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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Prayers For Bobby

A very very touching story. Considering that not until the end of the film I realized that this was based on a true story. I had tears in my eyes by the time the film ended. The film is set in 1982.

Bobby Griffith is a teen who has a loving family and a pretty good life. However, he believes himself to be a homosexual. He fears that his mother, Mary, will not accept him and love him anymore, due to her clear and well-known loath and contempt of gay and lesbians due to her faith and literal interpretation of the bible. When Bobby tells his brother he thinks he is gay, his brother tells Mary, hoping his mother can help Bobby. Instead, she treats Bobby as if he has a disease that can be "cured" through God. Mary's overbearing and abrasive treatment towards Bobby distances him from his family out to Oregon to live with his cousin, who believes anyone should be allowed to love anyone. While in Oregon, Bobby meets a guy David who makes him feel good about himself. When Bobby comes back from his vacation, he tells his family about the guy he met and his mother reacts as if he is a perverse and sick person. She tells him she WILL NOT have a gay son. This upsets Bobby enough to permanently move to Oregon without a goodbye from his mother. While in Oregon, feeling the isolation of the family he loves, he becomes suicidal and cannot take it anymore. He commits suicide. For the rest of the film, we see his mother go through some major character development and we see her try to overcome her ignorance. The movie ends on anote when the whole family comes to terms with the death and how now Mary is doing everything possible to help GLBT population. The climax of the film in the pride parade in SF was the ultimate.

I got so choked up at so many times watching the film. Many of us still go through this kind of treatment form our families because of their ignorance and religious beliefs. Its just so sad to see someone committing suicide. From writing to acting to direction, everything about this film was good.

Is a must see, for gays and specially their families. (8/10)

Save Me

Now this one was definitely a different film. Whether it was good or bad is debatable and we will talk later about that but merging gay and religion together has not been done too often.

When Mark a regular sex and drug addict hit rock bottom (after having attempted suicide), his brother checks him into a christian retreat center in New Mexico. Its run by a couple Ted and Gayle. They have 6 another inmates who came there as homosexuals and with the love of Christ and dedication, they were trying to get over that. Mark starts to bond well with Scott in the center. Ted sees this as normal male healthy bonding (even the 2 men dont think anything about it) but Gayle is always uncomfortable with the closeness of the two men. The reason we find later is that Gayle had lost her 17 year old son who was gay. She sees her son in Mark and wants to cure him. Scott and Mark question about their relationship after Scott's father dies and tells him that Scott is going to hell. Scott is devastated and realizes that the only reason he was in center was for his father and now it would be for Mark. Mark reciprocates but he thinks religion is changing him as well. Scott decided that he cannot lie anymore . He is gay and he accepts it. Gayle asks him to leave the center. Mark refuses to go with him. One night when Mark's room mate tries to commit suicide is when Mark realizes that happiness can be between a man and a woman or between 2 men. Nowhere in Bible does Jesus say that homosexuality is a sin. Scott comes to meet everyone when he decided to leave the town. Thats when Mark decided that he really loves him and goes with him. Ted and Gayle continue with their journey of religious healing for homosexuals.

It was good to see Mark other than his Strachey persona. Scott as usual is hot. They made a good couple. The good thing about this movie was there was no unnecessary sex or nude scene. They tried to make the film as realistic and as commercial as possible for universal viewing. I Can see why some people might not like the film because of its slow pace and some religious preaching but I guess is about time we started exploring different themes within gay genre.

Its not a bad film. Just try to keep up with the slow pace. (6/10)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Out (German)

I believe that the film was one of the first ones to come out from Germany depicting trial and tribulations of gay life in the country. Though the film might not be perfect but given the time and setting it shows to a great extent the confusion that a man can go through trying to find the true self.

Philipp is a popular high school teacher (of course in closet) whose chance encounter with single and much looking Tanja leads to an affair between the two of them. Philipp thinks that his sexuality is cured. BUt when Tanja invites a friend of hers to the house, old feelings in Philipp are aroused again as he recognizes to have had some sexual encounters with the guy in the past. Enters Mathias, a young gay guy whom Philipp meets in a gay bar, they hang out and they ultimately have their first fulfilling physical encounter. Before things could get better, Philipp finds out that Tanja is pregnant. Philipp realizes his mistake, marries Tanja and everything is a secret from her. Mathias is devastated by Philipp suddenly disappearing from his life. He looks for him all over and wen he finds him, they other cant control their excitement. But as soon as Mathias finds out that Philipp is married he runs away. Tanja now knowing the truth does not want anything to do with Philipp. His mother also does not understand the whole thing. Now Philipp starts searching for true love but Mathias doesn't like him any more since his heart has already been broken once. On top of it, he is now dating one of Philipp's students. Philipp is scared for true love and also for his job. In a bar he meets a wise old man who tells him his own poignant story and the fact that things can be worse. Returning to his classroom Philipp is informed that he is under observation because of his sexual activity. Struck by silence, Philipp stands before his class, his future unknown And just says Yes thus telling us he accepts what he is and is ready to come out.

The lead character played by Philipp was very real and identifiable. I still cannot understand the opening scene of Mathias being in a hospital. It did not make sense. But the challenges and confusions Philipp goes through is done brilliantly. Also the scene where they show Mathias' whole family being supportive of his sexual orientation is also shown brilliantly. The old man telling his own story gives us all hope that things are not all that bad for our generation.

A warm nice film. Watch it when you have time. (5.5/10)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Night Is Too Long (Uk TV)

Well now this is one gay movie genre that I really haven't seen before. A thriller drama and romance all in one . It is so difficult to put the movie in a particular genre. For the first half an hour I wasn't sure about the film but as it progressed it became interesting.

Tim is a good looking college guy who enjoys attention from most women. A chance encounter with professor of paleontology Ivo changes his life. They get in a passionate affair which makes Ivo believe that him and Tim are in love. Tim is not so sure about the whole thing because Ivo is the only an he has ben with. They have plans to travel to Alaska to take cruise because of Ivo's work. Once they are in Alaska, Ivo has to suddenly go to another cruise to fill in for someone and hence Tim is left alone. He meets the beautiful Isabel and one thing leads t another and next we know is that Isabel and Tim are having an affair. Isabel lives in Vancouver and is in Alaska for her ailing friend. This is the first time time has felt love for someone and all he wants to do is get out of his relationship with Ivo. Ivo comes back and now they are ready t go to another cruise together. Tim is confused but after a while he has to tell Ivo. He refuses to accept that and does not want to leave Tim. Fearing for his life, one day Tim gets a chance and he leaves Ivo behind on a deserted island thinking he is dead and goes to Vancouver. But he has missed Isabel's address and so cant find her. He comes back to his home but images of Ivo keep haunting him. Later we are told that Ivo is alive and Isabel is actually his sister and he had asked her to keep an eye on Tim to make sure he behaves properly while Ivo was gone on the cruise. A year later Ivo meets Tim at a music festival. Tim is scared but Ivo tells him that he should not fear because he has overgrown his anger in this year. Ivo is later murdered and charges are pressed on Tim. Tim tells the whole story to the lawyer who suggests that he is selfish guy and he probably cannot love anyone. The movie ends with Isabel knocking on Tim's door but he cannot (or does not) want to open it.

The whole scene when Tim leaves Ivo on the island is simply brilliant. There were a very few loopholes in the whole scene. Direction and acting wise as well, the film was top notch. I am surprised that it was made for TV. The money spent to make the film beautiful was very visible. It kills you to see when Tim cannot confirm his love for Isabel in the end. You also get to see the over possessive facet of a gay man. Also they show how sometimes people can be confused (somehow I could not relate to that part)

A long movie but I would recommend it to watch. (7/10)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Ski Trip

Sometimes when you watch a film, it helps to have almost zilch expectations with the movie. The acting could be not upto the mark and the budget can be low but at least you can see honest intentions behind making the film.

Corey has just turned 30. He has your average gay guy who is depressed over getting older, being out of shape and having just been dumped by his super hot boyfriend. So his friends decide to cheer him up by taking him on a fun filled weekend – Ski Trip. His friends include the over-the-top Drama Queen, Terry; His sexy, smart and sassy lesbian friend Nikki; bitchy boy toy Byron; sex crazy Carlos; and Omar, the sweet boy next door. Omar has always had a crush on Corey but somehow Corey misses it. Carlos, the bartender and wannabe DJ has slept with everyone in the group. Byron brings with him an escort Tyson (super hot) who has more to him than just looking hot and good. During the ski trip, lots of secrets are unveiled like Terry and Nikki having a bay and that Corey never had a boyfriend. It was all his imagination to have a hot boyfriend. LIke everything, in the end things are all fine where Corey and Omar are a couple. Tyson and Carlos are together and every one else is still friends and are happy even one year later.

It was a simple film, made on a modest budget but I quite liked it. There is nothing exceptional about it but it seems real with real people. Some over the top queens and others like Omar (who I must add had a beautiful smile) who are grounded and still believe in true love.

Watch it. It might bring a smile on your face. (6/10)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Postcards From America

Good God!! what was this film. Neither a documentary, nor a biography and definitely not commercial. How different it could have been had the director decided what's the ultimate result that he wants.

This film is based on Late artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz, who died in 1992. The film portrays the life of this tortured gay soul on a desperate, life-long search for love and the supportive family he never had. The episodic story intercuts three periods in David's life: his abused childhood; his 1970s late teens years as a Times Square hustler and petty thief where he has a partner in crime and a couple of drag queens; and his emotionally adrift life as an adult who substitutes furtive, anonymous sex for love and whose rage and alienation eventually takes to the road. The three periods of his life just keep changing intermittently and they show random events from these 3 periods (which needless to say I could care less). And thats it.

The film randomly starts and randomly ends. I have nothing more to say. (1/10)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Arizona Sky

Sometimes the simplest of the movies touch your heart. A simple story, natural (or maybe not) acting, a relationship based on pure love and emotions; his is what summarizes this movie for me.

Kyle and Jake are high school best buddies growing up in Arizona. They fooled around one night but even then they thought they liked each other but feared what people would say. They are getting together for what appears to be a regular night of “sleeping out” in the desert. The pangs, ache and longing of first love are evident in these two beautiful young men. They eat some supper and then curl up on blankets for an evening of necking in the back of Kyle’s old pickup truck. But we realize that Jake is moving out of the small town to the big city. 15 years later, we see Jake is doing very good for himself in the movie business but still cannot his buddy Kyle whom he hasn't seen forever. He decided to take a break from city life and visit his old town back. After an awkward initial introductions, the friends are back together. The two now-grown men reconnect and the spark is still there. Kyle is in the closet with his gay desires, but all of his feelings spill to the surface as he and his old friend get to know each other better. Against all odds finally they confess their love for each other and decide to live with each other in the small town.

If not for a couple of very beautifully executed sequences, this movie would have fallen flat. The chemistry and awkwardness that you see between the 2 men when they meet after 15 years is so evident as is the spark. My favorite is the scene when Jake confesses his love for Kyle. Oh! that touched my heart Wonderful piece of acting. Also the conversation between Kyle and his aunt is touching. The scene where Jake helps one of Kyle's friends is also good showing us what a nice guy Jake is. Of course he is very handsome too.

Just for that one scene, my ratings for the film went up. A slow film but def worth watch for love. (7/10)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Running Deep

Lots of films have been made on dysfunctional families. Some strike a chord while others just leave you wondering, 'what was that!'. This film had an interesting premise and a lot could have been done but unfortunately it did not do too much for me.

Mike is now retired and has 2 sons: Matt and Kevin. Matt is adopted black son who is well settled finance guy who has cocaine problems and now his wife cannot handle it anymore. She wants divorce and would not let Matt see the kids. Mike is very uncomfortable with the gay life style of his son Kevin. One year after Mike's wife death, as per her will they go to the beach house for a vacation as they had many times. Except this time everyone has a secret. Kevin finds out that his boyfriend had been cheating on him and they break up right before this vacation. Matt gets the divorce papers from the lawyer. Matt gets so depressed that he ends u taking a cocaine overdose and dies. Mike blames Kevin for not telling him that Matt has started taking cocaine back. A year after his death Kevin goes back to the beach house to see how his father is doing. There is always tension between Kevin and Mike and we find out that the reason behind it is that Kevin saw Mike getting physical with a woman when he was 9 years old. He just cannot forget that. Meanwhile Kevin's ex finds out a dark secret about MIke being molested by a counselor when he was a kid and blackmails him that he will tell Kevin. When Kevin cannot take anymore from MIke about how he had not ben the son he wanted him to be, he confronts him about he day when he saw him as a 9 year old which leaves Mike speechless. He realizes that things are not simple. And later in an emotional moment he tells kevin all about his own time when he was molested. Kevin's ex realizing everything tries to kill Kevin since he his become obsessed with Kevin by now but fails when Mike saves Kevin's life ultimately bringing the father and the son closer to each other.

The difference from other dysfunctional family film and this was the way of narrating the story. Acting wise I seriously did not think any great shakes. The pace of the film could have been a little faster. Matt's character and his problems were not clear enough. A little more focus on that could have helped the film.

It strictly ok. A watchabale fare when u have nothing better to do. (5/10)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

40 Years Out : A Very British Sex Scandal

A UK Channel 4 series celebrating 40 years of legalization of homosexuality in UK, this film was the first in series. This moving docu-drama shows investigating a pivotal court case in the mid-50s that changed public opinion.

Peter Wildeblood, a royal correspondent for the Daily Mail newspaper is a closet homosexual and like many gay men at that time, lives in secret as homosexuality is against the law. One evening he meets Eddie McNally, who is on leave from the air force and the pair embark on an affair together. They spend a weekend at the estate of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, a 28-year-old aristocratic socialite with a friend Johny Reynolds. Every single person tried to hide their homosexuality but one day when the air force chief catches one of the letters from Peter to Eddie, things change forever. Johny and Eddie are arrested and are told they would be freed if they testified against Peter and Montagu. In January 1954, Lord Montagu and Peter were arrested after a concerted effort by the police to ensnare them for homosexual offences. Their subsequent trial and conviction were to mark a sea change in public opinion, which eventually led to the Wolfenden Committee and its landmark recommendations for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain.

Mixing drama with documentary testimony, including that of Lord Montagu, this film brings to life the extraordinary events of the trial and paints a vivid picture of gay life in 1950s Britain. Performances in the drama part were very realistic and it does send chills knowing that being gay was so hard and illegal at one point in time in this world.

Definitely a good watch to understand the gay British history. (7/10)

Men's Mix One (Short Films)

This is a mix collection of gay short films. The primary focus in this series has been th award winning sort flms in various film festivals.

"Blurs" - A young teen boy sees 3 drag queens one day and decided to check out his mom's closet. His parents fearing the worse make him go to wrestling and do other things but when the boy tells about a old man chasing him, the mom puts her foot down and gets a dog instead.
"Touched" - This is set in Philadelphia's gay night life. A sex starved middle aged casting director Mike meets this young handsome man and they come home. We ultimately fid out that young man is homeless because he screwed up his life with drugs and his wife and kid left him. A very touching story when ultimately Mike feels he touched the young man by holding him in his arms.
"10 Pesos" - A weird story of how a 10 peso note travels between different hands.
"Safe Journey" - The Kid has no money, no place to live and nowhere to go. The Man has lost the one he loves. He is losing his eyesight. He's selling all his possessions so nothing will be left to lose. Both are trapped, each alone until Fate brings them together one windy autumn night. A very nice story.
"Gaydar" - This one is hilarious. Everyone in the office is confused about his hot guy's sexual orientation and he keeps the people guessing and he knows it. A guy finds a gaydar machine in yard sale and decided to try it out. After a turn of events, the girl next to stop stops him from doing so because if they find out, one of them will be disappointed and they both want to continue to live in their fantasies.

I loved Touched and Gaydar. Blurs and Safe Journey were ok. 10 pesos was weird. Still watching short films is always fun. (5.5/10)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

24 Nights

This might not be the most brilliantly made film for holidays but I bet this one comes pretty darn close. Its funny, its poignant, it talks about santa, real love, family, friends etc and at no point does this film let you bore. Although the film probably has been made on a low budget but still there is no denying that after a few bad experiences in films , I am glad I saw this one. I can safely say this is my kind of film.

Jonathan lives with his sister Marie and her husband Stan (an underwear model) after his parents passed away. He still believes in Santa and writes him letter every christmas along with writing a letter to his parents as well. Their family is very over the top, overtly friendly and loud but very loving. The story goes through 24 nights before Christmas. Jonathan works in a book store with a his great gay buddy. This Christmas, he asks Santa to send him his true love with all typical characteristics. He think his wish is fulfilled when Toby walks in the book store next day looking for a job. Toby is this very handsome and smart southern boy. Jonathan immediately falls for him but very son his hopes are crashed when he fins out that Toby has a boyfriend Keith and it was for his school that they both moved to NYC. Toby is friendly and wants to go fro clubs and parties but Keith hates it. Once when Jonathan invites Toby for Christmas decorations to his family, he tags along Keith with him. Keith has instant disliking for Jonathan because he sees Jonathan has a crush for Toby and as asks him to not go out with Toby again. Marie confuses Keith to be the guy whom Jonathan likes and asks him to stay for dinner and hang out. Keith kind of enjoys it after a first not so good impression of the family. A series of events later, Keith and Toby have a fight over why Toby goes to clubs and Keith moves out. Having no where else to go he asks Marie's help and stays with them for couple of days. He starts liking Jonathan a lot because both of them are those typical romantic guys. Jonathan does not see it coming because he is still reeling under infatuation for Toby. Things are fine in the end when after a few fights, discussions, family interference, its santa who makes Jonathan realize that how he truly loves Keith and t was Keith and not Toby whom Santa had sent.

It seems like a serious romantic movie but its not. It has a lots of funny moment. Like Stan (the model) who is shown completely dumb, or the mother in law who keeps arguing with Marie. Stan's extended family friends on Christmas are funny too. Overall nice romantic, comedy holiday movie. Jonathan's character was shown rally confused and you could see why and empathize with him. Toby was hot but he knew he is not he one who Keith wants to be. Toby wanted to be a fre bird whereas Keith likes stability. Acting wise everyone did a great job and ys Toby was really god looking.

I would watch it again. Its my kind 0f movie. (7/10)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Australia)

There are not many movies who deal with gays and drag queens in a normal and sympathetic way, too often they are just shown as stereotypes. This film is a wonderful exception.

The movie follows the story of 2 drag queens and 1 transsexual who follow a road trip across Australia to perform drag shows. Tick is the one who organizes the trip. He is the lead. He is married to a girl (who herself is bisexual) and also has a son which he is hiding from his friends. Adam/Felicia is the second drag queen who now has the biggest opportunity in life to perform in front of a large audience. Then there is the transexual Bernadette who acts as a balance between the two and supposedly most sophisticated. She has recently lost her husband and thats the reason she took the trip to get away from everyone. The 3 of them buy an old bus, name it Priscilla and move on. Thinking of taking a short cut, they drive through a desert and of course the bus fails. Starts here their journey of meeting some interesting people, noticeable among them being an old man who stats liking Bernadette. Filled with lots of performances of Abba, Tick finally feels ok to tell his son what he does and they both reunite.

The movie has excellent performances and wonderful costumes and dances when they do the drag performances. Its very difficult to single out any single person among the 3 of them but all of them have acted brilliantly. The film touched me at the point where it means to say that drags are also humans and that how some of them have feelings to have family and stuff.

Watch it. You may just like it for it being so gay. (6.5/10)