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, January 31, 2008

Pusong Mamon (Filipino) [Soft Hearts]

A refreshingly funny and heartwarming story about a gay couple and how their life changes after one incident forms the crux of the story. Its not entirely comical but the situations have been handled in alight way so thaw the viewer doesn't feel too pressured.

One night at a party Annie gets Ron high on drinks and makes out with him. Next day Ron asks her to forget that anything ever happened. But soon Annie becomes pregnant and asks Ron to marry him. He says he cannot since ha has a partner Nick. She doesn't believe even after Ron introduces Nick to Annie. Few days later she unabashedly walks in their house saying that she cannot take charge of baby alone and Ron needs to support (all this while she thinks she can have Ron). Both don't like the idea but they have to give in. Here starts all kinds of funny situations in the family with both Nick and Annie trying to get Ron's attention. How Nick's insecurities come in his way. Annie and Nick who initially don't get along at all, end up becoming good friends. The baby is born and they are all happy because Annie has accepted that Ron is just Nick's. They both later convince ANnie to marry another guy and also in the climax we see Ron coming out to everyone at work and his family. Alls well that ends well.

The film was of very high quality production. I thought ROn's and Nicks acting was very natural as if you were seeing someone for real. It never felt as of they were acting. Annie was irritating at lots of places but ok. I never thought Filipino guys could be cute but I thought both Ron and Nick were cute and made a very good couple. Two scenes when Nick's sad and other when Annie is leaving left impact on my heart.

You should definitely watch it. Good clean cinema. (7/10)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hate Crime

Wonderful was the word that came out of my mouth when I was thirty minutes into the movie. It did not turn as marvelous as I expected when it started but nonetheless it was still a very gripping movie on a very burning topic relevant for all of us.

Robbie and Trey are a couple living together and are planning their commitment ceremony. Chris Boyd, a pastor's son movies into their neighborhood. He preaches against homosexuality and despises the couple to the extent of even threatening them of God's punishment. Chris Boyd is son of a very popular pastor. Trey's mother really loves the couple and is close to them. One night when Trey is walking their dog, he is attacked by someone and is hospitalized. The case starts by Detective Fisher trying to figure out what's going on. Robbie tells her that he suspects Chris Boyd might be involved in this but after initial investigations they are told that the whole night Chris was with his parents. Struggling with life, Trey finally dies and hence begin the search and quest for what really happened and by whom and why. All suspicions point to Chris Boyd but later what is revealed is shocking. Chris turns out to be a closet gay who himself is trying to fight his desires for other man. His father pastor finds out about this and he is the one who had killed Trey. The climax and the way Robbie and Trey's mother get him to accept the crime is commendable.

The film belongs to a very high class (good production, wonderful acting, powerful story). I wish the movie has been seen by a lot of people but its high time people realize that they cannot get away with gay bashing that easily. Every person has a right to live the way they want to.

Highly recommended for good everything. (7.5/10)

Monday, January 28, 2008

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

I still cannot stop laughing just thinking about this movie. A couple of my friends had wanted me to see this movie for a while and am I glad or what that I saw this with my close friends. It was so funny in all different aspects that no gay can ever not like this movie.

Vida and Noxeema are winners of drag queen beauty contest and have to travel to LA for the nationwide drag queen contest. They take with them the wanna-be drag Latin princess Chi-Chi. The riot starts right here. After a few days into their journey , they end up in a small town in middle of nowhere. The film from thereon just focuses on how these 3 queens end up changing things in the small town with their wits, positive energy, color and humor and make everyone's life beautiful. I know story wise it doesn't seem to much exciting but you have to see the movie to believe it. Its hilarious. The 3 actors have acted so wonderful. My favorite was Noxeema. Dialogues like "Did you just take a U-ie", "Little Latin boy in drag why are you crying" are just very few of a lot of them.

Surprisingly I cannot find the right words here to review this movie. It's an experience worth watching and not to be explained by anyone. All 3 of them were brilliant.

Must see. Today. (9/10)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saturday Night at the Baths

As interesting as the title sounds, how I wished the movie was half as interesting. It had a weak plot, strictly okay performances and uninteresting going on.

Set in 70s the movie starts with a musician Michael who has just moved to NY with his girlfriend Tracy from Montana. After seeing various ads in he newspaper and after his initial inhibitions he decided to interview in a bathhouse for playing piano. He gets the job but makes very clear to his manager Scotti that he is straight and he is fine with it. Michael is shown overwhelmed with the whole bath house environment. He comes back home and tells Tracy how Scotti tried to hit on him. Tracy did not find anything odd. In fact they both later in the day go to party where Scotti had invited them. She likes him and they hit off instantly. The friendship of all 3 starts growing but Michael is somewhere just uncomfortable with the whole thing. Maybe because he is closeted. Who knows!! Anyways, finally its time for Michael's first performance for audience on a saturday night and it goes very well. After a heavy night , Michael ends up going with Scotti to his place and they end up kissing. Michael comes back home and on Tracy's asking tells her everything. The movie then just abruptly ends with Tracy saying that whether this changes anything between them and Michael says He hopes not. Thats it. And I was like, What the f***?

Like I said, the story and the plot were half baked. I still don't know what was the whole idea. It was as if they just wanted a slice of someone's life but even then there has to be a start and an end to any slice. That was completely missing. There were forced scenes from the whole Saturday night at baths celebration.

Not my cup of tea. (3.5/10)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Go West (Bosnia Herzegovina - Serbo Croatian)

This is a powerful story about both love and hate reaching across ethnic and religious boundaries. This portrayal of the oppression and discrimination that existed in Bosnia-Herz. And thats what this movie tells us about, the love that Milan and Kenan have for each other.

Kenan, a Muslim and Milan an Serb are same sex couple. Because of all the war and everything, both their public and intimate life is in danger. Kenan is an artist who plays violin. They decide to move to Milan's village but Kenan's life would be in danger because he is a Muslim. In order to pass through the Christian Serb area, Kenan poses as a girl and Milan's wife. The trick works but they have to continue with the trick till they reach the village because its the same story in the village for a Muslim guy plus the fact that they are a same sex couple. Once in the village, Milan's father Ljubo tries to gather papers etc for them to flee to Netherlands. Soon Ranka, a woman who works for Ljubo discovers the truth about Kenan. Since Milan by this time has gone to war and Ranka desperately needs a man, she keeps this secret but only because she wants to have sex with Kenan which she does. When Milan comes back from the war for a vacation, Ranka asks Kenan to forget him and marry her but Kenan refuses. Ranka is considered to be a bad lady who practices black magic and using that she gets Milan killed in the war. Ljubo then finds out the truth and somehow him with help of Milan's best friend who had always known the truth help Kenan out of the village towards the west.

The story was interesting for me because I had no idea of the political history of war etc in Yugoslavia. The story was also good and novel with good acting by primary characters. Both the story and characters were very believable. Maybe we as outsiders wont appreciate the movie as much as the people who belong to Bosnia-Herz are would do. But still a good cinema is a good cinema. Apparently the director of the movie had been threatened for life because of showing same sex love story

A good watch for people who appreciate quality cinema. (7/10)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Huhwihaji anha (Korean) [No Regret]

One of the very good films I have seen in recent times. I had no idea Korean cinema could be this good and effective yet soulful. The way the situation, history and interactions between the two individuals is shown is brilliant. It seems so natural and human unlike most other films where human emotions seem more superficial.

Su-min is orphan and gay. He wants to make lots of money and go to college. He lives with his friend who works with him. Su-min works in a factory during the day and works as a call in driver during evenings. One such evening he is called by Jae-min to be dropped off to his building. Jae-min invites Su-min to come inside his apartment but Su-min refuses and asks him to not call for him again. Meanwhile lay offs start in the factory and Su-min also gets laid off. He realizes that Jae-min is the owner of the factory and he might have been responsible for this. But Jae-min tries and gets him back but Su-min refuses. Desperate for money and with no job, Su-min starts working as a prostitute and soon is doing pretty well for himself. One day Jae-min shows up there and after seeing Su-min asks for him. Su-min has no choice but to go with him. they have sex but Su-min feels completely disgusted and he tells Jae-min never to get back to him or else he will kill him. By this time we realize that Jae-min is falling for Su-min but there is something why Su-min doesn't like him. Things change and finally Su-min changes his mind and soon they both are a couple. We then find out that Jae-min is engaged to be married to a girl. His parents know he is gay but still want him to get married for social and political reasons. He starts ignoring Su-min. This is when Su-min gets really desperate. The exact reason that he was running away from relationship was the fact that he doesn't want to be heart broken and this is what was exactly happening. He cries, pleads with Jae-min but to no luck. Jae-min still loves him but he cannot do anything. Finally when the time comes and Jae-min realizes it is too late and by then Su-min has already decided to do something. What comes ahead just chocks the viewers. You realize how much Su-min would have loved Jae-min to take this extreme step. This is the first gay movie with a sad ending (well, I am not really sure of that). But I think the climax was perfectly justified.

The first half of the movie was superb. It was slow but with all the characters being built, it was necessary. The second half could have been better but like the title of the movie, I have no regrets. Su-min was superb. I never thought Asian guys are cute but I have to say that Su-min was pretty cute. Plus he acted so good. He depicted carefree nature, ambition, pain and agony in the best possible way. Jae-min was good too. Supporting characters were ok. The film is dark in most places but it goes with the mood.

Definitely a must watch. (8/10)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In The Gloaming

Finally a good heart warming film after a series of inconsequential films. This film was so beautiful yet simple, so effective yet not melodramatic, slow yet surreal that you feel for the characters. The film mostly revolves around Danny and his mother but thats not it.

The movie starts with Danny coming back after few years in the beautiful locales of New England. Its not very clear why is he back home to the viewer but everyone in the home seems to know. We find out soon. He has AIDS and wants to spend his last few months with his folks. His dad, mother and sister live independent lives until Danny comes in. Hence starts the process of mother trying to know everything about his son and him trying to know about his mother. The film primarily focuses on this aspect but it is so heart wrenching. This is pretty much what the story is about. But just the whole screenplay if this beautiful short story is marvelous. There are few scenes I would like to mention. The scene where the nurse tries to literally teach Danny's mother how to take care of him. She says "Touch Him". All scenes where Danny tells his mom about Paul , his lover. My favorite is the last scene where Danny's father who was never forthright is showing his love for his scene breaks down in the end and asks his wife to tell him what all did his son like. That screen just melt my heart.

The movie is neither about AIDS or dying, rather its about healing and going home to universe. It takes place in the fall, when Summer transitions to Winter; the primary action occurs at sunset when the day transitions into night; and the story itself depicts a human being transitioning from one state of life into the next. Gloaming is the word used to describe a articular weather situation in Scotland.

Definitely a watch, if you are one of me. (7/10)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pianese Nunzio (Italian) [Sacred Silence]

It is not even worth reviewing this film simply for the fact that 10 minutes into the movie and I Was so bored that I ended up fast forwarding the movie and finished it in about 30 minutes. I am just going to put up the brief story of the movie and the whole idea is for me to remember that I did the mistake of seeing the film.

In Naples a priest begins a campaign against the Camorra. He's particularly vulnerable in that he has a "relationship" with 13-year-old Nunzio an alter boy, semi orphan and talented singer. The priest in this film is both a hero in his fight against the Camorro and a villain in his abuse or molestation of Nunzio. Lest the priest be too sympathetic a character there is Gigi an older boy who apparently was the priest's last protégé who appears at the beginning of the film and complains that the priest doesn't seem to have time for him anymore. `Things change' he's told. The audience is left to judge for themselves as the priest seems to harbor no guilt about his actions and the boy says that he enjoyed the affection.

I really am in no position to comment on the performances or anything. WIll just stick my personal grade. (1/10)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

When Love Comes (New Zealand)

This story is told to us by 2 girls Fig and Sally, members of a wanna be band , a drummer and a singer and they are a couple. Based in New Zealand, this is a movie driven by characters rather than story.

The story is about this zombie guy Mark, who writes songs and hangs out with Fig and Sally. Stephen a modest guy in his 30s i looking for love and meaning in life and sees that in Mark but he doesn't reciprocate except in form of hanging out or occasional sex. Mark believes that he just cannot love anyone and does not believe that Stephen loves him. Fig and sally sing Mark's songs in between having casual sex with just about anyone. Steven's best friend is Katie, who was once a very popular singer. She has accepted a big TV project but has no inspiration to sing and hence returns back to New Zealand from US. Viewer is ridden through the emotional turmoil that Katie is going through because of her age and her drowning career and the guy Eddie that she is seeing. After twists and turns, Mark and Stephen come together, Fig and Sally try to sort their zombie life style and make Katie their business manager.

Katie was doing a lot of over acting according to me. She had weird expressions. I guess her character demanded but it just didn't go too well with me. Fig and Sally were good. They acted wonderful. I loved them. It was very difficult to understand Mark's character. The inner turmoil that he is going through were left to viewer's mind to interpret. Stephen was ok. The one thing I loved was the song that Katie sings with Sally. I loved it.

In overall the movie was ok. Half way in the movie, I realized I had seen it before. Of course there was nothing worth remembering in the movie. (4/10)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Whole New Thing (Canada)

This one is one of those coming of age movies. May be its not entirely gay coming of age ( I was not clear on that) but maybe bisexual. Some people might be put off by the whole idea of a story where a 13 year old boy tries to hit on his 40 year old teacher but believe me, the subject has been handled with maturity and sensitivity.

Emerson is a 13 year old boy who has always studies at home ( a beautiful home in some suburbs of snow filled Canada). His mom Kaya feels that its time he goes to school, even though his dad Rog feels otherwise. It is his dad's creative instincts that Emerson like to write and is in fact pretty good at it.Kaya and Rog are in a stale marriage: each has needs the other can't appreciate. Emerson enjoys his isolation and is not eager to move into the 'mainstream' by attending school. Kaya visits the middle school and meets teacher Don Grant (Daniel MacIvor) whom she invites to her home to meet and impress Emerson. Don is a bright, lovable teacher who has failed in gay relationships, relegating his needs to visits to park restrooms. When Don comes to dinner, Emerson is impressed with Don's acceptance of Emerson's outlook and decides to give the school a chance. Don Grant adapts to suit Emerson's intelligent needs and they become friends, Emerson develops his first 'crush' on Don. Around this time Kaya meets Denny and start a sexual relationship. Towards the end of the movie, they show how Emerson tries to make Don comfortable , make sexual advances and how Don protects himself and makes sure he doesn't do anything to Emerson and his innocence. Confrontations towards the climax, start to resolve conflicts between individuals and make them grow.

Acting wise everyone did a splendid job. The movie was shot beautifully. Emerson I think was shown a little too effeminate but acted well. The relationship between student and teacher was good. Maybe its too liberal but what the heck, its time we start talking about real issues rather than just giving those mushy romantic movies.

Definitely should be seen and praised. I have seen it twice already.(7/10)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

20 centímetros (Spanish / French)

First time I heard about this movie was from a friend, so my expectations were high. This movie turned out to be good but not great shakes by any means. I have definitely seen better movies. Plus I guess this is not what my cup of tea is.

Marieta is a transvestite who is beautiful, dresses as a woman, has breast implants, is on painful steroid injections, but still retains the 20 centimeter penis that prevents her from becoming the totally feminine woman she desires. She works as a hooker on street but she has a heart of gold. She suffers from narcolepsy because of which she ends up sleeping just about anywhere. It is during these times that she dreams of these elaborate musicals where she is the start colorfully dressed singing and dancing with hundreds of other people. She is trying to save all the money that she can for her surgery to get her 20 centimeter removed. She shares an apartment with a dwarf Tomás, cares a lot for her friend and neighbor Berta and her son. Marieta yearns for love and when she notices on Raul she feels she is in love, especially when Raul returns her attention. LIttle does she realize that Raul like her because she has a 20 centimeter penis and he can get fucked with it. How Marieta comes to grips with her focal surgical dream versus her chance for love is the tender way the film concludes.

Marieta's acing was superb. All the music numbers are shot very beautifully and with great dances. Raul was HOT! HOT! HOT!. This is one guy who is totally one of my closest friend would die for. I also like Tomas' character. Overall I think the movie was decent and funny in parts.

If you are into musicals, then this is a must watch for you, otherwise it is ok. (5.5/10)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Love Life (2006)

Another one of those movies, which have a good script but then probably they are not the best to adapt in a full length feature film. I would say that the subject would have been good for a short feature or even a play but here was nothing much to show in terms of a full length film. Though I would repeat that premise and story had potential in it.

Joe, a former professional baseball player is married to Mary for convenience. Both are in denial of their sexuality plus both need this marriage. Joe for professional reasons and Mary, so that she does not have to bear the brunt of her mother. The home they live is shown very weird with everything covered with plastic. I still don't understand what was the whole idea behind it. Anyways, Mary's best friend Aura is visiting them who happens to be a lesbian and in college days Mary and Aura had a thing for each other. Meanwhile Joe gets involved in extra marital affair with Thomas, a guy whom he called for estimation of his backyard work. Mary gets paranoid when she learns about it because she desperately needs this marriage. On the other hand when Aura and Mary realize they love each other, Aura asks her to leave everything to be with her but Mary refuses because of odd reasons. Ultimately Mary realizes that everyone needs to be happy in life and just pretending to be happy by being someone she is not is neither helping her nor Joe. Ultimately Joe gets with Thomas and Aura and Mary are together.

There was not drama or anything in the movie. Simple movie, very basic characters and minimal stress. Thats the reason I say there was more potential in making it a short feature.

OK movie. My ratings are more for story potential rather than the film itself. (5.5/10)

My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

I had no idea what this was about before I started to watch it. It was funny in bits and pieces and as an overall impact, the film was strictly ok. It felt a more like an amateurish comedy where the characters tried hard to make you laugh. It sometimes fell flat specially when Jake keeps tripping all over the place in the entire movie. More on that later.

Liberty shows up with her date Jake for her best friend's Cory sudden planned wedding. Incidentally the groom Cliff ( an actor by profession) is gay (we find out later) whose partner Wes has been forced to be the best man. Cliff is getting married because of professional reasons. Because of some misunderstanding, everyone thinks that Jake is gay and likes Wes whereas the truth is hidden by all. Here starts the comic moments in the film whereas one confusion leads to another and how to save Cliff and Wes being exposed, Jake helps them out because he himself needs to get out of the place for his interview but he cannot let Liberty know about this. Enters Melissa, a photographer who wanted some scoop about Cliff's wedding but ends up getting a picture of CLiff and Wes making out. Jake falls for her and convinces her to not do that. In turn he asks her to get some exclusive wedding pictures. After a series of twists , turns and comic moments, the wedding is canceled. Cory figures out about CLiff but requests Wes to not let CLiff know that she knows.

Movie was funny in bits and parts like I said before. Filmed with very low budget I guess, it had decent acting . I liked Liberty who rightly portrayed her character of a girl who likes to dominate men in relationship. Funniest was Cory's mother who tries and seduce Jake every time they are together.

It wont hurt you or bore you to see the movie but it would neither be in my must watch movie list either. (5/10)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shock to the System

This movie is second in series of those mystery gay movies featuring the private investigator Donald Strachey and his partner Tim. Like I mentioned in the review of their first film that this movie portrays gay characters in such different form as compared to other movies, that it is heartwarming to see these films.

The film starts with a guy called Paul asking for Donald's help in finding someone but the very next day he is found dead fearing that he committed suicide. Strachey feels tat he owes to Paul and he will find out out the real cause behind this. He finds from Paul' mother that he was the poster boy of Dr. Trevor who run an institute to turn gay people straight. Strachey smartly becomes a patient at the doctor's institute to find out what goes inside the institute. He is helped by few fellow men with respect to a certain cd where Paul has been planing to expose Dr Trevor. Ultimately after a series of murders, suspense and twists, the truth is revealed. Al this time Donald Strachey is supported by his partner Tim (who I thought was very funny at times) and his office manager. Later we are also told that Paul was Strachey's first lover when he was in the army.

Te dialogues are god, acting superb, Donald Strachey is still so damn cute. I think we ned more of these moves in this series because at least here is someone who wants and likes to think out of the box and creates gay characters that are more believable.

Definitely a worth watch. You should watch the earlier one first. (7/10)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Forgive and Forget (UK)

An interesting movie from the ENglish side of the world, I believe this movie was made for TV. A decent movie with some decent performances but same cannot be said about the regressive storyline and the way it was handled, is sure a watch.

David and Theo have been best mates since 14 years and they like to hang out together most of the time. Things change when Theo falls in love with Hannah, a photographer. You can see David starting to feel jealous. Theo has no idea about David 's feelings but its hard for David to see Theo with Hannah. He tries his best to get their relationship strained which leads to one day Hannah walking out of Theo. Meanwhile in short references we are shown how David's family is homophobic and how they absolutely dislike gays. So when Theo is heartbroken after Hannah leaves him and asks David,"How can one tell the other person that you truly love them", David starts thinking. He invites Theo for this TV show called Forgive and forget which is about couple's talking about each other and other such stuff. Thats where David comes out to his parents that he is gay and also announces his love for Theo. Hereon David's life becomes miserable because his dad asks him to leave their house for good and when Theo sees David, he is all mad at him because he thinks David always lied to him. Plus he also finds out that it was David behind the reason Hannah left Theo. The movie ends with David show alone suffering.

The movie was ok with some decent performances but there are couple of things which cannot be digested. The parents disapproval and ignorance about homosexuality. Plus why would David come out in public rather than doing something more meaningful? Performance wise, David speaks a lot with his eyes which I like. The guy who played Theo was kinda cute. Hannah's character was never fully developed because she was shown to dislike David just because he was Theo's good mate !

A decent watch in your free time. (6/10)