. He was the only one who brought a slight smile to my face. I don’t think it was a problem with actors, I blame the writers and the director completely for this fiasco.

Yes, I have seen much much worse films but I would recommend this film when you are in mood for a brain dead film and won’t mind a silly entertainer. (3.5/10)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Little Bi Peep

Little Bi Peep is supposed to be a comedy about myriad of relationships. As the name suggests the protagonist should be bisexual and would probably delve into the story and life of how the lead handles the bisexuality. Does the film meet expectations? Let’s read further.

The plot is actually basically very simple. Emma lives with her mother. Her routine includes sleeping through the day, then working at a night, very seedy adult/porn store which is usually followed by going to some bar, picking up either a man/woman; having sex and moving on with her life. We go through the mundane routine of her everyday life, waking up late, struggling with her coffee machine and being dropped off and picked up by her mom. We also realise that Emma makes up new names and new carers, overtime she meets a person because she doesn’t do drama and more than one night stand. One day she meets Mason, who she later finds out is transgender IT technician. Mason doesn’t jump in to Emma’s pants right away and takes her for dates. Finally when Emma also starts to have feelings for Mason(does she really?), things take an ugly turn when the girls from her past arrive and the real truth behind Emma is revealed, leaving everyone shocked on all the lies she has been telling.

Emma, played by Anna Shields, is the main actor, write and director of the film. As an actor I would say she is good, as a director average but as a writer; she needs a lot of work to do. There were some serious gaps and flaws in the screenplay of the film. Watching and going through Emma’s mundane daily routine gets pretty boring after about 10 minutes but we still have to sit through for about 30 minutes for it. The title suggests “bi” but barring one man, all action happens with other girls, until finally Mason comes into picture. Looking at all this, I wonder what was the real intent behind giving it a “bi” twist. As an actor Emma does quite well and brings out the boredom, frustration and naughtiness of the character alive. But same cannot be said of other actors. While most girls were over the top, Mason was a little too conservative. I wish there was a right balance. The film needs some serious editing. Many scenes at home feel repetitive. As a concept I think the idea is nice but as a full length feature film, it gets boring and repeated after a while.

I think this film will work better as a short narrative of 45 minutes or so; but as a full length feature film, it failed to keep my attention beyond a certain point. (3/10)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Coming Out (Hungarian)

Now this film had an interesting twist to the term “coming-out”. In most films that I have seen so far, its always the protagonist ‘coming out’ as gay; because socially it is not considered a norm. But what would happen if the situation was reversed? What if a very popular gay man, a popular figure in social circles, suddenly ‘comes out’ as straight? Scandalous.. isn’t it? Well this premise is what makes this film quite interesting.

Erik and his partner Balazs have been together for 5 years. Erik is a famous radio show host, a gay celebrity who has a lot of credibility in the city and among the gay population. Having lived together so long, Balazs wants them both to get married. But all this is about to change. An accident leads him off the rails; suddenly he starts to throw glances at women, checking out their figure, their ass and their bosom. This is where he meets Linda, a doctor who is looking after him. He finds himself taking sudden interest in her, to the extent of even falling in love with her. He is confused on whats going on with him and how will Balazs react but he can’t help. Erik is scared to hurt anyone so he ends up telling Linda the truth and she breaks up. But when a few days before the wedding, when Balazs finds out the truth of Erik’s infidelity, he is also heart broken and leaves him. This is when Erik decides to take matters in his  own hands. He publicly ‘comes out’ that he maybe straight and that he has fallen in love with the one woman Linda. Now he just has to prove his true love for Linda. Of curse, the film has a happy ending.

The film is directed with comical tones, which makes it very watchable. The whole situation where Erik finds himself getting attracted to women, is interesting. I like the instances where we see that Linda actually is like a straight man in her mannerisms and etiquette whereas Erik still has the sophistication of a gay man. In a funny sequence, Erik even points out how Linda is always leading when they dance. My problem with this film was that it had too much focus on Erik. He was pretty much dominant in every single frame, so much that even the relationship between Balazs and him wasn’t explored properly. Ballads seemed like just a pretty piece at his home. There was no real chemistry between them. The side story of homophobic neighbour and press reporter just helped the story to be taken forward. I wish the film explored a little more detailed of Erik’s relationships with both Balazs and Linda rather than just focussing on him as an individual.  Acting by everyone is pretty decent and the direction is also quite nice.

Some more modification and detailing could have made this film quite good. It was still quite a decent watch and did evoke a few laughs. (6.5/10)