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.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gay Short Films : 3

Parabéns! (Portugal)

Chico wakes up on his 30th birthday to the sound of his girlfriend singing "Happy Birthday" to him on his answering machine. When sexy boy Joao wakes up in bed next to him, he realizes that this is not his typical birthday.

Amen (India) - 24 min
Andy and Harry meet through internet. Andy is about to get engaged and wants to have a fling on his last bachelor day and is with his counterpart, the soft-spoken, overtly humble Harry, stands tall and firm and is completely rooted where he is today. The fling leads to talking and Harry trying to make Andy feel comfortable in his gay skin. “Amen” makes two characters meet, experience hope amidst confusion, explore truths about sexuality and the self and delves into the profound meaning of life in the continuum of its trifles. Good acting and story.

Office (Pakistan) - 15 min
It traces the life of a prostitute in Karachi on her typical work day, the men she meets and the different roles she plays to satisfy her clients. And finally after she returns home, she is happy to be back with her lover who is also a prostitute. The 2 women ultimately find happiness in each other. Brilliant short film.

You Can't Curry Love (UK/India) - 23 min
A handsome East Indian from London visits India. He has a huge crush on his boss in London but can't do anything about it. When he comes to India he falls for a local guy, meets a transgendered 'hijra', and discovers a country he only thought he knew. Ultimately he decides to move back to India for his love. Over acting and a really badly made film.

The Boy Next Door (US)
Mark, a 25-year-old male prostitute who suffers from anxiety attacks accidentally runs into the 10-year-old son of one of his clients. When the boy tells him he is looking for his father Mark, taken by surprise, wants nothing to do with him. But while they wait for the client to return Mark realizes that maybe this unexpected guest was exactly what he needed. Over the course of the night this strange new friendship grows and gives both Mark and Justin the courage to overcome their fears and face their own personal demons.

Standard rating for short films. (5/10)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eleven Men Out (Icelandic)

This film is both comedy and also shows dysfunctional characters in Icelandic areas. This is an identical plot to the German movie Guys and Balls but where the Guys and Balls was funny and very interesting, the same cannot be said about this film. Eleven Men Out is a very depressing, serious, and awkward movie where the acting is barely passable. And I did not like that the main character's son gets caught in the middle of his father coming out and his mother being a slut and a drunk.

Ottar, a famous local football player playing for the first and most popular team in Iceland announces in the beginning of the movie that he is gay just to get a story and a picture in the local magazine. Life is not the same then. He is forced to quit the team. Being a rebel, he joins a local third rate local gay team to show everyone that he can still be gay but a great footballer. The rest of the movie is the tribulations of him adjusting to his new life and team. His father is a psychiatrist and a member of the board of his former team. At first his former team chastises him but toward the end this team tries to get him back. His ex-girlfriend was a beauty queen with a son now. The worse part is when neither of them cares too much about their son, where father is having random sex with men and mother is being a drunkard slut. There is a game at the end of the movie between the gay team and this straight team. The gay team fails miserably.

This film is joyless and ugly, often chauvinistic, sexist, biggoted and, well, all confusingly so. All the female characters are saps, whores, or drug-addled. The men are cruel or pathetic, or 'lost'. This film fails, mostly, because of a flaw in the story. You never get the chance to know or like Ottar beyond the plain facts that he is an attractive, spoiled, self-centered egotistic dummy who does whatever he wants without really thinking his actions or their consequences through. The cover of the film is seductive. How we wished, the film had half the potential.

Watch 'Guys and Ball's instead. That one is much better. (4/10)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bedtime Stories (Short Stories)

This DVD was a collection of 25 short gay stories. I think this collection was targeted for Spanish audiences because films were either in SPanish or English or some other language with subtitles in Spanish. I am gonna mention the names of the shorts that I could see not the ones which were completely in Spanish (which were only 13 in number)

$30: A father forces his son to go to a prostitute to become a man. He is gay and ends up befriending the girl.
America The Beautiful: A few seconds film that just shows 2 men kissing.
Birthday Time: A young boy is about to turn 18 and wants to be kissed before that by a man. He forces his neighbour who is taking care of him for the weekend.
Doorman: A young renter seduces the doorman for sex when he moves in and then makes him fall in love with him and dumps him.
El Primo: A boy visits his Latino cousin who takes him to a club and then they both decide to go to a prostitue. Thats when the man realizes he is gay.
El Reloj: 2 teenage boys hang out at one's apartment after a football match practice
Kiss: A 4 minute film showing 2 men kiss.
Love Bite: A friend surprises the other when he comes out to him, except he is not gay, he is vampire.
Postmortem: I reviewed it before. Excellent film
Steam: 1 min film showing a man showing himself off in a steam bath.
The Confession: An elderly couple's story. One wants to priest to visit him before he dies.
Thirteen Or So Minutes: Reviewed on the website before

I am going to give this standard average rating. (4/10)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Surprise, Surprise

Its been a long time since I saw a gay film. I just finished watching this one and let me tell you that it was a major disappointment. The story line was interesting but there was a lot of shouting and screaming for no reason. Plus the film never leaves the huge house in Malibu which restricts the viewers.

Den and Collin are a couple. Den is a closet TV star and Collin is much much younger to him. Collin who used to be a dancer met with an accident and is now on wheelchair. Enter David, a swaggering 16-year-old homophobe who unexpectedly arrives at their doorstep. His arival sets in new hardships for the couple wherin Den has to suddenly realize and act being a dad and deal with David's instant hatred for Collin because he thinks he is too young. Together the 3 of them have to figure out a way to accept each other's presence and live like a family. The film also has characters in David's grandmother and the couple's fag hag.

The biggest problem with the film is that it is very thetre like. In a theatre setting the subject and treatment is perfect. At times it feels who are watching a recording of a theatre play but reality is different. If the director is adapting a play as a film, you should modify and add things to it to make it more appealing to a wider audience. There are long stretches of just people talking and talking and more talking which just drags on after a while. And what's with the screaming form the 16 year old kid. Who does that in real life. It was very odd.

I would recommend to stay away from this one. (2/10)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

XXY (Argentina/Spanish)

How many times have you heard of movies that deal with 'hermaphrodite'. In fact, how many times have we even heard of this except maybe on occasional book called 'Middlesex' (which I must say here was remarkably awesome). This film beautifully does that and apparently a film like this coming from a first time director from Argentina holds a special mention for the theme of the film.

Adolescence is always a roller coaster ride. Add the premise of being a 15 year old Hermaphrodite,and things can get even scarier. Alex is a 15 year old troubled teenager girl. She is hermaphrodite. They live in a village by the sea when her father decided to move there because of her condition. Now that she is a teengae, her father wants to give her a choice to undergo surgery to become a boy or girl but Alex wants to remain the way she is and even stops taking the hormones that her mother gives her. Alex's mother pressures her to decide about surgery by invite her friends from Buenos Aires who happen to be a doctor. Their son Alvaro also comes with them who has no idea about Alex's condition and is dealing with his own sexual issues. After fights, make-ups etc, Alex and Alvaro start developing a beautiful friendship where Alex is always wanting to have sex with Alvaro but he refuses. One day when he decides to go for it, he is shocked when Alex takes the male role and Alvaro likes it. This is when we know his issue. This event is witnessed by her father. He is not judgmental only perplexed about what his proper role should be in Alex's life, and discusses Alex with a gas station owner who had to make a similar choice in his teens. When things don't workout, the friends decide to go back after Alex and her father kind of dismiss them for forcing surgery on Alex, Alvaro is the one who is most depressed because just when he thought he is understanding Alex, Alex is no longer interested in him and wants him to go back. Now it is not just Alex who is to deal with her issues but even Alvaro who has to confront his sexuality.

The films lighting is dark and is sometimes hard to follow and is definitely very slow. There are lot of symbolisms in the film. Alex has an aquarium filled with hermaphroditic clownfish and a collection of dolls with attached penises attached. This doesn't adds much to a story since it is done with subtlety and great sensitivity. The film is disturbing specially when the subject is so alien to the audience but it definitely leaves an impression. It thankfully does not give you a forced shock feeling. A film of haunting beauty and compassion that says that every human being deserves to be loved for who they are regardless of gender, physical deformity, or sexual orientation, it will also be hard to get out of your head.

For a first film it was definitely impressive and worth watching if you dont mind the very slow pace of the film. This film is art not entertainment. (7/10)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sommersturm (German) [Summer Storm]

Another one in the category of 'I have seen this before but have to watch it again so that I can review it on my blog'. I saw this film about 5 years ago and vaguely remembered liking it. I still loved the movie but having seen a lot more gay films, the perception changes. Had I reviewed this movie 5 years ago, I would have rated it very high but now my expectations are very high , so maybe not that high but this movie was still pretty good.

Tobi and Achim, 2 teenage boys, the pride of the local rowing club, have been the best of friends for years and are convinced that nothing will ever stand in the way of their friendship. They look forward to the upcoming summer camp to win a big tournament in the countryside of Germany. As Achim's relationship with his girlfriend Sandra, who's also on the team, grows more and more serious, Tobi starts to realize that his feelings for Achim run much deeper than he's willing to admit to himself. He feels confused, unsure of himself. When Sandra's best friend Anke shows her interest in him, his anxiety starts to grow. When it turns out that the much-anticipated Berlin girls' team has been replaced by a team of athletic, cliché-bursting young gay men, Tobi and his teammates are suddenly forced to grapple with their prejudices, their fears, and, perhaps, their hidden longings. Tobi is intrigued by the queer team specially when it is obvious that one of the members of the team is definitely interested in him. Soon the truth is discovered by all that Tobi is gay and after a lot of internal fighting, Tobi is ready to accept it and come out to everyone. His relief comes when Achim also accepts him the way he is but only needs more time.

There were a few moments in the film that really stood out. Like Tobi trying to really do his best to make Achim fall for him and not trying to understand why can't Achim love him physically when they are such good friends. Achim tries to balance love and friendship but fails. The guy from queer group who makes Tobi realize that he is gay and helps him come out of his shell. The love making scene between the 2 boys is done very tastefully. IN fact overall the film is made with emotions and truly show the struggles of a teenage boy to come out and be socially acceptable.

I would recommend this film for it shows coming-of-age story of teenagers. Eevry gay man at some point can relate to it. (7/10)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Birthday

This film can be described as 5 short films intertwined with each other in some way. Its about 5 lesbian/gay characters who share the same birthday. The film delves into darkest issues that each character struggles with.

Kelly has recently broken up with her girlfriend when her first crush, Martha, a college friend she hasn't heard from in years, calls to invite her to dinner. Ron confidently runs a ministry for "ex-gays" at his church, until a church member calls his bluff. Javed, a Pakistani immigrant rejected by both his family and his Muslim culture, awaits the decision on his asylum application, while his porn star boyfriend earns money to support them. Tracy, a Chinese-American woman who is not out to her family, tries to find common ground with her traditional mother visiting from Taiwan who ultimately discovers her daughter's sexuality. Jim, an obese man too ashamed of his body to dance in a club, is named telemarketer of the year at "Fat No More." How will he face the diet pill company's founder, who has asked him to dinner?

the story - in attempting to examine in detail many of the psychological undercurrents that impact the gay and lesbian community (self-esteem and self-hatred, cultural clashes with religious or ethnic identifications, body image, gay refugees & immigrants from other parts of the world, with a few others hinted at or touched upon in a more oblique fashion) too often drifts into the realm of pop psychology. This film has lots of clichés and some usual typical archetypal heroes and villains, but the feelings of attachment to the characters is real. The characters go though some crap, but they stop short of self pity. I found myself cheering for them, and sharing their sadness too.

Strictly alright. (2.5/10)