Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mysterious Skin

This film is very real, raw and engaging. The characters add a life to the film and your mind plays them back even after the film finishes. The film is not easy to digest. Seeing that there is pervasive sexual exposure between adults, as well as between adults and kids (though discreetly handled), this film will repulse many viewers. The film traces parallel about 2 guys Neil and Brian from childhood to adulthood.

When he was pre-teenage, Brian one day is found in his cellar with his nose bleeding and he cannot remember what happened in last 5 hours of his life. He starts getting these weird dreams and he is convinced that aliens had something to do with this. On the other hand we have Neil, who has grown up gay, attracted to his mother's boyfriend and also his baseball coach, who ends up seducing and getting physical with Neil when he was a kid. Neil grows up to be a hustler and ends up sleeping with pretty much every old fat man in his town to make some money. His best friend is Wendy and Eric. Every time he has sex, Neil cannot forget something that happened with him in his childhood. Brian meets Avalyn, through a TV show where they showed her story of alien abduction. They friendship is ruined when Avalyn tries to get physical with him. Neil soon goes to NYC to do something more in life. Brian always sees this other boy in his dream and he starts looking for him, realizing he is looking for Neil. Since Neil is in NY, he ends u making a very good friendship with Erik. Erik in turn keeps reporting him about Brian and his theory about alien abduction in his letters. When Neil returns to his hometown for christmas, the truth is ultimately revealed, which shocks the hell out of Brian and finally he realizes how he and Neil and related and finally he is able to account for the lost 5 hours of his life. Finally Neil also overcomes his guilt that he is carrying with himself for years.

Joseph Gordon Lewitt does a fantastic job as Neil. His performance is so spot on and so is from the actor playing Brian. As a geeky nerdy, asexual teenage and adult, you feel for him. The story never drags. The characters are all established very well. The film is graphic in the sense that it is not easy to watch , specially the hustling scenes and when Neil is finally brutally beaten. Its very hard to imagine what is going through Neil's mind because he never says so to anyone, even when a positive man approaches him and he goes with it. He always has this blank look on his face. The story is difficult to tell, and is very strong but the director does a marvelous job of it. The film is depressing, believable and marvelous and when u can't decide which emotion you feel the strongest, I think the film maker has succeeded in getting his job done right.

I think it's a really good movie with powerful performances and a great story. (8/10)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pedale Douce (French) [What A Drag]

The first 15-20 minutes of this film were really good and my expectations went soaring high with the film. Unfortunately the film became drama from a comedy and the change was so sudden that I didn't have to digest and by the time it went back to being a comedy, my expectations had already taken a beating. That does not mean that this film is not entertaining. The film is still pretty good with exceptionally great acting.

Adrien is in the finance world, a 30 something gay man. His best friend is Eva who owns and runs a gay restaurant and club. They both are very very close to each other. Adrien is in the process of finalizing deal with Alexander, a banker, which leads to him having to bring Eva as his wife. Alexander and Eva feel some connection and they start seeing each other. Slowly Eva introduces Alexander to the gay world, thereby ultimately exposing to him that Adrien is gay and not the straight man that he though he is. When Alexander's wife sees him in a gay club, she thinks he is gay too and thats why they haven't ben physical all these years. She tries to confirm this with Adrien and his friend but they just add fuel to fire. When Eva and Alexander start getting serious, Adrien is very jealous because he feels Eva is only for him and doesn't want them to be together. In the meantime, Eva and Alexander also make up and break up like 100 times. Ultimately Eva gets pregnant but she doesn't tell Alexander who leaves his job and country to find himself. Adrien is most happy with the situation since he always wanted to have  a baby with Eva and his dreams are finally coming true.

Adrien is definitely the star if the film. He is very good in his role as a gay man. The scene where he dresses in drag and dances in very good and he actually looks pretty. Eva also does a great job. She suits the character. The entire situation when Adrien and his friend are dancing in the bar and Alexander finds out about them is hilarious and funny. The situations are generally funny and not forced. One big problem I had with the movie was not a concrete analysis of what Eva and Alexander wanted from each other. She first goes away from him because he wants sex with her but ultimately ends up mating him in a club. She also knows that he is married and just after spending one night with him acts surprised and pretty disturbed. That just did not make sense to me. I also liked the character of the confused straight guy who always hung out with gays in the club. Overall, apart form the slight dip in the middle of the film, the film was very light hearted with sparkling and loving performances from everyone. I liked ho Alexander's wife wants to be so supportive of him that she hosts a big gay party at their penthouse to honor him.

There are fun moments in the film that offers mild entertainment and a few laughs for those fans that are looking for amusement. (6.5/10)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy, Texas

After a string of watching bad gay films, I finally got a respite in a decent comedy. This film was good in the sense that it wasn't over the top or anything, provided right laughs at the right time with right set of acting skills. Of course you do get to sees certain stereotypes but then it happens everywhere.

Wayne and Harry escape prison when they are being moved. On their way, they steal a RV van owned by a gay couple Steve and David. While traveling hone they reach the town of Happy in Texas, the town sheriff mistakes them for the gay couple who travel around the world to help girls prepare for beauty pageants. They both get excited to do this since it will give them time to spend with girls. Their dreams get shattered when they realize that it is pre teen girls and not young girls. Wayne aka David is given the task to teach the girls and prepare them for their dance and Harry decides to plan to rob the bank of the small town. He befriends the young manager of the bank and ultimately falls in love with her who is already in relationship with another man without much romance. After a few frustrating days, David finally starts watching videos to prepare himself to teach girls and starts doing a god job. The couple being gay doesn't seem to be an issue. Meanwhile the town sheriff stars falling for Steve and even takes him out on a date in a gay cowboy line dancing bar. Things don't all end well when Steve changes his mind to not rob the bank but the police finds about their whereabouts and they get arrested again.

The film is laced with comic moments. The characters of the film were pretty neat and nice and you could sense the community feeling in the town. The plot line is sorta ridiculous on paper but the execution is pretty decent and engaging. The acting was really good, overall. The whole scene when the town thinks of them as a gay couple and are ok and accepting is very good. The subplot of sherrif's love was also handled very well. Comic yet poignant:) The southern accent just adds to the charm.

A endearing film that holds your attention and keeps a smile on your face. (5/10)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hatachi no binetsu (Japanese) [A Touch Of Fever]

This is supposedly an art house cinema from Japan. I either must be watching this film too late in the game but I honestly ran out of patience sitting through this film and trying to make head or tail out of this film. Doing my research, I did find that this film was a huge hot in Japan when it came out but I still can't figure out why! I asked the same question when i saw the film and find myself asking the same question while reviewing the film.

The primary focus of the film is on its 2 main characters. Tatsuru and Shin are both teenage boys and they work in a club as rent escort boys for gay guys to make that extra money and get them going in their day to day life. Tatsuru has a girlfriend but he doesn't feel sexual towards her. Deep down he knows he is gay but is not ready to accept it and his girlfriend is ok with not being overtly physical. Shin also has a girlfriend but they are both like girlfriends. When Shin comes out to his parents, he is thrown from the house and he starts living temporarily with Tatsuru. Shin is falling in love with Tatsuru but can't do anything about it. It is easy for Tatsuru to have sex with his clients at a mechanical level and not think emotionally. On the other hand for Shin things are not that easy. He truly loves Tatsuru and so he cannot get physical with his other clients and at the same time can't do anything about it. It is interesting how  gay man is a complete failure win gay prostitution because he is emotional but a supposedly straight guy does it all with on-off switch.

The two boys are frustratingly clumsy about showing any feeling towards each other, which doesn't offer much hope for any possibility of some happiness evolving in their dreary lives. Their daily schedule is pretty mundane and boring and as a viewer it started testing my patience. There is this scene where Tatsuru goes to his girlfriend's house for dinner. That scene of the 4 people eating just goes on forever. I was like wtf! A lot of other things also did not make sense in the film. Wa Shin truly in love or was attracted to Tatsuru? Are they in it for money or because they really like doing it. For 2 guys to be in love or attracted to wards each other, the 2 boys had zero chemistry.

There are a lot of bad gay themed movies out there. This one just joins in my list of that section. (1.5/10)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Heels

It did not come as a surprise to me when I saw that the lead actor was also the writer-director of the film because no one else would have wasted their money and effort on something so bland. The story idea was interesting but the clearly the film was made a s rush job with very low production costs.

Kevin lives with his girlfriend, who by the way, was the most annoying bitch you can ever encounter. Kevin cannot hold on to jobs and always gets beaten up by her girlfriend by words and insults and for some crazy reason still decide to stay with her. When their close friends take them out for a dinner party to a cabaret club, Kevin is very uncomfortable watching drag performances. A contest is soon announced for best drag show and he sees that as a quick way to make money to keep his girlfriend happy. He befriends one of the drag queens who after much reluctance agrees to train Kevin to take part in the competition. Jason (his real name an snot drag name) starts developing friendship with Kevin and slowly Kevin also feels closer to him and starts questioning his sexuality. Other drag queens also help in in getting Kevin trained. In the meantime, his girlfriend is already sleeping with another guy from work which Kevin finds out. Jason is his support system at this time and both Kevin and Jason fall in love and of course ultimately wins the damn competition too.

Quite a few hints were wrong with this film. Their is no way a straight man can magically transform himself into a female impersonator in a week's time. You can't even learn to walk in heels and top that with performances of a drag queen!! it ain't happening. But the film makes it look so easy. Not many people understand how much effort and hard work goes into this job. Unfortunately the director rather focuses on how much of an easy money this is, which is so not true. All the drag queens looked horrible in dresses. Jason looked and acted so well as a man and was terrible in drag both in looks and acting. Kevin had this confused look throughout the film and was not appealing at all. Even his girlfriend was so annoying, that every time i just wanted her to shut up and stop making those faces and rolling her eyes. Clearly, an inspiration has been taken from 'To Wong Foo' but this film just falls flat.

Barring a few laughs here and there, this film has nothing much interesting to offer. (3.5/10)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scenes From A Gay Marriage

What the f*** was this film? I just did not get the point of the film. Forget the point, the film felt such  drag to watch. It was slow, uninterested acting in this supposedly romantic comedy, which is odd cos the director also plays the primary part in it. Let me just be very clear. This was neither romantic nor comedy.

Darren has recently broken up with his long term boyfriend. He doesn't have a job and spends time at home doing odd things. He surprisingly finds a guy who likes to see his pics in beard very week and he is fine with that. A gay couple lives above him and he can hear everything that goes on in their life through the air ducts. Their casual conversations and loud sexual escapades soon prove far more exciting than anything on television and Darren gets a little obsessed. He finds himself even deeper when he discovers that one of the guys may be cheating on the other. Thus begins Darren’s quest for the truth by surveilling, snooping and basically stalking them. He also makes a new gal pal who thinks he is going crazy along with his ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile Darren also meets Joe, the buildings handyman, who starts flirting with each other. But Darren is very pre-occupied with his obsession with his neighbor.

The music in the film is so loud that many times you can barely hear what the people are talking about. How are any apartments made that every single conversation can be heard from any part of the house through air ducts, It is just ridiculous. Clearly Darren doesn't have a life and he finds pleasure in weird things like this.

I have seen Matt Riddlehoover's better films but this one truly was really bad. (2/10)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Le Refuge (French) [Hideaway]

This film is also one of those films which really do not belong to the gay themed genre. It is a more universal theme which, people can relate to but as in most cases, one of the prominent characters happens to be gay and hey! you get to read the review on my blog then. :) The film has a very basic linear plot without much drama. The focus has more been on visual presentation.

The film starts with lovebirds Mousse and Louis enjoying drugs. An overdose of drugs takes them both to the hospital where Louis dies and Mousse is saved. The doctor also tells her that she is pregnant, which she had no idea about. At Louis's funeral, she meets his divorced parents where the mom is the more dominating one and Louis' brother Paul. The mother requests Mousse to not keep the baby since they would prefer to not have his legacy since he is already gone. Mousse leaves the place. Few months later, we see that Paul visits Mousse in her countryside house on his way to Spain and sees that she decided to keep the baby. He stays there helping her out and they start getting close as friends. Mousse realizes that Paul is gay and Paul eventually meets a guy in that village. One drunk night they even end up having sex but its all friendly and we see no awkwardness. When time comes Paul goes to Spain only to come back when Mousse has delivered the baby. When Paul arrives, she secretly escapes and runs away leaving the baby for Paul because she knows that no one but Paul will truly love the baby girl and Mousse needs to start her life again.

It is not very clear why Paul ever visited Mousse in the first place? He did not even know her. Was he curious or like Mousse once points out that he is interested in baby because he is gay and can never have his own. Barring a few scenes it wasn't clear enough what was the deal between Paul's parents. What was the exact nature of Mousse and Paul's relationship? On a  positive note, the film was shot very beautifully. It was nice to see France's countryside. There were a lot of slow, silent scenes which helped establish some of the characters. But the film has lighting issues. SOme of the scenes are very dark. I still don't know why a good looking man like Paul would leave Paris and stay for months in countryside, although he ultimately ends up finding love in that small town.

With all the minuses, the film was still interesting and emotionally. No wooly if i could be completely absorbed by just that. (5/10)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Morgan

Morgan is a film about hope, life and aspirations. It is a very universal and inspiring story of how to move on with life after a tragedy and how to find one's way out of it. The depth of universal human emotions depicted in an above average production has been shown very profoundly in this film.

Morgan is a cyclist who has recently been paralyzed after a bad accident in a cycling race. He has lost purpose in life and spends his day drinking and watching TV. He is also in a financial stress but somehow still doesn't take his life seriously despite constant interruptions by his mother. He also has a good and loyal friend lane but neither her nor his mother can motivate him enough. When day when he is rolling through a park, he has chance meeting with Dean. Starting with a small talk, they soon start dating. Love brings back confidence in Morgan and can brings out the fun and bright side in him. When the current year's race is announced, Morgan decides to take part in it. Initially Dean is very supportive and helps him with everything but when the training is too strenuous on his body, Morgan's doctor advices against it. But Morgan now wants to do despite everyone in his life advising him against it including Dean. While training all alone, after breaking up with Dean, Morgan gets into a small accident which opens up his eyes and understands that life is much more about other things than just pride. He will have enough time for pride but the comfort of family and his love will never happen again.

The chemistry between the 2 lead actors was very very interesting, real and something that is easy to relate to. They both seemed pretty easy with each other. Their initial awkward courtship is genuine when they are trying to know about each other including the scenes where Dean helps Morgan with his training. At one end where we have 2 excellent male actors, both the female actors playing the friend and mother were use bad. Their dialogue delivery, expressions and everything looked so rehearsed and artificial, specially when compared to the chemistry that we were seeing among the 2 leading men. I really enjoyed the first half of the film but I feel that the conflicts were created just for the sake of  it. It was like, how can we have only a goody goody flm. There has to be a break up and then getting back together. That whole situation seemed forced to me. As quick it happened, the 2 guys even get back together with even a faster speed. So a sense of reality was lost there. ANother hint is about the lighting. I dunno what it was but the film was very dark. I wish it was little bright. Both indoor and outdoor scenes were quite dark, cloudy and gloomy.

This film definitely shows the side of gay life that I personally have not seen in a film before. Though predictable towards end, you can still find love, if you are willing to stop and get to know a person. At least this film dares to be different. (6.5/10)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bear City 2: The Proposal

I had tremendously enjoyed Bear City part 1, more because I had almost no expectations from the film. And I must admit that after watching part 2, i still found the film pretty interesting and funny in parts. The films takes forward the lives of the principal actors whom we met in the first part and see what happens in their life when they all head to P-Town for the bear weekend.

Muscle bear Roger and his twink-ish boyfriend Tyler are living a happy life. When Roger proposes to Tyler after NYC passed the gay marriage act, Tyler is initially surprised but later gives in and accepts. Since their vacation for the bear week in PTown was already planned, they decide to get married that week. They all decide to stay at a house owned by Rose, mother of their close friend Brent, whose partner is hell bent on making a documentary on bears. We have a third couple, a theatre producer bear whom Tyler works for and his boyfriend who is in the process of opening his bar. The movie then focuses a lot on what happens in those couple of days in PTown with tons and tons of bears all around. How love is tested, friends made and lost and everyone figures out what they wanna do in life. Tyler meets another bear who he seems to get attracted to and Roger spends time with his ex-boyfriend, unable to forget his first love. When the time comes for the wedding, Roger realizes that the ha no right to drag himself or Tyler into doing something that neither is absolutely sure of, just because they can do it. They call off the wedding but a surprise comes when Brent's boyfriend, who always had commitment issues, proposes him and they get married instead.

The production quality of the film was very high and surprisingly all the actors did their part very very well. The brightest character was that of Brent, or maybe it was the way he acted. Every time he was on the screen, he was most natural and would bring a email on my face. Roger goes at number 2 spot in terms of acting department. There were a lot of laughter moments in the film, which I think were needed. The film tried to give equal focus on each coupe and show us what different people go through and what insecurities we all have. The ending of the film was not all that great but was ok, I guess. Some scenes were really not necessary for the film and were just added for humor quotient. The whole episode for the trio of bears was just not needed. This could also have helped to keep the film crispier and more entertaining. Oh ! and I wonder, were the film-makers getting any money from PTown for all the free promotion they did through their film.

The film is definitely fun to watch and I would definitely recommend it. That said, it does have its share of flaws. (7/10)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spinnin' (Spanish)

What was the deal with this film. It had such an excellent story and such huge potential. Great actors, beautiful chemistry but it was all spoiled with random scenes and characters thrown in, I don't know for what ! And what was the director thinking? Just adding a lot of weird moments and random interactions between people, make the film artistic and enigmatic? It was annoying , if anything for me.

Story is simple. Garate and Omar are  young gay couple. Omar wants a kid badly but Garate is not so sure since he himself doesn't get along with his father. No idea, on when Omar finally convinces Garate for a child, they try with their respective friends, but never succeed in getting pregnant. Ultimately they befriend, a pregnant woman whose boyfriend has died of Aids and now looking after her. Meanwhile we also see a lesbian couple, one of whom has died and now the other partner is fighting to keep the custody of the child. We also see Garate's father who is afraid of falling in love again after the mother's death. By the time all this was going on, I honestly totally stopped caring of what was going on in anyone's life.

Complete with dance sequences and slapstick humor that constantly toys with the viewer's expectations, this film was just annoying despite me trying very hard to just focus on the good parts of it. The editing was just bad. All random scenes just made film more pointless. There was a couple who was engaged in random emotions throughout the film. People would just come and go in random takes which would have absolutely nothing to do or to add to the film overall. Grrrrr.. I can go on and on. The only saving grace was Garate, who was try cute and would light up the screen every time he would come in it. Apart from that, this film in the name of art was sham. I am really surprised how people have sat through watching this weird piece of so called cinema.

You either have to be an ardent fan of weird 'different' cinema or be ok with no editing to watch every single minute of the film and still be happy. My rating is only for a  potential good story and lead actor Garate. (3/10)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Grande École (French)

I think this film had too much of everything. It has mix of class (high vs low), race, economic status, sexuality, history and weirdness; all together in one mix. What happen is we get a mash-up of everything without being very clear on what exactly happened at the end of the film. And its not one but many questions that are left open and unanswered.

Paul comes form a high class family of contractors. He has been raised to be brilliant and racist against Arab workers. He starts college in an alive Paris school to learn about management but thats not his forte. He is more artistically inclined and is seeing Agnes, a liberal arts university student. Paul's room mate is Louis-Arnault, a very good looking business major with penchant for water polo. Paul and his girlfriend have a stable relationship but Paul and Agnes are not doing too well. Paul and Louis-Arnault become really good and very good friends. Paul soon develops physical crush for Louis-Arnault but soon arrives an Arab worker Mecir and Paul and him soon get into love and physical relationship. Although clearly Paul still lusts over Louis-Arnault. AGnes soon realizes what's going on between Paul and Louis-Arnault and proposes that her and Paul both seduce Louis-Arnault and is she wins, Paul will give up his gay tendency and if he wins, Agnes will leave and never say anything. Agnes comes very close to getting physical with Louis-Arnault but set is stopped by his girlfriend. There is tension everywhere. There comes a point when Paul has to choose between Mecir and Louis-Arnault and he chooses latter but he also soon leaves the apartment to move in with his girlfriend. In the end we just see that Paul is boarding train and going somewhere. It is clear he has left Agnes but we don't know if he is going to Paul or someone else.

Acting by all principal characters was top-notch and production value were high but thats not all. Sadly, the screenplay incorporates a lot of things. It is not difficult to identify with paul and his behavior. The scene where e is awkward in the locker room seeing so many men naked while struggling with his homosexual tendencies at the same time is done very well. Paul has to choose not only between men and women, between respectable conformity and self fulfillment, but also between Louis-Arnault and Mecir. Talking of this, I must mention that there is a lot of frontal male nudity which made this film a little pleasant to watch. All the relationships between individuals was pretty complex but it was only Mecir, who truly loved Paul and is totally heart-broken to see him go in the end. Also whey they did not focus much on third room mate was a little strange. He just kept going in and out randomly. I am not too sure what was the significance of the scene where Louis-Arnault tells Paul that he knows Paul loved him but what did he expect him to do. I was a little confused there.

The film is still worth watching once, even if it ultimately frustrates you in the end. (5.5/10)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Everyone (Canada)

This movie is filled with a giant cast of characters where you hop from person to person to track what is happening as they prepare for and attend a gay wedding. The plot intricately weaves the lives and the themes of death and bearing children. But does it manage to hold your attention and keep you glued to screen to watch the proceedings? Unfortunately not!

Ryan and Grant are getting married (civil union) today at their home. 2 of Ryan's brother, Grant's step-sister and Ryan's mother are all invited. Ryan's mother brings with her a street punk to carry her boxes. We slowly are introduced to various problems that all of these couples are facing. One couple is dealing with death of their child. Other is trying to get pregnant although they don't love each other any more. In the third one, wife is pregnant and wants the baby but husband doesn't. And finally in the fourth, the surgeon husband accidentally lets his 10 year old girl patient die and he can't get over it and has turned to alcohol. In the meantime, the couple themselves are having issues, although it is never really made very clear what their problem is. In comes this punk Dylan, that Ryan's mother brought along and Grant ends up having sex with him (cliche). Will the couple get married and get through this?

There were  a lot of things which were annoying about this film. To start with, the acting seemed so fake and not natural by most folks. The arguments that the gay couple keep getting into were all so dumb and not clear enough of what the real issue were. And in all the other couples, we get to see passionate love top outright divorce options within a matter of hours. A lot of things were so incredible. I mean how does a couple go from being very very lovingly adorable couple to talk about divorce within a matter of hours. This is just plain silly. The forced comedy was also just annoying and wouldn't provide any  laughters. The only standout performance is by the kooky mother whose love for her gay son was refreshing and funny.

Disappointed by poor handling of an otherwise decent idea. (3/10)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dirty Laundry

I absolutely loved this film. This is the kind of feel-good cinema that I like watching on a saturday afternoon. Top it up with the whole black family in the south, its like icing on the cake. I loved it so much that I so badly would have loved to be in person if everything that was happening in the film was real. The while family atmosphere was so real, nice and refreshing.

Sheldon returns from New York, to his home town Paris in Georgia after he discovers that he has a son. His life goes topsy turvy since he is young, looking ahead to his career and soon we find out that he is also gay. His family consists of his stubborn and over protective loud mother, a divorced sister with her daughter who os looking to move out and do something worthwhile with her life. Sheldon also has a brother who works in a butcher farm in the small town and is happy with his life. Sheldon has been gone 10 years and life is not the same. He feels awkward, out of place but he needs to get things fixed wrt to his son who was apparently conceived one night when he was drunk and now the mother had died. A lot of funny events follow and things change when his boyfriend Ryan shows up from New York. Things are not the same when everyone finds out that not only is Sheldon gay but he has a 'white boy' as his partner. Old arguments always flare up between mother and son and between brothers. But things are finally good when the mother realizes the love between the 2 partners and how she might have not done the best that she could have but she always wanted theirs to be a close knit family.

The film though deals with a delicate subject is done with a comical touch and thus never feels heavy or being pushed on you. There is always something funny going on, which keeps the proceedings very light. The entire sequences following Ryan showing up at their house are also funny. The entire cast was well chosen to give an even balance, varied perspectives, and display of skills and talents. But I absolutely loved the mother. She was undoubtedly the scene stealer of the film. Without her, the film would not have been half as good. The entire connection between the family was also portrayed very very well. The only over the top character was that of Sheldon's aunt but that just generated even more laughter for me, so I didn't mind it at all. The church scenes were all funny. Overall this film did everything for me that a good entertaining film should do.

Pick this film and watch. You should not be disappointed. (8/10)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Two Weddings And A Funeral (Korean)


A Korean dark comedy and a drama, this film very aptly shows the pains and sufferings that goes along with living your life to please others. The film explores issues of living as a gay man in modern-day Korea, following a closeted gay character along with those who “came out” and are shunned by family members who claim that the homosexual lifestyle brings shame to the family.

Min-Soo, a young Korean doctor gets married to Hyo-Jin, a fellow colleague at his hospital. We soon find out that this marriage of convenience between a gay man and a lesbian girl. Hyo-Jin lives with her girlfriend who lives across the hall. The only reason the couple got married was so that Hyo-Jin can adopt a baby. Meanwhile Min-Soo also finds a guy in his circle of friends who he falls in love with but that guy wants Min-soo to be comfortable with who he is. in an unfortunate incident, a very close friend of Min-soo dies in an accident when a cab driver is beating him up harshly for being so openly gay and Min-soo just stands there unable to do anything. This makes Min-soo realize the cowardice of not living the truth. Min-Soo finally finds the strength to acknowledge his own sexual identity and opens himself up to the possibility of living a happily ever after.

I think Korea also suffers from LGBT community not being readily accepted in a society like in many parts of the world. Any of us who have made sacrifices to please others and gain approvals, can relate to this film well. The film provides a glimpse of the shame that often plagues the gay community along with the lack of acceptance that makes it difficult to fulfill one’s dreams and desires. The thought behind the film was nice but I think the film could easily have been trimmed to a shorter length. After a point, the film started to feel dragging and I personally got anxious and wanted the film to have a closure soon. Min-Soo's circle of friends was nice and funny and I wish everyone has similar set of friends and well-wishers in life.

A decent watch with good performances. I have seen much better gay Korean films but this is not bad either. (5.5/10)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bookends

What the hell was this film!! A buddy film where a few friends meet over alight could be so much more interesting. Rather, we get this film which is boring, confused, lackluster and laid with poor direction. Neither actors with their decent acting could save the film because the overall direction and screenplay was so confused and all over the place

The film starts with Russell and Brett getting ready for Donnie's birthday. Plans change and we see that everyone ends up coming to Russell's house for the birthday. We have Donnie and his new girlfriend, Gayle, a common friend with her fiancé and another girl. Donnie, Gayle and Brett were together in school at some point. Brett keeps traveling to NY since he is into music and keeps looking for girls for one night stands. Some random scenes with the film sometimes going back to a year, sometimes, few hours, sometimes few months. What I ultimately got out was that Russell likes Brett, Brett likes Gayle who is engaged and some other confusion.

I have seen many independent films but this film was just so boring. If I was in one of those parties as shown in the film, I would have walked away because it would have been so fucking boring. And whats up with constant time shifting. It just adds to the confusion because all the characters look and behave exactly the same way. Acting was bad by pretty much everyone. I think Russell was the only saving grace. And please! this is NOT a gay film by any means. There were no details provided or explanations given on what was going on between Russell and Brett. Why was Brett so mean to Russell and why was he taking all that shot from him when Brett is clearly straight. Its a regular independent film where Russell happens to be gay but despite all this the film is still plain boring.

Unengaging and very uninteresting. (1.5/10)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blue Briefs

Continuing with the series of similar themed short gay films in a series, this collection comprises of 6 gay short films which explore the longing and pain of love. Most of the stories do a pretty good job of delivering the message  with shorts dealing with love, growing up gay, coming out and jealousy.

Requited
A wonderfully shot short film, this film is about Nicolas who is spending time with his boyfriend Greg. Greg is soon leaving NY to go to west coast and Nicolas has mixed feelings about it. The feelings get even mixed up when he receives an invitation for a wedding from a former straight classmate, whom Nicolas was secretly in love for a long time and probably still is. He can't decide but ends up finally going for it and in the end misses the time that he could spend with his boyfriend who is leaving him soon. This film very effectively shows us the pain that we go through when we so endearingly pine for something we can never have.

Boys Like You
Sal and Jimmy are roommates. Sal is gay and Jimmy is very very gay friendly. Needless to say that Sal is deeply madly in love with Jimmy because not only he is a genuinely friendly guy but Jimmy on various occasions keeps leading him on. Their easy going, friendly relationship gets a test when Jimmy invites a woman he met at a bar and Jimmy, the girl and Sal have a 3-way. Life will not be the same for Sal again. I loved this film. The performances by the lead characters were excellent and very understated. I loved the homey, casual and the warmly inviting feeling of the film.

We Were Once Tide
Read Here We Were Once Tide

Revolution
Set in 1989, we see an upper middle class Iranian family getting adjusted in LA life. The film primarily focusses on the teenage son Jack, as he comes to terms with his being gay, his loving but distant mother and a fairly conservative father. The tension in the family becomes more evident with the arrival of the new nanny and her teenage openly gay son who takes alining for Jack. This film again had excellent performances. Mostly in Iranian language, this was very very different from the usual crap of short films that we get to see.

The In-Between
Based on short snippets and true accounts of people in New York, the film showcases how 2 people grow apart over a period of time. Jared is relieved that he has found true love in Robert but after they move in and start living together, a series of red flag make Jared doubt about Robert's fidelity to him. WHy is Robert spending too much time on the sleazy porn websites and hook up sites. An interesting exercise which uses apparently real narration paired up with enacted footage, was my favorite from this series. But the reasons are very different because this one is pretty close to home. Brilliant !

Frozen Roads
We see lives of 3 friends in a small canadian town. When Christian gets bullied in school, he gets respite from his more outgoing sister Lyla, but things are very different for his friend Bal, who is the only child of a devoutly religious family. At a local party, Christian finally gets a chance to tell Bal his true feelings for her, but will he be able to or something else will happen? This short in my opinion was the weakest of the entire series.Acting was decent but it wasn't clear enough of what was going on.

Barring a weak last story, this collection of stories was excellent. (7/10)

Zombies of Mass Destruction

What the hell is going on? Why am I watching one bad movie after another? I think this is either first or maybe second zombie movie that I saw and this can be seriously added to one of the worst zombie or gay themed movies I have seen. Not only was it bad but it had all this Iranian racist crap that it just wasn't funny

There are a bunch of characters in this little island off New York city. We are introduced to a bunch of people who live here, most importantly, an Iranian migrant who owns a restaurant. Her daughter Frida has just returned from her college. We then meet a gay couple, one of whom used to live on the island and now is retiring back after years with his boyfriend to tell his mother that he is gay. That same night, the island gets attacked by zombies and then we have all the hocus-pocus of zombies eating everyone and people running to save themselves. Of course, the gay couple and Frida are all safe in the end.

This film is a complete shame to all genres, be it zombie, gay or comedy. I can't believe someone would actually put in money to make this crap. Everyone was overacting. This was so unfunny, boring and utter garbage,

I really feel bad for myself and others who have seen this film. (1/10)

Apart

What the hell was this? This film was so tedious that I had to fast forward it so many times, just to keep my interest alive and make some sense from the movie. WIth numerous characters that somehow are supposed to be inter-connected or related (which is never shown clearly), this film is one of the worst ones I have seen in recent times.

John is either  drug dealer or rock artist. He is friends with Mario and one night they are drunk and end up having one night stand. A young guy meets a hot older guy named Saleheddin and proposes to be boyfriends on the very night time of hookup. Saleheddine's wife Christine suddenly gives him notice of divorce , and she works with John. We also have a straight couple, where the wife suddenly leaves her husband/lover/boyfriend odor she realizes that she is a lesbian. And finally we have an Indian guy Manu, who keeps thinking of a guy who he was with and just keeps smiling throughout the film.

As odd the characters were in this film, equally odd was their acting. This has got to be one of the poorest shows in acting. People should see this film, just to see how not to act. The direction was so so poor. All throughout watching, I was like, what the hell was this guy thinking while making this film. All the stories are randomly shown, with no relation, no beginning, no end, no emotions, no conclusions. The relationship between the different stories is not made very clear and Gosh! what was up with the guy Manu smiling throughout the film without one single dialogue.

This is a bad bad bad movie. Period ! (1/10)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Deliver Us from Evil (Documentary)

This is a documentary feature about Father Oliver O'Grady, a catholic priest, who was charged for various cases of pedophile in US around 1970 and the attempt by the church to cover up his rape of several children. Moving from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, Father Oliver O'Grady quickly won each congregation's trust and respect. Unbeknownst to them, O'Grady was a dangerously active pedophile that Church hierarchy, aware of his predilection, had harbored for over 30 years, allowing him to abuse countless children. Juxtaposing an extended, deeply unsettling interview with O'Grady himself with the tragic stories of his victims, both young girls and boys, filmmaker bravely exposes the deep corruption of the Catholic Church and the troubled mind of the man they sheltered.

I am sure many will never take the opportunity to see this film thinking it biased toward the church. Although it will be a painful experience for devoted catholics it is mandatory that they be aware of the deception of their prelates in the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The sight of a sixty year old man, with a deep bellowing voice, weep in anguish at the pain his daughter went through and the deception the whole family experienced: this touched me deeply.

This one is a documentary and should be watched like one. The film is an important contribution to bringing the problems of child sexual abuse to light, and for that, the film's makers and participants need to be applauded. (5/10)

Tensión sexual: Volátil (Spanish) [Sexual Tension: Volatile]

The title of this movie is so appropriate for what has been shown in the film. I think 'Absent', another film from Argentina was the only film that I saw where sexual tension was so intriguing in the film. No wonder, when I was doing some research online after watching this film, it turns out that it is by the same director as that of 'Absent'. How funny is that!! Now I know many people did not like that film, but hey, I did and I also like this film a lot.

This film is sort of collection of 6 different stories or you can call it six different scenarios, where chance encounter between people can lead to so much sexual tension. You probably cannot get the guy bit no one is stopping you form lusting after him. We first see 'Ari' where a young boy is infatuated with the tattoo maker and every time he goes to get his tattoo done from Ari, a different adrenalin rush is experienced. In 'The Cousin', a geeky guy visiting his friend finds himself getting attached to his cousin who is always semi-nude and by looks of it is flirting with the geek too. Is this lust one-way or two-sided? We see some straight man bonding in 'The Other One'. When one of the buddies is having a hard time getting laid because his penis is too big, his childhood friend teaches him how to make love to a woman and make her feel comfortable. In the client story 'Broken Arms', we see a guy getting a sensual sponge bath from a male nurse, when the guy's mother ends up injuring himself. The silence in this part was just perfect. 'Love' shows two totally straight men just bonding and showering together naked, as if this is the most common thing people would do. They meet when a straight couple is holidaying in an inn and they befriend the innkeeper. Lastly, we have 'Workout', in which the two guys slowly loose their inhibitions in the name of taking pictures of one another to send to a bunch of girls so that they can get laid.

While sex links all of these stories together, the film-makers do act as a cock-tease in all of these films. You are just waiting for the moment where hopefully you will get to see something, and you feel it is going to happen but then it just doesn't. But its good in a way because thats what creates the tension even for the viewers. The camera shows a man body form all different angles and also the electrifying nature of male intimacy. The stories were very different from one another and the scenarios presented were all so possible in real life and that is what made this film so unique, fun and different. I know lot of people might not enjoy this film because it is not fast paced. Each segment has to be seen with patience and become a part of the tension that is brewing between the protagonists.

This one is uniquely different and enjoyable. Just be patient. (7/10)