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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jack

Sometimes it helps going into a movie not knowing anything about it. Although thats not how I do it but its good, sometimes. This film is said to have been made for TV and I am sure it must have done well.

The most traumatic moment for a kid is when he has to go through his parents divorce. Jack is one such kid. Just about to turn 16, he is trying to deal with his parents separation for a while now. He sees his father very week. Things are ok until one day Jack's father decided to tell him that the reason they got divorced is because he is gay and is living with his partner Bob. He doesn't know how to deal with it and hates his dad. His only support is his best friend Max. Jack slowly comes around because of Maggie, the daughter of a gay friend of Jack's father. She has known this for a while and deals with the situation much better. Maggie is the hottest girl in the school and hence, Jack's father is successfully able to invite him over to his and his boyfriends aptt saying that Maggie would be visiting. Things change a bit when his best friend's Max parents, whom Jack always thought had a perfect marriage, fight and his father ends up beating his mother. By the way Max's mother had always liked Jack. The incident brings Max and Jack closer, they both grow up mentally and this is when Jack's dad help Max's family. The family ends with Jack's 16th birthday being celebrated and all close friends and family members together.

This is one of those regular family movies with a twist that the father is gay. The film beautifully handles and takes us through the mental struggle that a kid goes through not just trying to deal with the parents separation but also other things in their life.

I would say a very decent attempt by the director. (6.5/10)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Keller - Teenage Wasteland (German) [Out Of Hand]

I thought it would be an interesting film. Actually to a very little extent it was. But I feel cheated when I see a film after being told it has gay references but then it turns out something different. There was only a slight hint that one of the boys like the other but apart from that there was nothing gay about the film. More about that later.

16 year olds Paul, a poor slum living boy and Sebastian, a rich boy meet and strike friendship in no time. They are bored in life and drink alcohol, steal and attend a private school. They are caught stealing in a supermarket by an employee, a young woman named Sonia. They are thrown out by her. They follow her home and in no time kidnap her. From here starts a confusing and a dark world. The boys really dont know whey they kidnapped her. They initially did for fun but now Sebastian thinks that she will tell everyone if they release her. In all this, Paul feels a little odd. He doesn't want to be involved but he also doesn't want to let his friend down. Paul becomes more distant with Sebastian as he starts to feel attracted to Sonja, trying to help her as much as possible. While Sebastian, not admitting even to himself that he has fallen in love with Paul, feels hurt and jealous... and becomes capable of anything. Sebasian has some psychological issues maybe. In the end Paul helps the girl escape and has sex with her, all this while Sebastian being tied up and just wondering.

Like I said, its a weird dark movie which to an extent dives into the minds of teenage bored boys who have nothing to do. Performance wise I have to give good marks to both the boys. They both acted their part petty well and did a good job specially Sebastian.

A strictly Ok movie for me. Could have been shorter and much better. (4/10)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Half A Person (Canada)

An independent film made on a shoe string budget, it started off well. The acting were natural and something you could identify with but over the course of the film, I lost interest. There were to many unknowns and unanswered questions in the film.

Two 20-something friends couldn't be more different than one another. Mark is gay and involved in a relationship. He is also very sexy and has the ability to draw people to him; charismatic to a degree, but he also harbors a dark and destructive side. Alex is a straight boy who is an introvert and "desperately single". Despite being different , they complement each other so well as if they both each are half a person. As the two travel through the Ontarian countryside, they experience several mishaps and when they reach Toronto their eyes are opened by two younger girls. They also experience a journey which goes into Alex's past. Ultimately the two young men are forced to look at their unspoken feelings for each other while having to achieve maturity at the same time. In the end Alex leaves the aptt and goes by himself trying to make something out of himself.

There were too many unknowns. What happened at high school on the night thy stayed in school. What's Alex's secret past. What are the true feelings of friends for each other. It felt as if Mark like Alex but can't tell him and its difficult to gauge what Alex feels.

It could have been so much better with a tighter screenplay. (3/10)

Monday, November 10, 2008

29th & Gay

Another one in the series of films that I had seen earlier but never reviewed and hence I didn't remember whether I have seen it or not. Struggles of a soon approaching 30 year old gay guy who hasn't found a boyfriend yet forms the crux of the story of this film.

Its James' 29th birthday and he is still single. He is a struggling actor. So pretty much his career is zero and he has nothing good to do. He lives with his friend Roxy, another confused girl. He also has his best friend Brandon. James is upset that he has turned 29 and is still single and doesn't know what's wrong. He forms the typical picture of a gay man who thinks he is the best but fails to understand what's wrong with him and why cant he meet anyone. He ha a crush on Andy, a guy who works in the nearby coffee shop but he knows that Andy probably doesn't even know of his existence. James' parent are very open and supportive and they also dont know how to help. The movie drags along with various different club scenes, James trying to meet guys and failing etc. The only best moment if the film is the last 10 minutes when Andy approaches him. Starting here, it is heartening to see the tension and awkwardness that both James and Andy share. Both dont know hoe to approach the other person and hat to do. By the way Andy is this totally hot and sexy guy. The film ends with how James is trying to overcome his under-confidence and asks Andy out on a date. I loved when Andy says that 'So are you' in reference to the fact that James is very cute.

A very ordinary film but I guess most gay men might be able to relate with it sine most of us find it really difficult to find a true boyfriend although we might keep pretending that we just want to be single and explore. As I mentioned earlier, best thing is that an ordinary guy like James could able to manage to get a hottie like Andy. Most gay men would want to know how to do that. lol

Just an ok movie with last 10-15 minutes good and rest of it is average. (5.5/10)

Les Témoins (French) [The Witnesses]

Within 10 minutes into the movie and I knew I am gonna like the film. And I was correct to a large extent except that after a point the film seemed like being stretched a little too much. One other small drawback was trying to pack in a lot of different facets in one film.

Manu, a young 18 year old guy comes to Paris and stays with his sister Julie, an upcoming opera singer in the prostitute area because none of them have any money. One night while cruising Manu meets Adrien, an old doctor who is very good at heart. Slowly they become friends. Adrien helps Manu with Paris sightseeing and all that and asks in return which suits Manu fine because all he also wants is his friendship. One weekend Adrien takes Manu to meet his friend Sarah and her cop husband Mehdi. They have a baby which Sarah despises because she now realizes that she was never ready to be a mother. She is a write and wants her peace to write books. Sarah and Mehdi have a open marriage where they are allowed to have affairs. Manu has this secret crush on Mehdi which after various different turns of events, Mehdi gives into. They start having a full fledged affair without anyone knowing about it. Meanwhile Manu gets a job and he moves in suburbs of Paris thereby losing his touch with Adrien. One night when Adrien misses Manu very much, he goes to visit him and Manu tells him that he is seeing Mehdi. Adrien is broken for 2 reasons: for his friend Sarah and also because he could not get Manu for himself since he deeply loved Manu. Adrien then discovers that Manu has probably caught on HIV, a virus that just started spreading in 1984 in US. Manu breaks up with Mehdi, moves in with Adrien who takes his utmost care till he dies. Manu records his memoirs and gifts it to Sarah who then decided to write a book on it. Time passes. Adrien gets more and more busy with his research on AIDS and ultimately finds a new man in his life. Mehdi and Sarah resolve their difference and are still working to make their marriage successful.

The initial parts of the movie were very nice. Manu's flirting with Adrien, a young cute boy who wants to do something in life and also find love. HIs passion for his work, his love for Mehdi and his friendship with Adrien or for that matter with a hooker were all shown very nicely. Everyone's acting was also very nice. Considering movie is set in 80s, a lot of different facets of relationships; friends, brother sister, lovers, affairs etc are shown in avery poignant manner. I loved it. How I wished the pace of the movie was a little faster when Manu is detected with the virus. Somehow the movie seemed to drag after that but it was still very honest.

Definitely worth a watch. Manu's and Mehdi's raw chemistry to something to watch for. (7/10)

Ya lyublyu tebya (Russian) [You I Love]

I am so glad i saw the movie. I have said time and again that I am a sucker for good romantic movies which slow a real slice of life. And believe me this one could be very true to someone's life.

Tim, an advertising professional and Vera, a news anchor are very much in love. They have been dating for almost a year. On the other side, an illegal immigrant Uloomji is looking for a job and s now working in a zoo. He is a free bird. One fateful night, Uloomji has an accident by Tim's car. Since it is a police case, the hospital folks refuse to look at him and so Tim takes Uloomji to his home. When Vera comes home he tells her the whole story. Next day Uloomji comes to visit again. After a few moments of controlling himself, Tim cannot control any longer and gives into the old rough world charm of Uloomji. They both seem to fall in love with each other. When Vera finds out, she doesn't know what to do. She still loves Tim very much. Tim also cares for her but doesn't love her the way he loves Uloomji. Things start getting confused. Uloomji's parents and uncle find out about him. They take him away from Tim forcefully. But somehow Uloomji escapes. Thats when Tim decides he has had enough and he loves Uloomji very much and they will go out of the country for a vacation. But Uloomji's uncle deceives them saying that his father has died. Tim asks that Uloomji should go and visit his family otherwise he will regret for life. But thats all a lie. His parents forcefully make him join army. Both Tim and Uloomji are devastated. But they promise to be back together. 2 years later, all 3 of them are together and they even have a baby now.

The chemistry between the 2 lead actors is amazing. Tim's transformation from being a complete straight man to suddenly realizing how much he loves Uloomji is amazing. Even the romance between the two is amazing. So much love, care and respect; I would want every person to have that kind of lover or companion in his/her life. Vera's confusion was also very identifiable. A woman torn in love for a man who loves other man. Sound familiar :) I dont know why I am in short of words to write much about this, but please, please watch this movie and you instantly would want to fall in love and say 'You I love.'

No second doubts about it. Definitely worth a watch. (7.5/10)

First Out

Another collection of short stories. This one I guess promotes upcoming talent and stories of coming out of people. A good collection in which some were definitely good and some weird.

'A Good Son' - A drama which shows chance encounter between 2 teenage young boys at a game that leads to a turning point in one of their lives. The boy realizes what he really is and accepts it.
'Different' - A comedy film where being gay is normal and if you are straight, you are looked down. A different take on how things would be if things were exactly opposite when straight people would fear to come put of closet.
'Is One of You Eddie' - Another great comedy short where stereotypes are challenged as four attractive gay men unfairly judge their neighbor, Eddie, because he doesn't fit the "West Hollywood" mold. Eddie is a masseur and the neighbors realize how good he is when on very hot man goes out of his room completely satisfied.
'Meet Joe Gay' - A charming documentary by a 27-year-old gay man that expresses his attempts to understand why he is single and what it takes to have a successful relationship. A very realistic documentary and I really liked it.
'The Neighborly Thing' - The Neighborly Thing is a chilling tale about a man who has an overzealous
obsession with his upstairs neighbor.

Out of the five, I really liked the one with Eddie and the documentary. The last one was the weirdest. It did not make any sense. Its difficult to rate but I would give it an ok. (5/10)

On the Other Hand, Death

The more I watch films in this series, the more I like them. Initially I thought that I like these because they have something new to offer but they actually really have very novel stories to tell.

This mystery series starts with a woman (a secret undercover agent) arguing with Donald Strachey on how Strachey almost busted her undercover mission. In his defense, he says that he was just following her because her husband had hired him to follow her, to which she dismisses that she doesn't have a husband. He promises to get back to her when he has more details. Meanwhile here is this elderly lesbian couple who live in this small town. One of them teaches in the school. The parents now want the couple out of the town because they think that their presence if being avery bad influence on the kids and the lady is trying to make kids queer. There house is attacked by unknown. The couple have a friend Andrew, who is an old student of theirs. Andrew was Tim's ex, so Tim requests Donald to see if he can help. Donald feels something fishy about Andrew. His fears are confirmed when Andrew once tries to kiss Strachey. Anyway, the mystery continues and in the end it is revealed that the undercover agent, Andrew and a couple other people were involved in all this because of real estate. Some high profile real estate company wanted the couple to sell heir house and leave but they wouldn't because of which the company was not able to make the money that they could. A always every thing's well in the end.

I still like the chemistry between Tim and Donald very much. The small arguments that they have and how they make up for each other makes for a very sweet viewing. I must admit that this one was the least liked for me in the whole series but that was because the story was little too complicated. But I would any day like to watch more of the drama and case solving mysteries. Strachey's assistant has a good comic timing too. Andrew was very good looking.

Strachey is good. His chemistry is good. (6/10)

Totally Confused

Now this one was a really confusing film. The title just fits the film. Not just the characters in the film but to an extent even the audience is left confused. Two years ago, I might have really liked this film but after having watched much better cinema, not any more.

Wiley and Johnny are very good friends. Johnny is a budding musician who thinks he has everything in it to make big. He lives with his girlfriend Annie. Wiley is a confused guy who thinks he probably is gay but has no way to confirm it since he has had never been with either a man or a woman. The three of them hang out very often. Wiley is not very fond of Annie but still manages. Johnny has hired a manager Murray who apparently is handling his record label. Murray keep canceling his appointments with Johnny and Johnny just keeps a blind eye to everything. Meanwhile when girlfriend Annie tries to show Johnny the reality, he snubs and then she just leaves him. Wiley meanwhile is still trying to figure out what he is. Things take a turn and one night Wiley and Johnny end up sleeping together. They both like it but Johnny loves his girlfriend very much. Wiley now starts living in the dreamworld that Johnny loves him and would want to spend his entire life with him. Annie finally finds out about all this. There is a lot of melodrama and they all ultimately decide that they should not see each other for a while. The movie ends up with each one talking gibberish and going to eat something.

Every character in this movie is shown to be living in his/her own world. Both Wiley and Johnny think that they are best in what they do and how they look. They dont want to accept the reality. Its more like they are dumb characters who never grew up and are just trying to manage in this world. Performance wise I did not think anything about anyone in particular. In hindsight, given the premise of the film, each of them did a decent job.

There have been much better movies. (4.5/10)