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, February 26, 2012

L'escorte (French) [The Escort]

It is a little weird/odd to watch gay themed films that are relatively older because they sometimes deal with subjects or the way they deal with it is a little, i don't know what the word is, strange. This film was made in 1996 and even after seeing the movie, I still cannot figure out what was it that the film wanted to focus on. Was it relationships, love, friendship, HIV, careers ? What was it all about? Maybe while writing this, I will figure something out.

Philippe is 30 something gay man living with slightly older Jean-Marc, his lover of seven years. Their restaurant has been a failure for about a month and Philippe's mother now wants her money back that she invested in the restaurant since she is separating from her husband. Jean-Marc and Philippe are hosting a small party. We soon learn that Philippe's long time friends Nathalie and Christian are keeping a secret from him. At the party, some guest orders for an escort to come over which is quickly interrupted by Jean-Marc. After the guests leave the party, Steve, a handsome young man appears at the door. It seems the escort has arrived. After Jean-Marc and Steve `consummate' the deal, Steve asks to stay the night. Philippe comes back and now the 3 man deal with one another. The movie does not move much from here with random incidents happening and Natalie asking Christian to tell Philippe that he is HIV positive. Nothing much happens and it turns out that Steve is Christian's ex-lover who freaked out after finding about CHristian and was in Philippe's house to learn how to love since the couple had been together for seven years.

Like I said, there is not much that happens in the film. It is neither drama not comedy. The acting is sincere and the characters do ok but the screenplay and direction levee a lot to be desired. Natalie's character and even Christian for that matter is not well defined. I think if the story just focussed on the 3 friends, it would have made even a better story.

I don't want to call it outrightly bad but there is nothing even good in the film. Below average. (3/10)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Circuit

My expectations out of this movie was not huge but I was hoping that in addition to making some viewers aware of what the whole "circuit" scene is gay community is like, the film will also have a string story and an equally string message to give to the viewers. Alas, my expectations were not met even though they were set low.

John, is a cop, who is forced to move to LA because no one wants to work with him in his small community. There he meets Hector, who is hustler and slowly they start a friendship which slowly leads John into the circuit party scene of LA. John also has friends Gill, with whom he ultimately gets romantic with and Gill's ex-boyfriend who is making a documentary film on how people in the gay community are dying because of drug abuse specially in the circuit parties. His documentary primarily focuses on Bobby, who has been the heart of circuit parties for a few years and is now diagnosed with HIV. The film primarily focuses on how John gets lured into drugs slowly and continuously and how relationships between John, Hector and Bruno develop and affect over a period of time finally ending with Hector's death because of overdose.

Story wise the film doesn't have much to offer. What it does offer is information on the circuit parties and some of the life style of gay men in LA where it is all about muscle, strength, forever youth and lots of sex. Hector is obsessed with all the same things and clearly worries getting old. John, who is supposed to be an intelligent guy, gets lured into drugs just because he can't bear being alone. That according to me is no justification. Yes, the film does educate you on drug abuse but definitely does not leave you with any message of any sort. The only little message comes towards the end when the documentary film maker admits that he does understand all the negatives of drugs and circuit scene but he shooed and likes it. What the f*** does that mean? Then there is some other characters in the movie, whose presence is never really explained well specially the party maker and his wife. They come off as merely a plot device to fuel Hector's downfall. Yes, the guys were good looking and buffed up etc. but a film needs more than just this.

I think the same subject can be modified and made into such a string hard-hitting film. This film missed that boat. (4/10)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Du er ikke alene (Danish) [You Are Not Alone]

This film is an escape to a time lost forever. A film about life, misery, love, happiness, achievement, sex and about understanding. This film takes you into the lives of young teenage kids in a boarding school and their everyday lives and mischiefs and their daily dealings with their situations. It is wrong to put this film as a gay cinema because although it does explore homosexuality in growing teens with sensitivity, it is just another aspect of the film. That itself does not make the film.

Bo is a 15 year-old boy who finds himself smitten with Kim, who is younger and extremely handsome. Bo lives in boarding school with some other friends who all have some or the other individual stories going for them. Kim more than reciprocates Bo's interest and they eventually end up becoming good friends. Kim is the son of school principal. Aske puts the educational system in the limelight and leads the rest to discover why young people can think and do. Bo is a good friend who will always standup for his friends and their well-being. Kin enjoys small thing in life an dis generally a very happy boy. And finally we have Ole, who with his bully ways, he mends his life and comes to terms with the world.

The film portrays the boarding school atmosphere nicely. I felt that there were too many simultaneous stories going around in the film and it was very hard to focus on any one of them in particular. It was never explained why the town farmer boys did not like Bo and why were they always after harassing him. In the finale, as part of the class project to film 'Love thy neighbor', it is a beautifully wrought scene of Bo and Kim embracing and kissing in one of the more honest and sensitive moments on film. It is this scene that tells the viewers that you are not alone. The film was strictly ok for me. and by the way, what's up with all the weird hair that boys had in the film. Was late 70's so bad in fashion? It all looked like girls hairs. lol..

Although the characters were joy and natural, the fact that the story did not have anything concrete and comprehensive to offer slides its rating down. (4/10)

I Love You Baby (Spanish)

This film is a gentle, wise and a beautifully performed story of love in its many facets--gay, straight, parental, friendship--with particular emphasis on exploring the continuum from hetero to homosexuality. With a touch of comedy here and there, this film is a sweetly believable story of four people whose connections withstand surprising complications. One other important thing in this film is the interesting take on the Dominican community in Spain and how their world and desires rise and fall in dream city Madrid.

Unsure of his sexuality, Marcos leaves village to come toMadrid to work for his uncle in a cafe. On his first day itself, he meets a young Dominican girl Marisol, who for some reasons falls completely in love with Marcos but he doesn't even notice her. He meets Daniel, a struggling actor who also falls for Marcos but this time Marcos reciprocates. They start having a relationship, even though they clearly have very different tastes in everyday events of life.Daniel's best friend Carmen warns him but he is totally blinded by love. One fateful night a disco ball falls on Marcos and suddenly he finds himself not attracted to Daniel anymore. He now thinks he is straight and starts reciprocating Marisol's love who has no idea about Marcos' gay history with Daniel. They start falling in love but Daniel is heart broken. To get his man back, he decides to start cross dressing thinking that if he becomes a girl, Marcos will like him back. Marisol becomes friends with Daniel, now Maria and Daniel tells him about Marcos' gay history. Marisol is heart broken but Daniel soon realizes that Marcos was not meant for him. he was just an experiment and Marcos truly loves Marisol. As expected things end good for everyone when Marcos is now married to Marisol and Daniel is a successful actor.

The first thing that you realize after seeing this film are the performances. Daniel is extremely good in this very complex role specially since he also has to dress like a girl for a substantial amount of time. I think Marcos was ok because his role was more like just blindly following what either Daniel or Marisol had to say. It occurred to me that his character was not very head strong character but I guess that was never the intention. Ignore the ridiculous fact of how can a man turn from gay to straight just by the fall of a disco ball, the film is still entertaining and holds your attention. Carmen reminds me of some of her other performances and nothing new or novel about it. It is still a 7 for me because I was not bored and it was an interesting take on human sexuality.

There are much better movies out there but this is one very light heart movie with touch of comedy and drama that does justice. (7/10)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Fantastic Short Films

I Want Your Love

Many people thought of this film as a porn film. I mean this has lot of graphic nudity and sex but there is something artistic about this film that I like. 2 close friends one night in drunk state decide to get physically close to each other. The film focuses on how the rest o fight plays out. I think the 2 main guys acted very well and were very natural in both sex and regular scenes. This film definitely can be modified into a full length feature film. (7.5/10)

The Golden Pin (Canada)
Set in Canada’s multicultural milieu, Long, an only child, has kept his homosexuality a secret from his parents. Under pressure from his father to continue the family line, Long proposes to his long-time girlfriend Vanessa, much to the chagrin of Long's swim teammate Ryan, who confronts Long about his true feelings at their next swim practice. Sensing her son's growing distress, Long's mother tells him about a painful choice she made just before she married his father. Beautifully directed and acted, this film touched me. Th sonly negative was the overacting by lady playing the mother. (7.5/10)

Al Buio (Italian) [In The Dark]
Another beautiful film. This film shows relationships between 2 room mates. One of them is about to go out with a girl for the saturday night and the other one wants him to stay back. They get into this heated argument of why he never goes out and everyone thinks he is weird to which he replies he just loves him. And how can he forget how they have been engaging in physical relationship every week albeit in the dark. It ha s a touching and a good end. You can feel the struggles of the 2 guys in this film. Good one. (7.5/10)

The Love Permit
This film is set within an alternate reality where it seems you have to get an official government permit before you can dare to fall in love with someone. Individuals are constantly monitored and only if they have been successfully following all the protocol, will they get the permit. The Love Permit takes aim at laws preventing gay marriage. The film although futuristic or unrealistic is a little scary just to think 'what if' this really happens. (6.5/10)



Mormor's Visit
A Swedish man living in New York City gets a surprise visit from his senile grandmother, who has escaped from the nursing home and literally flown to freedom. He has no idea what to do with her or how to explain that is a naked man in his bed. It is a very touching and beautiful story. The connection between a grandmother and grandson is so beautiful. I had a smile throughout while watching the film. (7.5/10)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Leaving Blank

This film was a semi-porn film; actually come to think of it, it was a porn film with a story attached to it. The story and premise were interesting but I fail to understand what was the logic behind adding so many full on sex scenes. If the idea was just to seduce the audience, then it was achieved but then if you wanted to send out amore meaningful message, things could have been handled way differently.

Todd, is a high profile lonely middle-aged man. He broke up with his boyfriend sometime ago and now needs to satisfy his loneliness & his sexual desires. He decides to hire a hustler and invite him over to New York. Enter Paul, a a rugged masculine dude who is in NY to spend the entire weekend with Todd. Todd is finally ready to experience all of the potentially dangerous things that he has fantasized about, but has never actually done before: including hardcore drugs, anonymous sex with multiple partners, un-safe sex, and more. They have hot sex which Todd films. Todd introduces them to a 'party' where they both, do drugs and have random sex. They both come back, have more sex. They go to bed during which Todd decides to end his life. He overdoses himself on drugs and wine. Paul just runs away from the scene when he wakes up to find Todd in such a condition.

Like I said before, there is not much to story. There are a few decent moments when they both share their past with each other but that scene is so slow and dragging that it tests your patience where you just wanna scream at the actors to make it quick. In the story line above, I have mentioned sex a few times. Just imagine full on triple-x sex lasting 10-15 minutes. There is nothing left for viewers imagination. Paul was good looking and given a chance , I think can do well in acting. Todd, also the director of the film was ok. His character in my opinion was a little under-developed.

Easily a forgettable film in all aspects unless you wanna see lot of sex in the name of a non-porn film. (2/10)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sam yuen yi ma (Cantonese) [The Accident]

This film is one of those which encompasses several short films and somehow show some connection between them an drake a full length feature film out of it. The stories in this film were interconnected very briefly and could have very feel kept separated. This film, in my opinion, was not directed very well and even from acting perspective was not successful in holding on my attention.

In 199, after a railroad accident, a few passengers get stranded or are waiting for their loved ones to show up. All this happens on a lonely night in Hong Kong. A tourist guide misses his flight from China and is now waiting for a train. His cell phone gets stolen and now he cannot reach his girlfriend, who is visiting during a hiatus in her studies in London. He goes for a meal at a restaurant where adult film actress Ding Li is shooting her latest movie, under prison like conditions. She takes up fancy for him, makes him do a scene in her adult film and they hook up in the night. On the other hand, his girlfriend has nowhere to go and when her male friend can’t provide roof over her head for the night, her visit to a nightclub leads to her meeting an older airline captain. The third story is about a gay taxi driver. He meets a teenage thief and hustler who is visiting from China and they both get an instant liking for each other. The taxi driver is under debt and one of his friends is helping him but but she wants sex in return. He is confused and is falling in love with the teenage guy but he cannot leave his city and go with him. The boy is now leaving for home after the railroad is cleared. The 3 stories go hand in hand and Philip and CIndy meet each other and keep their secrets as if nothing happened.

The film is shot in urban Hong Kong with mostly nameless characters. The gay sex scene is interesting. Acting wise, I thought there as a lot to be desired by all the main actors. The way the stories tried to connect just fell flat. For the first 10-15 minutes, I was very confused as to what really was going on . Even the transitions were not smooth. I think a little more background about the characters would have helped. It is very hard to empathize with any of them. Agreed, the film is only supposed to show us what happens with these people over a night but there should a little more to the screenplay, if you want to keep the viewers engaged.

Interesting premise but very disappointing end result. (2.5/10)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Krampack (Spanish) [Nico And Dani]

This film is a very sweet story about two teenage boys who frequently engage in "Krampack" which is apparently Spanish slang for masturbation. It is about sexual awakening in the teenage years focussing on best friends Nico and Dani. A key is that the title characters are not sleazy party animals, taking advantage of women and not thinking twice about it, but sensitive and confused. Without guidance, reasoning is tough for them...especially because they are searching for who they really are, which means also coming to terms with their sexuality.

Dani is spending his summer at his parents beach house. When his parents have to leave for work, his friend from grade school Nico comes to visit him like every summer. At the house, he is tutored by Sonia, a young woman and Marianne who comes to cook the food. Nico and Dani who have been the best of friends have resorted to the "krampack" to relieve their sexual frustrations in the absence of girls to sleep with. Dani is perfectly happy with this arrangement, and indeed is looking forward to continuing it with Nico. Nico, on the other hand, is looking forward to moving on to experiences with girls. They meet Berta and Elena, 2 girls who come there every summer. Nico is clearly more interest din the girls and wants to score with them but Dani on the other side is not so interested. Dani wants to push the limit a little further with Nico but jealousy soon takes over when he sees that Nico is clearly more interested in Elena than Dani. To further complicate things, Dani strikes up a friendship with Julian, a handsome young writer in town for the summer to whom he is mutually attracted, although both are a little uncomfortable about Dani's youth. Finally Nico does manage to score with Elena who tells him very candidly that this sonly a one time thing since she already has a boyfriend. Dani's experiences with Julian finally teaches him that he has much more to learn and accept about himself and the fact that just because he like Nico, it cannot force Nico to like him in the same way.
Through affairs, misunderstandings, and a disastrous dinner party, the story moves along to an inevitable, yet satisfying conclusion.

This film is warm and entertaining and a sensitive and respectful meditation on human sexuality and human development. The acting, setting of the film, chemistry between the two friends is very real and natural. It is so refreshing to see this film, specially after you have seen similar them attempts by a American films which fall flat compared to this one. In Nico and Dani no judgments are ever made, no sensitivities hidden or prejudices espoused, just the sincere and objective exploration of the human condition shown as natural as it occurs in life. There is no real sadness or depression, just a normal struggle to find one's own self. Both the characters are well defined. I so loved the fact the friendship remained in tact. The scenes between the 2 boys can so mutiliate a friendship but with some maturity level that the boys possessed, they end up remaining the close friends they were and at the same time realizing and accepting things about themselves that they dared not before.

It's a fresh, happy little film, well photographed and the subject matter intelligently handled. (7.5/10)

Boat Trip

This film is a huge guilty pleasure comedy film. It is stupid, vulgar and corny, but sometimes exactly those kinds of comedies can fill a comedy niche with certain viewers. That said, it does not mind I am a propellent of this kind of cinema. The film was filled with stereotypical gay characters and mannerisms that after a while it started to hurt me to watch the film. Most of the humor is combination corny and vulgar, with some of it venturing into the gross-out variety. But, I did smirk more than once, and at least found myself chuckling, more in 'I can't believe this' fashion.

Jerry and Nick are two best buddies whose love lives have hit rock bottom. Jerry was dumped by his girlfriend Felicia on the day he proposed to her on a hot air balloon. He has been sad for last 6 months. To escape their troubles and find women, they book a trip on board a cruise-liner. And while this is going on, Nick picks up a fight with the janet with the result that they get booked for a gay cruise, something that the men don't realize until it is too late. Now since there is no way out, they try their best to fit in an dyeing very careful. Jerry meets Gabriella who is a dance coach on the cruise and is tired of straight men having their way with women and breaking their heart. Listening to this, Jerry pretends to be gay to win her heart. In the meantime, Felicia changes her mind and joins the cruise to apologize to Jerry. But she is surprised to see him on gay cruise and questions Jerry. While explaining things to Felicia, he admits to pretending being gay which Gabriella overhears. After much confusion, ultimately Jerry runs out of the marriage when he is about to get married to Felicia because his friend Nick makes him realize that his true love is Gabriella and he needs tog o get her.

The story itself is awful and even worse, unbelievably predictable. There isn't a joke you don't see coming miles before it happens and it's always one you really wish won't happen, because it is such a bad one. But every joke here hits its bad mark and leaves you with nothing more to do than to stare at the screen in disbelief. The acting is over the top but that is something you expect from this kind of film. The film , I think, is never meant to be taken seriously but I do have a problem when film makers take the audience for granted and question their intellect. The whole "gay" issue is handled as bad as possible. Every cliché you can imagine about a gay man is implanted here and beaten so long until it's last drop of life vanishes.

It is a dumb escapist movie with over the top acting. But it still can be idea of fun for some people. (4.5/10)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Elève Libre (French) [Private Lessons]

This film is not an easy film to watch. It's an impressive and bold movie with a repulsive story and a questionable morale, that lingers in your head for a long time and can cause some serious discussion on the topics of sexual exploitation and opportunism. There could be 2 diametrically opposite ways to decipher this film depending on what school of thought you come from. This film might not really entertain you but will make you think.

Jonas is a 16 year old vulnerable boy, who lives with his brother and his divorced mother is always traveling. Th boys are always on their own. Jonas spends his time with 3 adults Didier and Nathalie who are a couple and their friend Pierre. It is not really explained who they are and why does Jonas spend so much time with them. Jonas does bad at school, his tennis doesn't work-out either and he feels like a total looser. He get s a new girlfriend but they are having problems in sex. These 3 adults are always giving tips and advice to Jonas on everything including sex talk son the table. When Jonas has one last chance in school and he does not get money from his father, Pierre volunteers to give him private lessons. The 3 adults like Jonas but we never really know what their motive is. When his sex life with his girlfriend does not seem satisfactory, he feels like he's a looser with sex, because these adults make fun of him and his girlfriend backs off. During these private lessons things start to change when these adults start getting very very close to Jonas. It includes Jonas watching the couple having sex, Nathalie and Dierre blowing Jonas and Pierre also teaching him a few things and in the process teaching him how things work in sex. Finally Jonas gets the courage to standup for himself and questions Pierre why is he doing that. Is it because he knows Jonas is dependent on him for private lessons to pass in school. This makes Pierre very angry because according to him, all he wants to do is teach Jonas. Finally they both decide to keep everything between them strictly work related and finally film ends with Jonas passing the exams.

The movie does not deal with a "pedophile pervert behavior" but it borders between being helpful, being close and being abused. And this is where various school of thoughts can come in. The director depicts in a very distant but still not cold way the subtle changes that lead to all these things that happen. If you really want, you can blame the 3 adults but if you see the film more closely and try to argue , you can also put forward the reasons behind their actions. It is all about an individual's perspective. We are never told who these 3 adults are and what is the role of Jonas' brother but who cares. The story slowly unfolds itself. The boy playing Jonas' role definitely did a splendid job. He is totally convincing as the naive, slightly dumb but eager to learn, impressionable adolescent who outwardly shrugs away his problems rather than face or discuss them. The subtitles that I got for this film were specially bad. I have never seen such bad subs before.

Try to get your own answer on when did the road to abuse begin. Was it always planed by Pierre or was it Jonas' decision? (6/10)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Green

The title of the films refers to the lush green and suburban life in Connecticut, a far cry form chaotic NYC life from which our protagonists move. I was very glad to see that this film was not one of those gay films which seems to tackle all stereotyped gay issues. It was different. Though the entire subject might not be completely new for the film-goers but come to think of it, it is difficult for a teacher (specially is he is gay) on defining the boundaries of how much he can show interest in his student's well being without being judged the wrong way.

Michael and Daniel are a gay couple who have been together for 15 years and have now moved to Connecticut. Michael works as a teacher in a private high school and daniel continues with his restaurant/cafe business in the small town. Michael makes very good friends with Trish, a fellow teacher, who herself is battling with cancer. Michael sees great potential in one of his students Jason, whose parents were alcoholics and do not have much money from him. Michael seems behavioral changes in Jason which worries him and he takes more interest in him. Trish warns Michael about the gossip in school about them but he does not care. One day Michael attempts to defend Jason from bullying kids and in turn he gets accused of inappropriate behavior with Jason by his father. Once this happens, Jason's parents take the mater to court, Jason runs away from home and Michael is suspended from school. When it starts affecting Gavin's business too, they hire a special lawyer Karen who happens to be in a committed lesbian relationship. During the investigation, an old truth comes out: Michael had a prior arrest in NYC years ago for indecent exposure (police entrapment), but worse is the fact that Michael has never told Daniel about the incident. This brings the rift in the couple and it forces Dan to leave the house because he can handle everything except dishonesty. Michael is now suffering alone. FInally Jason comes back home and a bitter truth is exposed where Jason's father was the culprit behind everything. The film ends with hope that things will someday be better again between Daniel and Michael now that Michael is free from all the charges.

The acting from all principal characters was very good. Initially I thought Trish was a little funny looking but she did a splendid job too. The scene where Michael and Trish have a fallout is brilliant. It is interesting to see how things said in a most genuine and innocent manner can be taken in a wrong way. Daniel, as per me, was gorgeous. He would just keep looking int his eyes but even in the acting department, he did a good job. I wanna see more of him in more films. The subject was handled with sensitivity. I would have given this film a little lower ranking but I liked the ending when not everything is back to normal. There is hope that things will be better and that is what happens in real life as well. Doesn't it?

This is a decent independent film. Nothing extraordinary but good that it holds your attention throughout. (7/10)

Romeo And Julio (Croatian)

Romeo and Julio is the first trash gay break dance musical, a parody of Romeo and Juliet in a fully synchronized to the Croatian. The main theme of the film is based on the story of Shakespeare tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". The film was shot on various locations in Split, and installed in the premises of the Cinema Club Split.

This film was so bad, so bad, so bad.. that I can't even begin to start. First of all the acting was pathetic. Dialogues were going somewhere and the expressions were going somewhere totally different. The fact that I had to see this film with subtitles was not helping. The subs were done in poetic rhyming fashion, which trust me, was not adding any fun at all. Worse is when you are 10 minutes in the movie and for next 20 odd minutes, all you see is people taking turns dancing in a party room. It was bizarre. I love dance and like to watch it but this film was torture. Not even the dances were good.

Definitely definitely stay away. I do not know which expert classified this film as comedy. This is a tragedy and that too a really bad one. (0/10)