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, December 31, 2009

Parting Glances

Saw this movie few weeks ago and completely forgot to review it here. SO here it goes. Although I have seen the movie a couple of times, it still can be ranked a one of the better movies amongst a whole bunch of crap that is out here.

Michael and Robert are a gay couple living in New York. Robert is about to move t Africa for 2 years for work assignment. This is causing a bit of rift between the couple because Michael doesn't want him to go but he has to deal with the reality. One of their closest friends throws n a surprise party for the couple. Quite a good section of the film is spent in introducing the new characters in the arty and how the couple goes about making new friends. In the process Michael also discovers what is the real reason behind Robert taking up the job. We are also introduced to Nick who is Michael's bestest friend and they used to date years ago. Nick is now living with Aids and Michael takes care of him as and whenever it is possible. It is sometimes to th extent that Michael keeps Nick's priorities and wishes over Robert's wishes. This also starts to become the bone of contention between the couple. Complications arise when it appears that Micheal is still in love with Nick and is questioning his relationship "aka Marriage" with Robert. Also Michael has captured the eyes of a Columbia student who works at a nearby record store who is very persistent. Robert in the meantime is showing signs of jealousy towards Nick because of his closeness with Michael. Of course all's well that ends well. Michale keeps friendship over everything when he charters a special plane to go to fire island because Nick told him that he is going to end his life. Although all he really wanted was to spend time with him. Robert meanwhile is thoroughly confused and decides to not go only to come back and see how Michael is ready to do anything for Nick.

Michael and Robert are both very cute and have acted very well. They have a certain chemistry that as a couple they share. It wasn't very clear why Michael and Nick still had that connection. Agreed that it was because of friendship but giving it precedence over lover was something out of my mind. It also gives a little bit of insight into the whole AIDS epidemic and how people in 80s were dealing with it.

Definitely a nice watch. (6.5/10)

Un amour à taire (French) [A Love To Hide]

Set in 1942, at the time of rise of Nazis in Germany and France, this is a beautiful and poignant film that encourages you to wait for the arrival of the hero and the redemption of the evil only for neither to happen. Marvelous acting and a story that spans a few years, it is an emotional roller coaster that leaves you sad and shocked to see the kinds of ordeal gays had to go through during those years.

Jean works at his fathers laundry service and they serve all people include Nazi in Germany. Jean is his father's idol and his brother Jacques is in jail for a year for trafficking. Enter Sara, a Jewish girl who is running for her life since her entire family is killed. She is Jean's childhood friend and somehow managed to run and come to Paris. Jean takes her in, gives her a job in the laundry, and arranges for her to live with Jean's lover of four years Philippe. Jean and Philippe understand the dangers of hiding a Jew: Philippe also understands the conflict of Jean's love for Sarah, platonic but real, and fears Sarah's injured feelings discovering Jean is gay. But the three become closely bonded. After jacques is released, he falls in love with Sara but is thwarted by Sarah's continued love for Jean, rebuffing Jacques' advances. Jacques informs on Jean to prove to his parents that golden boy Jean is in fact gay; Jean is arrested but the arrest turns to horror when his sexuality is discovered and he is beaten and sent to jails and eventually the concentration camp in Dachau, brandished with the pink triangle forced upon gays the way the yellow star was forced upon Jews to segregate them and mark them for extermination. The manner in which each of the family members deals with Jean's crisis forms the dénouement of the film: Philippe is exterminated, Sarah and Jacques marry and have a son named Jean, and the parents alter their views of the idiosyncrasies of their children when Jean is released at the end of the war a lobotomized zombie. The ending is breathless and difficult to watch.

It is definitely a sad film with a sad ending but it is something that we all need to see and know and understand and feel the pains and plights of homosexuals during those years and the kind of hardships that they had to bear. In our age today, we complain of various things but we forget to thank that we still have things far better and easy for us in today's times compared to what they would have been many years ago. Definitely worth a watch although it can use some editing. It is way too long.

Thanks for this film. We need to watch it. (7.5/10)

Metrosexuality (UK)

Metrosexuality is a British television drama, which aired on Channel 4 in 1999. The show, a short run series in six episodes, depicts the interactions of a racially and sexually diverse group of friends and family living in London.

Kwame is seventeen; sexy and unswervingly straight with his hormones raging like a forest fire. He has gay dads who are now divorced. The story revolves around these characters. One of his best friend, a young twink i madly in love with his dad. His other dad now has a new boyfriend but Kwame wants both his dads to get back together. His other friend is a big romantic who is in love with a bear and has proposed to him 4 times overtime to be rejected. Then there is the family counsellor who feels love lost between her and her husband and decides to move in with her girlfriend's rick millionaire father. There are other characters also in the mix who lend supporting roles to each of these creatures. The feature focusses on the days and problems and issues of these people but keeping focus mainly on love, respect, family bonding and of course metrosexuality.

You could sometimes think that the acting is OTT but trust me, t works big time for these characters. They are supposed to b ethis way and yes I enjoyed watching them. The music was god too and somehow fit well into the whole schema of things. SOmetimes in our life we have to find true love ourselves by making mistakes and learning from them.

Its a good timepass and you will enjoy it. (6/10)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Aaron... Albeit a Sex Hero

Oh My God!! This was such a baaaaad film and what is even more surprising are the reviews that you get to read online say on imdb or tla website. This film is unbelievingly bad.

Aaron is a tour guide in Texas and is having a bad day. He wants to quit his job and join another one but his boss wont give a good recommendation. On his last tour, there is a new bus driver and Aaron and him dont start on a good note. Aaron finds him hot but gets the idea that Jesus, the driver is against homosexuals. In the night, he sees some illegal activity going on in the tour bus and dashes for run because now his life is in danger. Most of the rest of the movie is in jungle him trying to save himself. Later Jesus tells him that he is an undercover agent and is trying to nab his tour owner for illegal activities. The two men also get involved in hot steamy sex whenever they can get time because they are so attracted to each other. In the end towards the morning, everything is fine and bad guys are caught.

This story could have been told n half hour but was stretched beyond belief. Acting was good but thats it. A weird name for a film and just unnecessary sex scenes between the two leads. Your life is in danger and all you think is sex, it just doesn't make any sense. All the old ladies in the tour were annoying.

Completely avoidable. I wasted my time. You please don't. (1/10)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In My Life (Filipino)

Having watched a couple of Flipino gay movies, I kind of like their style of humour and the stories that they present. Family values are high, comic timings are good and they just generally focus on keeping the viewers entertained. This film also did the same for me. Its not as great as say a 'Manay Po' but this one still has its moments. The film although could be edited to reduce some of the really emotional scenes.

Shirley, a librarian in Philippines is a single mom who is very dominating. One of her daughters already moved to Australia, her son i sin NY and other daughter lives with her. She wants her mom to sell their property so that the daughter can have better life for her kids. This makes Shirley mad and upset and she suddenly decides to go to NY and stay with her son Matt. Matt is gay and lives with his boyfriend Noel who is trying to find a girl to marry him so that his stay in US can become official. Shirley although knows everything but still doesn't like Noel. She wants to control Matt and his life to. Matt is super busy and in all these times Noel gives Shirley company with each and every thing she wants to do but she is never happy. Matt finds out he has some cancer and needs to undergo surgery for that and he doesn't want to tell his mom. When Shirley ultimately finds out, she blames Noel for all that. Time passes and there is a huge gap. Matt wants Shirley to marry Noel for citizenship because apparently she was born in Hawaii but she refuses. When Matt meets with an accident and dies and Shirley still tries to control his funeral process, Noel looses it and completely backlashes Shirley for all she has been doing. This helps Shirley understand and retrospect why she has become this person and why is she doing this. She repents, asks forgiveness to her children and ultimately marries Noel who is now all alone after Matt's death.

There were lot of beautiful things about the movie. Noel and Matt as a couple, Noel's parents and their health issues, how everyone need to survive on their own in NYC, Shirley trying out different jobs in the city and many many other short and sweet moments. Acting wise everyone was good. Although what didn't make sense to me was why would Matt keep asking Noel to accompany her mother in everything she does. Understand he is busy but still, she is his mom.

Sweet and cute movie. (6.5/10)

Redwoods

Sometimes intentions behind a movie are sincere but somehow somewhere the soul goes missing. Something similar I think happened to this film. The film could have been a simple love story, but somewhere it wasn't made very evident of what the problems between the couple were, why would they not work it out and what was it that made the 2 guys attracted towards each other.

Set in Redwoods, Everett and Miles have a comfortable, non-passionate 7 year old relationship. Together they are raising Billy, a learning disabled boy, who takes up much of the loving and attention in their home. On one weekend, Miles and Billy go off to visit the grandparents and leave Everett to work in peace because that is what Everett wants to do. He wants some time alone by himself. There isn't even a kiss shared between the two men before the departure. Shortly after they leave, Chase, a wanderer and a writer stops his car at Everett’s house and asks for directions since he is lost. There is an instant connection between the two men. And then while antique store hunting with his Mom, the two men run into each other again and the flirtation is official. Despite Everett's reticence and clumsiness, Chase persists and their love blossoms quickly. Its a small town and soon Everett's mom finds out. His family knows that they their son is not happy but they also tell him that sometimes they need to things work out. Everett gives in and him and Chase have emotional and physical connection. Its time for Miles and Billy to be back and this is when Everett leaves home for a few days because he needs time to think and gather his thoughts. Chase is leaving town. They meet one last time. Few years ahead, we now see that Miles and Everett are together very loving for one another and still taking care of Billy. Chase has dies and his sister comes to visit them with a gift from Chase to Everett.

Both Everett and Chase acted very well. You could connect to their characters at some point but like I mentioned earlier, the inherent soul of the characters they portrayed was missing. I preferred Everett's acting because you could feel he was confused between the new found passion & connection that he feels with Chase and the love and responsibility that he has towards Miles and Billy. It was a sweet cute love story which could very well have been a story of a regular straight couple as well.

Definitely not a waste of time. Can be watched. (6/10)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Reception

This film is a very low budget film mad with just 4 characters and their personal interactions with each other. The movie covers a lot of issues like race, alcoholism, homosexuality, AIDS, hate, pride, and defeat. A lot of people think it was a good movie but either I missed the pint but I didn't find anything extra-ordinary in the movie. Is my taste changing?

Jeannette is an aging divorced French 'writer' who has moved to upstate New York to a beautiful home to drink, lives with an HIV-positive African American painter Martin, a disillusioned gay man who has retreated from the artistic and emotional pains of Paris. The two care for each other. Into this snowy scenery enters Jeannette's daughter Sierra, whom she has not seen in years having left her with her father at the time of an early divorce. She comes with her African American husband Andrew, a law student from a wealthy family. Jeannette demands they stay until the weekend when Jeannette will throw a big reception party for the newly wedded couple. At a dinner party for a 'potential lover' for Jeannette all of the underpinnings of the drama become evident. Nothing is as it seems: every character has secrets. Andrew is actually ay from a poor family who is just pretending. Sierra needs to be married to get her grandmother's money. Jeannette and Martin have their own issues.

I think that the movie's pace was a little too slow for my taste. It is more like a half an hour story which has ben stretched to a full length feature film. But at least the director tried to attempt something refreshing from he story point. Martin acted well. Unfortunately the same can't be said about Jeannette or Andrew. Sierra was ok. I just don't have too much other than that director tried to portray issues like gay love, living with HIV, alcoholism, dysfunctional mother/daughter relationships, deception, greed, lust, desperation.

Strictly ok. Not for my taste. (3/10)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Get Your Stuff

Watched this movie second time today. Its a cute premise and interesting story which I remember I thought great things about after first viewing. BUt after watching films like Patrick 1,5; this film takes a few points down but still is one of the entertaining films that you can watch one evening.

Phil and Eric are a gay couple of 6 years who have applied for adoption. While they wait for adoption approval, they are approved for foster parenting in the meantime for 2 grown up kids. After coaxing and a little blackmail, hey agree to keep the 2 boys just for one day. 8 year old TJ is hopeful that if they behave nice, these guys might keep them but elder Brian knows the reality. He wants nothing to do with Phil and Eric until their case worker, Gloria, talks them into working the couple to make themselves more appealing. One day after another leads to a few days like that. Phil who is a counsellor is more accommodating of this change but Eric feels loss of their privacy. Time passes and enter kids mom who is another messed up alcoholic person. Phil wants to help her and Brian who at age 12 might be an alcoholic both but Eric has had enough. He leaves the house and goes. Phil focusses his energies into improving life of the kids and the mom. At some point they realize that maybe because of them Eric left and the kid's mom tells Phil how to win him back. Of course things start getting better and the couple now wants to adopt these kids rather than adopting a baby.

Acting by everyone is good. Chemistry between the couple is good But the fact that Eric just randomly leaves and philanders with some random waiter and lives with him is very odd. The kids act nice but sometimes too much like an adult. I thought case worker Gloria in her short part was good specially when she kind of blackmails the couple to foster parent the boys. The film is mostly feel good and entertaining. Nothing earth shattering about it.

Nice and feel good watch. (6/10)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Johns

This is a metaphorical story about people's dreams as they search for themselves and some meaning to life. Unfortunately, not much of those metaphors were interesting enough to hold my attention. It seems like people enjoyed this movie but for me, it didn't do much.

Its Christmas Eve and John, a male prostitute has a plan for Christmas which also happens to be his birthday. He wants to make enough money so that he can stay in a luxurious hotel for one night. John works on a street in Santa Monica Blvd in LA trying to make money. One of his close associates is a friend of his barely 18 who left home because he was gay. Interestingly John is not gay. He has a girlfriend. Throughout the film we meet his clients, his friends, his enemies, and we are a voyeur to the problems he faces in his line of work. He's a likeable chap. In al this he also has a $300 dollar loan that he has to pay back to a drug dealer. The film continues to show us what happens in the life of John in that one day. The day is sooooo long in the film, yet John's shortage of the stuff keeps up the tension and sympathy, especially as he allows himself to take bigger risks, and the viewer knows it, as the camera indicates visual clues as to his possible next chapter in the day.

David Arquette plays the character of John with total honestly. I think I was able to watch the film only because of that. Otherwise the film had not much to offer. The character of his young gay friend was also not clearly sketched. He liked John but John had no feelings for him. And randomly there were a lot of characters being introduced which would affect the flow.

Way below average for my taste. (2.5/10)

Simon (Dutch-Netherlands)

Another one of those movies wherein the first few minutes, you are not too sure about what this might turn out to be, but towards the finale leaves with you nothing but pleasant memories. Wonderful acting by principal cast and a beautiful story-line helps this movie capture audience interest for the entire duration.

Simon is a drug dealing, swearing, unemployed guy, who cheats on his girlfriend. Yet, you cannot dislike him! He is charismatic, funny, good at heart and completely original. His friendship with Camiel is somehow weird and odd. Through circumstances they meet and strike a friendship. Simon knows right from the start that Camiel is gay. Simon has a girl and a daughter from his ex-Thai wife and he goes once in a year to meet them in Thailand. Simon has another best friend and his wife who works with him and also now has a full time girlfriend. Simon and Camiel share great chemistry but Sion doesn't leave a chance to make gay jokes on Camiel but thats because it is the way Simon is. Once when mistakenly Camiel ends up having a casual fling with his girlfriend, their friendship turns sour and they part ways. They meet again after 14 years and life continues from here. His grown up daughter and son now live with him. His girl-friend ended up marrying his arch rival. But his other best friend is still with him. To top it all SImon now has brain cancer and there is no cure. Camiel on the other hand is also in a relationship for few years and is on the verge of making it official. When Simon is back in his life, his priorities and energies suddenly get all attentive to his family. Movie takes leaps and bounds here. Since there is no cure for his cancer, SImon decided to go for euthanasia (suicide mercy killing). He wants to do it 3 days after Camiel gets married to his partner. As his last wish , he asks Camiel and his partner to adopt his kids. Finally Simon bids goodbye to his life smiling and joking exactly the way he led his whole life.

It is very refreshing to see such great friendship between a straight and a gay character with any sexual tension between them. They are just friends irrespective of who they are. Simon Interactions between Simon's kids and Camiel, specially his daughter is very refreshing. In fact the chemistry between every single character is very endearing. Even though the movie handles delicate and tough subjects you don't ever have the feeling you're watching a tough and heavy movie.

Must watch. A beautiful, tender, funny and enjoyable experience. (7.5/10)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trage Liefde (Dutch) [Lazy Love]

Sometimes there are films that have nothing spectacular about it but they still manage to leave some kind of impression on you. This movie specifically was slow, had very little dialogues but somehow just the interaction within the principal characters and the way story unfolded with minimalist drama and stuff immediately caught my attention. And to top that, a very handsome lead actor only makes the proceedings spicier.

Felix lives with is grandmother and work as a waiter/cleaner in a restaurant. His mother died young and he never knew his father. At some point he realized that his parents had a very small (2 month) fling which resulted in his birth. The father Johan , who runs a jazz cafe has absolutely no idea about even the existence of his son. Felix wants something from life, He wants love , longing and wants to identify himself. He starts frequently visiting the cafe but for inexplicable reasons Johan is always mean to him. W find out that Johan used to have a boyfriend who does many years ago and ever since Johan has never had any serious relationship with anyone because he was very much in love with him. He just meets with a hustler for regular sex. He mistakes Felix's frequent visits as sexual interest and at some point he gives in. Felix wants to understand the man better so without saying a word he gives in ad they get physically sexual. Felix immediately throws up afterwards and runs away. Johan realizes Felix is to young and comes to tell him he can't do this. Felix hits him in return. And before going on his year long road trip, he makes one final stop at the cafe ( I think to tell his father) but goes back after he sees him happily playing with the neighbors daughter and sees him actually being capable of being a father himself.

The story unfolds layer by ayer and it is never mentioned in so many words that Felix and Johan are father-son. But as audience you realize it. You may also get disgusted by the thought but from Felix's point of view, he is looking for love from his father. He is not gay but gives in just to be close to his father. He wants to know him better. The director has captured moments from the daily lives of two men who may appear trivial at first glance but who give the characters depth and substance.

A short film of less than an hour but strong enough to leave an impression. (7/10)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Idol

Another one of those really bizarre movies. Well it was actually a mocumentary style film rather than being a full fledged feature film but it still failed to hold my interest. Parts of it were funny but overall the film did not leave any big time impression on me.

Espionage, the first action show to feature a lead gay character, is hotter than ever as it enters its fifth season. And then, tragedy strikes: Lance Hardcastle, the popular star, meets an untimely death! Faced with finding a replacement, the network selects a complete unknown, Kerry Mitchell, chiefly because Kerry is openly gay. Kerry is suddenly whisked into a world of press junkets and photo shoots, and he is even followed around by a documentary film crew. But, Kerry is hiding a big secret that might very well change everything. The story unfolds with interviews and snippets from various people involved in the entire sequence: the make up man, the publicist, the producers, models, advocate, sponsors, lesbians etc.

Anyway, dont waste your time on this one either. Its 3 in a row for me now. (1.5/10)

Shiner

This one was a completely messed up film and it didn't take me more than half an hour to completely breeze through the film and denounce it outrightly. It became so hard to bear the film and the ridiculousness that was going on in the film.

Shiner describes sado-masochistic love relationships. Three couples who are deeply in love explore consensual abuse as a means by which to express the depths of their passion. The heterosexual couple are never really developed and they ultimately disappear. Despite they're fleeting attempts at some pain/pleasure play, nothing much happens and they are utterly forgettable. Then there are the gay bashing buddies whose leader gets sexual satisfaction before he bashes. Eventually, the lead basher discovers a rare sexual thrill in getting beat up, and the two "straight" pals become almost gay partners in their bizarre quest for sexual fulfillment through beating each other up (more often than not in the nude). Then finally there is a washed-up 3rd rate boxer with a timid male admirer. God knows what happens with them because by this time, there is no way I could have handled any more of this film.

Don't even try. (0.5/10)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Soulmaid

The movie could have had potential considering the movie was backed by not one but four different Chicago based gay directors. The pretext of a single gay man working for one of those big city services that sends guys out to clean your apartment wearing just their underwear could be used to make helluva funny story but unfortunately thats not the case here.

Moses cleans houses in his underwear for a living. He practices yoga, meditates and has images of Hindu gods and goddeses on his walls. He's a peculiar guy with just one problem - temporal lobe epilepsy. Moses gets seizures where he has religious visions. The first one he gets is that of a sexy guy named David who will be the love of his life. They can't have sex until he's ready - and he's not yet. And this is shown through some weird art form made on walls by sponge. Weird huh!!! The second vision is much more complex. It's from a spirit called Glintentica who is planning her second coming to earth. When Moses meets David the man of his dreams, Glintentica is intent on taking over David's soul, forcing and compelling him to abandon David, and ultimately assuring the entire gay population becomes forever extinct. She does that by first making David flirt and get physical with his girl roommate Ruth. Ruth and David are both confused as to what's happening. With the help of a Priest, Ruth, along with David, search to find the key that will destroy Glintentica forever, and send her back to her origins.

Trust me the film is as weird as mentioned above. None of it made any sense. And by the way, don't go by the cover of dvd. There is no such hot man in the film. Its purely a marketing gimmick.

Complete waste of time. (1/10)