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, February 28, 2013

Beautiful Thing (UK)


I don't know why I had been pushing to watch this film a second time. I remember watching it before and really liking it but hey, I had to watch it again for my blog. And I am so glad that I did it. This is the finest, most emotional, heart-touching movie about self discovery, coming of age teenage love story, you will ever see. Although the film came out way back in 1996, it is as relevant today as it was then. The characters and situations are perfectly developed and realized, ringing true in almost every scene.

Jamie, a teenage guy lives with his single mom,Sandra, who has ambitious plans to run her own pub and string of lovers, current being a hippie named Tony. Jamie's classmate and neighbor Ste lives next door and Jamie has total crush on him. Ste lives with his drug-dealing brother and abusive father. One night when the father ends up beating Ste too much, Sandra brings him home and lets him sleep over with Jamie. Ste and Jamie sleep on the same bed 'top to toe' without saying a word. There is very obvious tension between them, wherein Ste, in my opinion, knows what Jamie feels about him but just does't want to deal with it. The next night, a little conversation and a massage helps them relax and Jamie kisses Ste for the first time. Ste soon panics and starts avoiding Jamie. But Jamie's neighbor suspects something between the two guys. When Jamie confronts Ste, he first ignores and snubs Jamie, but slowly by constant persuasion, their relationship begins to develop. They go to a gay bar together where Sandra sees them. She confronts Jamie later who tells her that he is gay. Sandra is meanwhile successful in getting her pub dream fulfilled and bread up with Tony. The film ends with Jamie and Ste inviting Sandra and Leah to go with them to the gay bar, and the boys dancing in each other's arms in the courtyard of their building, without worrying about the shocked and surprised local residents.

This movie makes me smile on every level; from the way the two boys discover their affection for one another, the wonderful comedy relief from the next door neighbor Leah. The ending of the film has to be one of the best. It is surprising how the 2 young actors played such complex characters with such an ease. We see 2 facets of growing up gay. Jamie, who is comfortable with being gay and doesn't give a damn and Ste,on the other hand fearing his brother and father. Leah's character though not needed in the film, provides comic relief and I thought she did a fantastic job too. The film is uplifting without being preachy, and tender without being grating. All scenes between Jamie and Ste are wonderful. Right from school, to their sleep together, to their going to gay bar and finally the dance. It is so heart warming that I can't even tell you. The make you feel 16 again and you relate to them so easily. All this could not have been possible if not for an able direction. I would give full marks to him.

Beautiful Thing is an experience you should not miss. This is an ensemble piece that each player can be proud of. A film I will cherish forever. I wish there is a sequel that comes out soon. (9/10)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Come Non Detto (Italian) [Tell No One]

I absolutely loved this film. This film was comical, funny, emotional , romantic, had family values. In short it had everything that makes my heart feel glad with happiness and satisfaction. There wasn't a single moment in the film that got me bored. The film was not too lengthy , which kept everything interesting. Everything was right, without over-acting and subtle. It doesn't mean the film did not have flaws. It did and I will talk more about those later.

Mattia has just finished college and is about to move to Spain for job. Reality is he wants to be closer to his boyfriend. Tonight, there is a family dinner for his farewell. Mattia has told his boyfriend Eduard that he is out to his family and they are all ok with it but reality is Mattia is struggling hard to tell the truth. Every opportunity he got, something came up and he couldn't tell. Eduard decides to give him surpass on the family dinner night, so that he can meet family in person. Now begins hilarious quest on how to keep Eduard away from the family without telling him the truth. We are shown details of life of Mattia's parents, sister, brother-in-law and my favorite, the grandmother. We also meet his best friends, a drag queen and his girlfriend. The story keeps going in flashback where Mattia tells us how he has landed in the current situation. Ultimately, when he can't take it anymore, at his final dinner, he just blurts it all out and comes out to his family in a very emotional and touching speech. He thinks he will shock everyone but he is the one who is shocked when he finds that his family knew all along but just did not know how to deal with it and how to make Mattia comfortable to tell him. All ends well and Mattia finally goes to Spain with Eduard.

It is funny that sometimes, we think we know our family and that they will not understand what we are going through, but we are so wrong. Parents usually understand us much better than anyone else ever will. And this is shown beautifully towards the end of the film after Mattia comes out to his family. Like I said before, every scene of the film was fantastic, acting was exceptionally good by pretty much everyone and the production values were really high. Mattia was sooooooo cute. I wish the film had shown more of the relationship between the couple but then at the same time, I understand that their relationship was not the primary focus of the film-maker. It is supposed to be coming-of-age story and it was just that. The film focuses on all relationships. Mattoa's relationship with his girlfriend and his drag friend was very natural, warm and very believable. Usually these relations look very forced in other films but here it just felt natural. My favorite in the film was grandma. I would watch this film just for the scenes with her. She was so cool, natural and funny. I think her track was very novel, innovative and funny without making her like a demented person. The father was also funny and so was sister's small track. I fell in love with this small Italian family and wanted to be part of them.

The way film kept going back in flashbacks was also done very efficiently. It does not confuse audience because Mattia's voice over explains what's going on. I would strongly recommend this movie as a gay person. There is so much trash out there that this one comes as a pleasant surprise. What is strange is that this movie is no great shakes by any means but right from first scene I just got into it and the film did it for me. I might end up giving it a little extra rating (which I would not otherwise) and some of you may completely disagree but hey, what can I do. (9/10)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Misconceptions

This film was not bad at all. It might have been annoying for a couple of reasons here and there but overall it did its job. Thankfully the film was not over stretched and it just focussed on the core issue that it was supposed to do. This film is not just about being gay or anything, it is also about relationships, religion and God.

Parker and Miranda are a religiously and conservative couple in the south living their daily life. They lost their son 5 years ago to a disease. One day Miranda sees a documentary on TV on a doctor who misspending his life saving kids from the same disease that their son had. She also saw how the doctor Sandy and his partner Terry have been looking all over for a arrogate mother for their child. She prays to lord and gets message that she should become the surrogate mother to the child. When she finally does, and Terry comes to visit her in her small town, that is when Parker finds out and all hell breaks loose. Parker has always been the guy for anti gay movement and now realizing the reality is a little too much for him. He loves his wife but cannot fathom that she is bearing a child for a gay couple. Things move on but Miranda ends up having a miscarriage and loses the baby. But at the same time, Her sister delivers twins but doesn't want to have anything to do with them because they are her ex-husband's result of cheating. Finally Terry and Sandy get to adopt the kids and finally realize their dream of becoming dads.

The best part of the film was that there was no over-drama. Everything was in moderation. The tension between Parker and Miranda is shown very subtly and i like that. On the flip side, Terry was really annoying. I goes he was supposed to be funny and all when he shows up uninvited to the small town and parks himself in Miranda's life. I think the choice of actor was bad. His over-acting and huge eyes, takes away from the character that his is supposed to be. Miranda acted really well and so did Parker, who had this weird macho charm about him. The whole southern accent was like an icing on the cake and I personally thoroughly enjoyed it.

The film was not pure entertainment but it was a slice of life film that was definitely worth a watch. (6.5/10)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

No Ordinary Love


Maybe six years ago, when I was brand new to the world of gay cinema, and had this been one of the first movies I had seen, I might have liked this film a little a bit. But today, I don't feel so. And don't get fooled by this poster. There was so much taken for granted in this film along with a little too many characters and a plot and sub-plots just to make the film longer, I guess. Each sub plot gets suffered from this because, the film makers could not focus more on any specific story vs the other.

Kevin owns a house and has roommates Wendy, Andy and Vinny. One of the room-mates Tom just does and we find out later that he was originally Kevin's boyfriend before deciding to change his sexuality and dating Wendy. Vinny is an 18 year old boy, whom Kevin met somewhere and is letting him stay for free. Andy is a hunk who is gay but is very interested with neighbor lady, whose son is Vinny's best friend. Vinny is totally in love with him but he is all macho latino guy. Meanwhile Wendy finds out that she is pregnant, so suddenly Kevin nows becomes straight, starts sleeping with Wendy and marries her. Meanwhile, we have a mysterious fat guy join the house as anew room mate. He is always cleaning and weirded out. It turns out that he has some history of bank robbery and is hiding all his money. The end of the film is nothing but chaos where all sort of things are happening all over the place. Andy gets arrested, then Kevin gets arrested but suddenly Vinny has this bright idea and Kevin is Fine. Kevin is back to being gay and now his mom is ok with it. Vinny's latino crush comes around and they are a couple. Gosh! What a mess.

First things you realize after watching the film is how pathetic and awful the acting by everyone is. The fat guy was the most convincing of them all, and thats saying a lot. The production values and sets were very ordinary. It seemed like everyone was gay and bi in the house. Vinny and his boyfriend had zero chemistry. I think now that I am writing all this, I believe that the director is mostly to be blamed for this awful job. Music was terrible. Folks were loud. Had the film maker focussed on just a few of the stories, it would have been so much better. He should have explored the buddy romance of Vinny and maybe just focussed on Kevin. The whole bank robbery and Andy with the neighbor and the fat guy just made this film a mess.

I have seen so many more bad films, that this one doesn't feature all the way down there. But it is pretty awfully acted and directed. (3.5/10)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Britain's Gay Footballers (Documentary)

An interesting documentary for the subject. It starts with the right context that when there are gays everywhere, how is it possible that in the game of football, which is so popular, how can be no gay men anywhere in the world. Are there gays but they are just not out or is it something else.

Amal Fashanu starts this documentary. Her uncle , in the history of UK, has been the only footballer who came out as being gay and who committed suicide in 1988. So, as part of this documentary, she is on a mission to not only find out about gay footballers but also go deep in her family history and find out the real truth behind her uncle's story. She interviews her mother, her father and some popular gay footballers and goes deep in the story and finally manages to get just one interview with the only openly gay footballer in Sweden who is doing really well for himself.

I had a lot of issues with this documentary. Parts were just ridiculous and naive and fake. Her finding out about her uncle should not have been this surprising. How can you ado all this things first time on camera. It was pure acting (and a bad one at it). How can she not know what her father's views were good gays specially when her uncle came out as gay. Nevertheless, Amal does tackle some difficult questions on even if there are gay men in football, they are probably never gonna come out for fear of fan base, money, their popularity etc. A good take at making a documentary but really no ground breaking stuff here. (3.5/10)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Formula 17 (Mandarin)

This movie was so silly yet so enjoyable. I guess it depend son my mood. I was open for some silliness and the Taiwanese queens just did the trick for me tonight. The 3 friends of the main character in this film were just too good and hilarious. A totally adorable wonderful happy movie that will make you giggle and squeal and completely believe in love, even if it's just for the duration of the film, this one is not to be missed.

Tien is a young guy, still a virgin, because he is looking for love and not lust. He moves to Taipei for summer and starts living with is buddy who works in a bar and is in a long distance relationship with an American guy. Tien gets a few propositions but he in search for genuine love. Enter Bai Tieh-nan, the seducer of the area. Bai Tieh-nan has the reputation of being total heartless bitch, sleeping with  anew boy everyday. Tien somehow gets attracted to him. Despite everyone's warnings, Tien can't help get attracted to wards Bai Tieh-nan. On his part, we see Bai Tieh-nan also giving signals to Tien but there is something that is holding him back. They go on a couple of dates and finally they both figure out they are falling in love and end up sleeping. The next morning Bai Tieh-nan disappears and Tien is told by his friend that he cannot be together with Tien. This is when Tien's friends interrupt to find out the truth. It turns out that Bai Tieh-nan has fear of intimacy because of some fortune tellers reading that whatever Bai Tieh-nan loves, will get bad luck. Once all the misunderstandings are clear, the true love wins.

To be honest, there is nothing new in the plot. You know exactly what is going to happen, but its the treatment that makes it different. The characters are not serious, yet they are. In a light hearted breezy tone, the film does tell us a lot about true love. If not for Tien's friends, especially the one who is living with, this film would have fallen flat. They are the real stars of the show. Bai Tieh-nan is pretty good looking but he just one confused expression throughout the film, which gets a little annoying after a while. Tien acts his part very well, as the young kid who first is looking for love and when he finds it, cannot understand what's going on. Not just love, but the film also shows what true friends will do for each other.

This is a gay film with a big heart that manages to deal with some important issues of fidelity and honesty instead of focusing on merely the superficial. (6.5/10)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Zus & Zo (Dutch)


I still don't know why the film's title is so. I thought that they were probably the names of the characters but it wasn't it. Another interesting tidbit is that this film was actually nominated for oscars, which I was quite surprised when I found that out. This film is about feelings and true love. The film has a soap like story line but it is funny, loving and totally watchable.

The film is about Nino and his 3 sisters. Nino is gay and the sisters are shocked when they find out suddenly that Nino is marrying a girl in 3 weeks. It turns out that as per his father's will, he can only inherit the property, a lavish hotel on a beach in POrtugal, only if he marries. He needs money and so he is marrying. The 3 sisters are mad because now this means they would not get the money. The three of them gang up together to figure out how to tell Nino's fiancé Bo all about this and get them to not marry. This is where the fun begins. All three sisters have their own issues in their personal ice that they are dealing with. Eldest Michelle is so overworked and bored in her life. The husband and her don't connect with each other anymore. Middle sister Wanda is an artist, who is ok seeing her brother getting married but is having an affair with her younger sister's husband. Finally the youngest Sonja, thinks she ha s happy family but is devastated to find out about her husband. The sisters try their their best but Bo is also hellbent to marry. At the wedding day, Nino's mother ends up inviting Felix, Nino's lover for past many years and Nino realizes he cannot go through with it. The sisters are ecstatic. but when the reality comes out, they are ashamed. Nino was actually marrying so that he could get his sex change operation and be a woman that he has always wanted to be. Felix and Nino get married and things all end smooth.

The acting by all principal characters is good but I have personal issues with showing everyone sleeping with everyone in the family. This is just not right and is also portrayed as if shit happened and now everything is fine. Nevertheless I enjoyed the film. It wasn't very clear why Bo wanted to get into this marriage of convenience. What was she getting besides money The 3 sisters characters as jealous middle age woman, not satisfied with their lives and not able to change it either was interesting. Nino was just ok. He just had one expression throughout and actually didn't have much to do in the film either. Despite all its odds, the film still manages to hold attention and be entertaining though I would question what was so good in this film that it got nominated for oscars.

It is definitely worth watching once for sure. After all it is oscar nominated. (7/10)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Alive And Kicking (UK) [Indian Summer]

This is such a great movie with a very unique and unconventional love story. I am sure I saw this movie before but of course couldn't remember it. The film shot in 1996 is centered around AIDS epidemic. Mix this with dance, the movie was pretty realistic with some excellent performances by its lead actors.

Tonio is the lead dancer of a dancing school by Luna who is aging old woman suffering from Alzheimers. Tony lost his lover from Aids a year ago and his best friend and also his dance instructor is now dying. His best friend and dance troupe are always with him because Tonio is also HIV positive. Its just dance that he lives for. A chance encounter with a therapist changes his life. Tonio had seen Jack at his friend's funeral and later finds out that Jack is a counselor. Despite his initial rebuffs, Tonio finally gets around and they start seeing each other. At the same time, Tonio is offered the lead in the dance company's old success 'Indian Summer'. Tonio can't believe himself because something like this is what he had always been dreaming for. He throws himself completely in the part which to a certain extent affects his relationship with Jack. Tonio doesn't know when Aids might catch up with him, so he sees this as his last dancing opportunity. Everything is fine till the day of the show, the AIDS virus strikes and his feet get temporarily paralyzed. The final dance scene is just heart wrenching. The performance is a success and Jack and Tonio are together hoping to make a life not knowing how Tonio will deal with Aids.

AIDS is certainly an issue here, but not the focal point. It only introduces us to a more in depth understanding as to why some who are stricken with this disease take certain paths of survival. The guy playing Tonio is just fantastic, not just in acting sequences but alos in the dances. He just becomes the part and not an actor anymore. Tonio's chemistry with Jack was also so real. It is so true when Jack says that had Tinio been healthy, he would haven't even given Jack a second look for being old and over weight. The couple loves, they fight, they make-up but it is all so realistic, you feel like watching someone real time. Enough justification is given as to how two completely different men end up becoming soul mates. Although you might feel that with the topic if Aids and all, this film might be grim, but in fact the film is pretty light , lively and funny. All this is thanks to a brilliant screenplay and direction. All the supporting actors were also pretty good. This movie had sweet, funny, sad and bittersweet moments. The movie shows you how no one should take life for granted, and you really feel the joy that all the dancers get from dancing.

I really really enjoyed this film. A gay film with an inherent dancing theme. Thats like icing on the cake for me. (8.5/10)

Monday, February 11, 2013

68 Pages (Hindi)

I have never been in such a dilemma about rating a movie. It is all about wearing 2 different hats here. If I look at the entertainment point of view, there wasn't much in the film, but from an education perspective, specially in and for Indian community, this film could have proved to be huge change, only if the indian government had done public screenings of the film and it wasn't just limited to festival circuits.

The story is about Mansi, an aids counselor, in a public health office in Mumbai, India. The film focusses on her and her five counselees whose story revolve with or around AIDS and HIV positive. We meet a bar dancer who is the only source of income for his family. When he has no option left with him after the bar is closed , he takes up prostitution and is forced to do unsafe sex because otherwise no one gives him money. We also meet an aging prostitute, who is diagnosed with HIV by accident. Suddenly all her clients are gone and now all she worries is about her daughter, her well-being and her future. We also meet Nishit, an intravenous drug user, who finally catches HIV because of his own negligence and is now struggling to first accept himself that he is positive and then later tell his girlfriend about it. Finally there is a gay couple. Kiran works with Mansi in the center who is in a very happy and romantic relationship with his boyfriend. He is a happy go lucky guy whose all dreams are shattered when he is diagnosed HIV positive and it turns out that his boyfriend cheated on him. A counselor’s ethics demand that she maintain confidentiality, be objective and not get emotional. But for a sensitive young woman like Mansi it is difficult to remain unaffected. Her true feelings are reflected in 68 pages of her personal diary, and hence the title.

Showing a gay couple and a transexual bar dancer is a huge jump for indian cinema. The good thing is that the film maker doesn't make an issue of either of the two. The focus of all sties is still HIV and AIDS. I wish this films gets more publicity and i seen by more people in India. Now if I had to do a critical view of the film, the direction of the film was very poor and of a novice but really when the intentions behind are so novel, the question is, how much of this other stuff matters. Acting by characters is ok but some stories are either half baked or use somehow have a magical happy conclusion. It doesn't matter though, like I said before. The stories have the capacity to touch, heal, change lives and hopefully bring about a better understanding of their fight to live with dignity. Many people might be able to identify themselves with some of these characters.

A film that was much need in India for people of India.My ratings are gonna be from both critical and educational perspective. (5.5/10)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fuego en el Alma (Spanish) [Fire in the Soul]

This film is actually a collection of three short dramas focuses on the interconnectedness of Puerto Ricans living in both New York and on the island, while addressing the devastating effects of September 11, 2001. Three stories of couples passion, jealousy, doubt and infidelity - couples that are burned by sudden and unexpected feelings and are pushed to make the decision that will change their lives, forever.

The first story follows frustrated baseball player Millo, whose efforts at getting noticed by a talent scout result only in an offer to become a coach. He takes his frustrations out on his wife, Luisa, whom he abuses physically before she finally decides to take some action of her own. She leaves him to go to New York, and her day of departure is September 11. In the second story, a pilot leading a double life maintains a family in Puerto Rico while keeping a gay lover, who is a flight attendant with whom he works. His life is rerouted, along with his plane, on the morning of September 11. The flight attendant's mother, Anhelo, is at the center of the third short, as she falls passionately in love with a younger man. Her affair with a photojournalist threatens both her marriage and her career as an artist.

On paper the film sounds like a good idea but IMO, the direction was very amateurish and so was the acting. These individual stories should have been nest left as individual shorts, and not make a film out of them. The first story was the most interesting of all, where Millo's frustration with his career and his possessiveness with his wife was very evident. The other 2 were just ok. And just because one of the stories had a gay character, this film features on my blog here. Otherwise, this one had no chance.

I would not recommend this film. Save your time for watching some really good short films instead. (2.5/10)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

À cause d'un garçon (French) [You'll Get Over It]

There have been a lot of teenage coming-out films. It all depends on how they are done and thats what makes or breaks the fate of the film. The subject in this film has been handled with sensitivity, reality, emotionally and bravely. This film does its job to a good extent but still leaves us with a lot unanswered and desired. More on that later.

Vincent is a high school kid who is also the school swimming champion. His best friend is Stephane and Noemie forms the third in this close group. Noemie loves Vincent but he never gives another thought. Stephane thinks of Vincent as his brother and they have been childhood friends. A chance meeting with a new kid in school, changes life of Vincent. There is apparent attraction between the two. Vincent knows he is gay but has always hide his feelings. But meeting this guy, spills the bean in public and somehow the news is leaked in the school. This is where the problems begin. Suddenly the hero of the school is not a hero anymore. He is bullied and unwelcome in school. And now we see how Vincent deals with all this. His strongest supported is his best friend Stephane, who is sad that Vincent didn't tell him but he doesn't change. Noemie is initially upset and hurt because she truly loved him. Vincent's brother has always disliked him and he tells the news to their parents too. Too shocked to react to anything, eventually they come around too. Thanks to his swimming coach and their literature teacher, Vincent gets back his life in order, learns to deal with obstacles and eventually comes out winner in the end.

It was very heartening to see how Vincent's best friend stood by him throughout. I wonder in real life, how many people would be lucky to have such a friend in their life. I am also very glad that they didn't really show that Noemie ending up becoming Vincent's fag hag. She truly loved him and she is not going to settle for anything less. If it means losing Vincent, so be it. I also liked how parents reactions were handled. From confusion to acceptance and love and finally open conversation, they sure came a long way. When Vincent goes to Marais to meet his old trick, it is shown that he is not very comfortable and runs way from there. I wasn't very sure on what that whole scene meant! Was he questioning his identity or his future? Also it really wasn't clear why the parents preferred Vincent over his elder brother. From an acting perspective, everyone did a marvelous job. As the main protagonist, Vincent brings to life his character, his pain, his struggles, his anguish. This performance was definitely very nice. Although I wish some of the expressions on his face changed a little bit.

A very good film but it does have its shares of flaws. Nonetheless, it is very good and highly recommended. (7/10)

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Was A Teenage Werebear (Short Film)

The only reason I saw this film was for Sean Paul Lockhart, who I think is pretty cute. A short film of about 30 minutes, this was set as a musical on a beach and is meant to be cheesy and funny (which I did not  think so). If anything it was a little annoying.

Our main protagonist Ricky is in closet and has a girlfriend but can't help getting very attracted to the leader of a group of misfits at school. Talon, the group leader is yummy and Ricky just swoons over him and Taylor knows it. When Ricky is being bullied in school, Talon protects him. We soon se that Talon and his gang becomes a bear (gay term for bulky hairy guys). Because Ricky is now in love with Talon, he gets bitten and gets the same trait. Will their love for each other cure them?

Lockhart as Ricky is the only thing good about this movie. As a confused teenager, he brings good charm and goofiness in his character. It is good to see him move on from his porn days to doing a good job at true acting. Talon is also pretty good looking and fits the bill. All the other actors were over the top. Most of the scenes were supposed to be funny but they were just not my cup of tea. Or may be i just didn't get the humor. In either case, I would suggest that watch this film at your own behest. Since it is only 30 minutes long, you don't lose much even if you dislike it. (3.5/10)