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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lovebirds (Filipino/Tagalog/English)

Thankfully, Lovebirds doesn't fall in the category of of your atypical, sexually explicit skin flicks whose purpose is to entice men and get them sexually charged. Now, there is nothing wrong with it but once in a while it is good to watch a different film.

Mario lives in Philippines and has been chatting on internet with Alexis, a Spanish guy. When Alexis decides to visit, as per Philipino culture, Alexis is thrown a big bash. But there is a surprise. Mario's mother so far thought that Alexis is a girl and gets shocked to see that he is a man. She fabricates a story that he is Alexis' brother Alex in front of everyone in the family. Fearig that Mario is gay, his mother, who is very dominating, asks him to ask Alexis to leave the next day and that Mario should meet a girl and get married soon. Mario's father on the other hand tries to be friendly. Bt in between this, Mario and Alexis are struggling. They have just chatted on internet a few times and are not getting any time to get to know each other because of the mother. They finally manage to spend sometime together but get lost of their way back and causes a tiff between them. Following which Mario confesses his love for Alexis but falls sick. When they come home, Alexis takes care of Mario, which his mother likes. Even Mario's father tries to put some sense into her. Alexis tells her that he really likes Mario and wants to be with him for good. When Mario's father finally explains his mother, she finally sees that Mario really needs to go out. In a tender moment, Mario comes out officially to his mother and explains how he will be always her son and some things will never change. Mario and Alexis finally manage to go to Manilla for a vacation.

The film had some stereotypes about traditional Filipino culture but that made the film little funny. The mother specially added to the humor when she would say "Not in my home". Mario, as the confused mama's boy acted really well, who didn't want to upset his parents. There is a very touching scene when Alexis and Mario are having a fight and Mario just starts saying in Filipino how much he loves Alexis. Alexis can't understand a word, but you realize, the inner turmoil that Mario is going through because he is so happy when he is with Alexis but he just doesn't want to think what will happen to his mother when she finds out the truth. Surely, it is a little hard to believe how 2 strangers on internet can fall in love totally but you never know. Things can happen. Alexis also acted very well. The scene where he tells Mario's mother that he loves Mario is interesting. Also when Mario's father explains to Alexis how Mario really needs to get out of here. There were funny scenes when the whole extended family is involved. If this film could have been a little more polished, it would have been really good. It was just with low production values and very simple.

A story of a foreigner in another country, different culture, and acceptance of love, this film will not bore you. Plus it has a happy ending. (5.5/10)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hors Les Murs (Canadian French) [Beyond The Walls]

Now this was a very interesting film. The last film of the OIA film festival in Johannesburg, I saw a lot of people getting uncomfortable in their seats. The film was slow and when you have bunch of gays in an almost house full show, they expect something light, fast and sexy. This film was all opposite. So was it good or bad, lets try and analyze.

One night at a bar Paulo gets very drunk. During the night he kept checking out the bartender Ilir, originally an Albanian guy. Ilir ends up taking Paulo to his apartment when Paulo gets wasted and passes out. Ilir is attracted to him but doesn't do anything. In the morning Paulo confesses that he has a girlfriend and he is questioning himself. Unable to control himself, Paulo goes to meet ilid again, and they have a quick affair which Paulo's girlfriend soon finds him. She throws him out of the house. Having no place to go, he ends up going to Ilir's house who is schooled to see him. He says that he wanted only fun but Paulo's insistence changes his mind and he lets him stay. The 2 guys start to get along well with each other. They are both into music. One day Ilir, is leaving for a show and promises to be back in a couple of days but many days pass and now Paulo is getting restless. He soon finds out that Ilir is in jail but illegal smuggling of drugs. Ilir asks Paulo to help him in various ways and thus begins the journey beyond the walls. Paulo meets another guy and moves in with him for stability and help but his heart is still cry much with Ilir and the 3rd guy knows it. This goes on for a while until one day Ilir decides that it is getting very difficult for him to keep meeting paulo because it hurts so bad. He requests Paulo to not visits him anymore. When Paulo refuses, he ruffles up so that authorities can ban all his visitors. Time flies and Ilir is finally released. But things have now changed. Paulo is settled with his new guy and is content. Is he happy? We don't know but Ilir does come out of jail lonely and lost the only love he ever had.

Most people in this film got so bored but I can sort of understand why that would be! It is a very slow mvid and you really don't wanna watch this film in theatre, with subtitles that too the last show of the night. When you add up these factors, I can understand why people won't like it but at the same time I would like to give credit where it is due. The ice and plot behind the film was very very nice and I loved it a lot. Sadly, the execution left a lot to be desired. If the pace of the film could have been a little faster, I am sure this film will gain even bigger audience. Th elope that eventually grows between the 2 men is shown in a very subtle way. Sex, music, love, alcohol etc, brings them together. They won't say they love but they do and things becomes much more evident in the whole prison episode where Paulo would o any lengths to save Ilir. Also because Ilir is the only man that paulo has ever loved. You can see what confusions and frustrations, he is going through to figure out how to get Ilir out of jail. Acting wise everyone did a good job. The raw rugged look of Ilir was hot but the straight ruffled Paulo was also cute in a nerdy sorta way. This film will need your patience but if you can manage it, you might actually end up seeing positive things about the film.

A heart-breaking journey of two lovers who embark on a journey together but can't stay together for long. (6/10)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Four

It is 4th of July and a young teenager June who lives in a small town is looking to meet his internet date. The date turns out to be a middle aged black man Joe. Joe takes him out and they stat talking about random things. Mostly including why June is not comfortable in his own skin and can't come out to his family. June is an awkward teenager, who is not very sure what he wants from life and tries to push back on things he doesn't want to deal with. He doesn't even know why he is meeting Joe in the first place. Just to get out of house, for sex, for companionship or something totally different. We also meet Dexter and Abigayle. Turns out Abigayle is Joe's daughter who is staying in for the evening to take care of her mother because Joe is "out of town". Their relationship is fragile because Dexter thinks, she thinks of him as idiotic and cocky. Bored at home, she takes up Dexter's offer to meet for 15 minutes which turns out to be date where they even get sexual at one point. There is still an awkwardness. I am not sure why because it seems Dexter was pretty confident of himself. Joe and June eventually go to  motel and have sex and June still doesn't know what to think of everything. On this date night between the 2 couples, Abigayle accidentally sees his date in the same town and with someone and is shocked and can't understand what to think of it. Both the dates finally end when Dexter unexpectedly enter's Abigayle's mothers room and Joe drops off June to his house. The ending was as unexpected as the beginning.

One thing that was interesting about the evening was that whenever I have reviewed movies here, I have never discussed them or taken opinions. So it was interesting to hear what my 2 friends who went with me had to say. We shared few thoughts and disagreed on other. In my opinion the film could have been a good 15 minute short story. Joe's acting was weakest of all IMO. He was really irritating when initially he goes all about 'America'. I was like, just shut the fuck up. Specially because it seemed so fake. June was alright as the awkward teenager who doesn't know what to do with  life. I also felt wrong for Joe to pressure June into doing things he doesn't wanna do. The whole monologue from Joe on AIDS while June is showering was totally unnecessary, unless he was talking about himself in third person. Every individual has the right to plan his/her own life. I am not very sure what to think of the other couple. What was the point. Dexter stays in his room smoking and getting drugged up and we don't know whats wrong with Abigayle's mother and why does she get so upset when Dexter sees her. Was the film supposed to show the vulnerability on the people and the confusion and arrogance that we all have in bits and pieces? If the film-maker really water to make a difference, cut it down to a short film and think of a better subject for the next feature.

The only reason the film stays with me is because it was pretty bad. (3/10)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Love Or Whatever

My first movie in Johannesburg 'Out In Africa' film festival and I was so excited watching this with my new friends. I had my inhibitions for watching an American gay film in theatre because lets face it, US gay themed films have disappointed us much more than they have made us happy. This film thankfully did not fall in the former category. If, the film did not make me cringe and I didn't realize how soon the movie ended, I would say that the film did a pretty decent job of keeping the audience's attention.

Corey, soon to be 30, has a successful career as a psychiatrist and lives with his boyfriend Jon. The night Corey is about to propose to him, Jon finds out and freaks out completely. To the extent hat he ends up sleeping with a woman, who happens to be Corey's patient. He comes back home to tell Corey that he might be bi and Corey completely flips out. They break-up. Corey's sister, Kelsey, moves in. She is lesbian and runs a neighborhood coffee shop where queer community can be themselves. She introduces Corey to the world of Grindr, where he finds Pete, who delivered him pizza twice. They go on couple of dates but Jon re-enters Corey's life. But it is pure physical pleasure for both of them. Corey is going through emotional turmoil. He fails to see the true love that Pete has for him because he is not very confident about himself. Meanwhile, Kelsey is having award time keeping the cafe safe, since she is losing money but she gets no help from Corey. Finally sense prevails and Corey realizes all the mistakes he has been doing of sleeping with an ex, not recognizing love when it finally knocks your door and helping out his lovely sister. He amends his mistakes and takes some hard but life-changing decisions that are good for him and people around him.

The best thing about this movie was that everyone who sees it will be able to identify with something or the other in the film. The feelings of all the characters have been nicely captured. We see Corey in love, gets his heart-broken, the excitement of finding love again, precious moments with his sister and he does a pretty well job of it. The films beginning was a little cheesy with the lovers playing out their fantasy but ultimately it was ok when it dealt on the real subject. The film thankfully doesn't stereotype anything, even when Corey screams surprised why someone so hot like Pete would be interested in Corey. Apparently hot or not, everyone ultimately is looking for love or whatever. Everyone else acted pretty well too. Kelsey provides enough reasons to laugh in the film. She was my favorite, slightly over the top, but it worked for the film. Jon was total eye candy with muscle body and good looks. Pete was the right combination of sensual looks and guy next door attitude.

As I said before, I went with very low expectations and was actually quite pleasantly surprised with the final product. Not bad at all. (6.5/10)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gay Short Films : 15

These are some really really short films that I saw (less than 5 minutes in duration)

It's Consuming Me (Germany)
A wonderful 3 minute video of a boy obsessing with a guy and his traits and things he does. "I can’t move on. I wish I could. But I’m caught in the thought of what could have been, losing my grip on reality." A little weird ending by still pretty good just for the dialogues.

OK (Brazil)
Two friends in a public restroom talk about and actually do experiment with their sexuality. Starts with jerking off, fingering and finally gets sealed with a kiss. Very innocent and sweet story.

Noturno (Argentina)
Desire runs out through between a couple since they met. A very quick overview of how they met, got passionate and within a short time, how the passion fizzled out completely.

Make Homosexuals Marry (US)
If you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, why not overturn Prop 8 and make them get married, like the rest of us? A quite funny story showing a gay couple getting married and getting caught up in a boring monotonous life.

The Piece of Furniture (Spain)
Our protagonist shows us the piece of furniture in their parents house which keeps everyone's pictures except them since they are a gay couple. They come up with an interesting idea to gain a spot there through other's weddings.

Everyone Is Different (Netherlands)
A short video which shows how every individual is different and how being different makes everyone get along very well with each other. Nice.

Overall ratings given for such short films. (6/10)

My Brother The Devil (UK)

Delivering an alternately striking and realistic vision of gangland London, My Brother the Devil, is an excellent film.  A coming-of-age journey with bold, memorable characters, vision and style, the film leaves you wanting more. Gay story set in a Muslim context is not always to depict and very few film makers have been successfully able to do that. This film is definitely a step ahead in that regard.

Rashid and Mohammed are of Egypt origin and are brothers living in London now. Elder brother Rashid (Rash) is on streets and deals with drugs etc. to make extra cash. The brothers are pretty close and Mohamed (or Mo) knows about it. They both hang out with street boys. In a gang war, Rashid's best buddy Izzy gets killed. Izzy was very close to Rashid and Rash is now forced to reevaluate egis life and wonder if what his father and mother always said was true or not. Mo is slowly growing up and wants to be exactly like his brother. But the change in hi brother's attitude stars bothering him a lot. Rash meets Sayeed, a photographer whom he had visited with Izzy once. Sayeed was a former gang member and has now cleaned up his life. Izzy always wanted tp get out of streets and loo for decent job and now Rash wants out and get a job. Sayeed gives him a job and they slowly become friends. Rash even invites him home for dinner. Mo doesn't like him at all. In a chance encounter Sayeed kisses Rash and he completely freaks out. He sleeps with his girlfriend but can't get Sayeed out of his mind. He finally gives in and they both start hanging out a lot more. Mo doesn't like this one bit. He meets the other gang members and starts ealing drugs himself for extra money. One day he follows Rashid and finds out about him and Sayeed. He is shocked and disgusted and starts spreading rumor of how Rash may be involved in terrorism because he can't tell them the real story. When Rashid finds out about Mo in the gang, he orders him to stay away and also warns the gang to keep his brother out of it. Complications arise and when news spread that Mo is gay, his gang members wanna kill him but accidentally they shoot Mo. While in hospital, Rashid's parents want him to come back home saying they can him 'fixed' but he refuses. Finally he comes back home to visit Mo, who is now cool and ok with Rash being gay and he knows better to not get involved with the gangs anymore.

The accent in the film was so strong that many a times it was very difficult to understand what they were talking. I could beta hang of few words here and there and make out the rest. The story is interesting and very relevant since it is set in an Arabic setting in UK. The gangs and the living conditions of people are very real IMO and the production quality and the direction is very good. Rashid and Mo act really really well. The bonding that the 2 brothers share and slowly, the same brother, whom Mo idolizes starts disgusting him; the build up is really well done. Both the brothers have acted superbly. Rashid looks really really handsome too. His character of a man struggling internally and with the world around him has been portrayed with utmost conviction. Mo's character is also real but not cowardly. His actions and decisions, though not the best are understandable given the situation he puts himself in. Even the gay angle has been handled very sensitively. It is never used to tiilate the audience and everything is left to viewer's imagination.

This movie will hold your attention and its characters your sympathy from the opening scene to the last blackout. (7/10)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Common Ground

This movie spans across almost 50 decades of life in a small town in Homer, Connecticut. Actually the film could easily have been 3 major episodes, which are not really related to each other except the location but yet all share the common ground. They fall in the category of queer (lesbian or gay, in this specific case). I wonder when this was shown on TV, whether it was shown as one long film or as three different episodes.

The film is narrated through the eyes of a character, whose job is to raise the town's flag every day. In 1954, when he is 6 year old, he witnesses the arrival of Dorothy from navy, one of the first woman veteran in town. When she is out looking for job, rumor soon spreads out that she was dismissed by the army on charges of sexual deviance. There is only one woman in the town who comes out to support her and even listen to her version of the story. Dorothy is confused about her sexuality and while her visits to a gay bar with one of her gay friends from navy, she gets caught. The lady who supports her helps and advices her to go to New York to discover herself. In the second segment, the time period os 1974 but setting is the same. A young 18 year old teenager is being bullied and harassed in school for suspects of being gay. His only support is his teacher who is in contender for being the school principal. The kid that the teacher is gay but the teacher doesn't have the balls to come out. When he finally witnesses how badly the other students have treated the kid, his patience breaks barrier and he finally comes out as well and reports the matter to the school authorities and the police. The segment ends with the teacher fighting against discrimination for his job but he is a happy man now. The final segment is et in 2000 when the gay marriage has become legal. A gay couple who has been together for 15 years decide to get married but the focus of the film is on one the grooms who is having wedding jitters and his father, a former veteran, who is part of the group who is in town to protest the wedding. The whole section focusses on their discussion of being gay, whats right and whats wrong, about marriage and everything. and magically both father and son are finally ok with going through the wedding where the son gives an emotional speech on how their predecessors have probably had a rough time before them and they need to set an example for their future generations.

The first segment is definitely the best of all three. It is more streamlined, very novel idea and has been executed and acted very well. The girl who plays Dorothy does a great job of displaying a touching range of emotions from wonder and excitement when she first visits a gay bar, to sadness and shame as the town folks make it clear she is no longer welcome in their midst. The second segment is also interesting with good performances both from the student and the teacher. I know bullying even today isa big issue in the gay community and teenage school going kids so this was a good way of showing stuff that is necessary. The final segment unfortunately is a little boring. The whole father - son shpeel, the stereotypical gay jokes and lesbian stereotypes, it was all a little too much. Also I am not sure if I believe that way back in 2000, a small town would still be liberal enough for a gay wedding to happen in town hall. I hope I am wrong.

Despite all this, the film is a noble, well-intentioned and worthwhile effort. (6/10)

The Outs (Web Series)

Another web series that I just chanced to watch and OMG! was I impressed or what ! The 6 part series is a story about big relationships, the ones that really define people, and what happens when they fall apart, and how that can change someone. I can't believe how good the series was. I loved every bit of it and you know you love it when the series leaves you wanting more. So I am so anxiously waiting for next seasons (I hope there are more seasons) that should be broadcast soon.

The series follows mainly 3 characters. Mitchell, James and Oona. Mitchell is 20 something gay man who is trying to find love in the city. His best friend is Oona, who is a budding writer but really can't write anything and finally James, who is Mitchell's ex and is sleeping with anyone around. Basically he is in his slutty phase. The story unfolds at a very good pace where we see James in his slutty phase but basically very very unhappy. Mitchell, obsessed about cardigans (that was so cute) trying to find a suitable date for himself is trying to balance his work life with his katty boss and his friend Oona who soon meets a new man in a party. James and Mitchell had a bad break-up, the details of which we find out later. They were basically both not the happiest people in their relationship but both too afraid to break up. James end up cheating on Mitchell's with Oona's then boyfriend but doesn't hide it because it will help them to break up. Thankfully, he meets Scruffy, initially only as a trick but Scruffy helps James come out of his she'll and unhappiness and re-introduce James to the nice, kind and happy man that he is. Mitchell and Oona also re-evaluate their friendship and what is it that they are looking for in their lives. Yes, Mitchell has been more bitter towards James for the break-up but we clearly see that he was equally at fault. By the time the series ends, we see that James is trying to restart his life by getting a new job and trying to possibly be cordial with James.

I can't believe that this was a web-series. The production quality, camera work and direction are top notch. Almost to what a big TV network would offer. Not to mention the acting. The acting is simply superb by pretty much everyone in the series. My favorite is James, who does a flawless job of his character. Mitchell is very likable with his cardigan fixation and his quirkiness, specially in his interactions with Oona. Oona is also very good. Her character was a little confusing for me specially when she just wants to break-up with her boyfriend just because he is too nice. That doesn't make much sense to me. Another character that might not have had a big role per say, but leaves an impression is Scruffy. As the genuinely nice guy, who becomes James' new love and reason for change is really good in his role. The fact that he is super cute and has a nice smile helps too. I must also give a shout out to the dialogue writers of the series. The dialogues are genuinely real, funny, realistic and not OTT at all. The chemistry between all actors is very real. You don't feel or look at them as actors. It feels something real is happening and you are just being part of their lives. Being a New Yorker myself, I was able to relate to the story much better. The storytelling is totally real, grounded and so so so so so good.  Strong and sincere appeal to the director/writer to please make more of these TV and watchable gay cinema and save us from the atrocities of bad gay cinema world.

I am so glad that I saw this TV show. Yeah the story might hit a little to close to home at a personal front for me but even if it didn't, I am sure I would have loved it equally strongly. Splendid (8.5/10)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kaboom

I think this was my first sci-fi gay themed movie. This film could have been so much more entertaining and fulfilling but alas!! the promise that the film builds up in first half come s crashing down towards the final reels of the film. Laced with overall pretty scent performances, the film's screenplay in the end is a huge let down.

Smith is a 18 year old college student who lives in a dorm with his straight room-mate Thor, on whom he totally has a crush on. His all time best friend is Stella, who we find out is lesbian. Smith has been having this weird dream for a week. The mysterious dream has people in it that are extremely vivid that he's never met and it instantly gets our minds to spinning as to what the hell is going on. It gets weirder from there. At a party Smith meets two of those girls whom he saw in the dream. One of them turns out to be Stella's new girlfriend and the other one is just some random girl. Smith also meets London, who ends up being his first sexual experience with a girl. Smith and London start becoming friends and the films keep getting weirder. Both Stella and Smith keep getting these weird hallucinations. Stella is totally weird out by her girlfriend whom she thinks has some special psychic powers. Smith continues to have visions which now involve men in masks trying to get him or something. In between Smith has his birthday and London treats him to a 3some with Thor's best friend. Smith also has a brief encounter with a guy on a nude beach. All this while, both him and Stella are trying to figure out what the reality is. The truth slowly starts to unfold when Smith turns 19. He finds out a website where he sees and reads about this underground cult, which is headed by his supposedly dead father and that now everyone is out to get Smith to be the new leader because the world is gonna come to an end. Last 15 minutes of the film, most secrets are revealed about all the people in Smith's life and what do they have to do with this whole cult and underground order or whatever.

Made at very high production values, the film is very very engaging because you are yourself intrigued by all thats happening in and around Smith, but by the time the movie is in final moments, it is such a huge letdown. I can't believe that the writers thought the audiences will buy this bullshit. When you have created such suspenses, drama and thrill, you should always back it up with substance but this was clearly missing. The whole explanation, nuclear weapons and the true identity of everyone around Smith was a little too much and too dumb. C'mmon as an audience we deserve better. The acting was exceptionally well fem pretty much everyone. It looked like a very polished campus drama for a long time and in fact very well done. Alas! the climax ruins it all. But in all fairness, the thrill as well could have been done so cheaply and badly. It was so easy to do all that was shown in this film as cheap thrills but thankfully the director did not resort to that.

A decent movie with some genuine moments and then it goes into a strange transformation of ridiculousness and the paranormal. (5.5/10)

Bear Nation (Documentary)

So I had loves the bear city movies; both parts, in fact. Hence, I was very curious to know what this documentary will offer. As most documentaries, this doesn't offer entertainment but then it does give you a lot of information about the bear community.

The film is sorta divided into various sections. We start with definition and origin of the term 'bear' in the gay community. Everyone thinks different but the general consensus is big hairy gay guys are considered bears. The director interviews various peoples who share their stories of coming out as gay and then their second coming out on how they were more attracted to bears. Everyone has something similar to share from their lives and how it is ok to be fat and hairy and you will still find men who will be into you and would want you for who you are. We then follow a group of bears who meet every year in Chicago for the bear weekend. A weekend where all bears get together, various events happen, drinking, games, excursions etc. Story how about this event grew bigger over a period of time is also shared. The stage then moves to London and we are shown various clubs and attitude of people towards bears in UK. Finally the segments end in New York where we meet the director of Bear City and how and why he made the film.

Overall, though the film might not have been entertaining , it was very watchabale. One of the few documentaries that don't drag just for the sake of filling time. The people being interviewed were charming and funny and so they kept the audience's interest alive. It is nice to see and hear different stories and experiences of various men. As much as personally I may not get the whole bear thing, but I can appreciate that yes, there is a section of gay guys out there who have a very strong community and who really are not all about twinks, clean shaven etc etc. I would recommend this if you are into documentaries and all. This will for surely not bore you. (6/10)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

En Soap (Danish) [A Soap]

This was a very very odd film. It was like a cross between a film and a soap opera. It was shot like a soap, with 10 min incidents which would be followed by a quick summary by a narrator (just like it happens in a daily soap). Unfortunately, the movie was s lethargic as would be a daytime soap, with no direction as to whatever. And then the movie abruptly ends, just like  a daily soap would end when sponsors would have no more money to pump in.

Charlotte decides to randomly move out of her husband's house because she in unhappy. We don't know the real reason. She moves to a shitty neighborhood and even as the husband tries to find out what went wrong, she is too busy thinking just about herself. She just wants to be alone. One day she meets Veronica, who lives one floor below her. Veronica is MTF and is waiting for a letter from the authorities to get her operation done. Initially Charlotte mocks her but slowly they start becoming cordial with each other. They keep going back and forth between friends, cordial acquaintances and outright rude to each other. There comes a point where Veronica tries to attempt suicide and Charlotte takes care of her dog. Charlotte indulges in random sex with strangers and one night when her husband comes, he gets so agitated by his wife's behavior that he beats her. Veronica saves Charlotte and takes care of her for next few days. A strange sexual tension starts developing between the 2 (which was very disturbing for me). The sexual tension also goes through awkwardness, weird reactions. Once Charlotte reacts badly and other time Veronica pulls back. Charlotte then decides to go back to her husband but within few minutes again changes her mind and goes to visit Veronica and they just smile.

Yeah! thats how this movie ends. My reaction was also wtf!! The story was interesting and could have been so much better with proper direction but it failed bad. Charlotte pretty much 2 expressions throughout the film. Either that of boredom and disgust and one where she smiles every time she sees Veronica and has this wicked 'I am gonna judge you' smile. In my opinion, Charlotte's character was that of a total bitch. She didn't know what she wanted from life, for love, for friends or whatever. She says some of the meanest things to pretty much everyone around her. On the other hand Veronica is a case of absolute depression and self-loathing individual. A little more background on both of these individuals would have helped. The movie is also very dark sine it is primarily shot in 2 apartments. I bet it was made on a low budget but at least the production values do not look tacky. Acting by Veronica was also ok. Nothing extra-ordinary IMO.

A below average movie for me. The film maker has tried a different way of story telling which definitely did not work for me. (4/10)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Leaving Metropolis (Canada)

We have seen so many films about gay-straight love and how ultimately the straight guy figures out he is gay and all that with regular cliches. Thankfully this is a film that doesn't follow regular cliches. In the backdrop of love and art, we also do get to see friends dealing with Aids and loneliness. Overall a very impressive movie considering I had no expectations from it. Also, just as an aside, the poster of the movie needs to be changed. It gives the impression that it is a bad cheesy c-grade film, which it is so not.

David is a famous artist who finds himself in a artist block. To get more inspired, he decides that he needs to get a job and since he has waiting experience, he decide to join a not so famous diner, so that no one recognizes him. The diner is owned by Matt and Violet, a loving couple. The 3 of them become friends and are having a good time, until David starts having feelings for Matt. Surprisingly, Matt looks in David a friend, whom he can hang out with. One day when David shows Matt his painting of Matt, he can't hold back anymore and gives himself to David. They have pure passion. But things start becoming awkward at diner and so David quits. Matt misses him and visits him again and then they start having an affair, while Violet is totally clueless. On a parallel side, we also see Shannon, David's transgendered friend who lives with him and wants to get a sex change operation but it keeps getting postponed because of her HIV status. Things keep worsening with her. She ends up in hospital really bad and finally decides that she can't take it anymore and would like to end her life. When another friend of David's sees David and Matt together, she is utterly shocked and threatens to tell Violet about everything. Eventually when David is about to do his portraits exhibition about Matt, Matt comes clean to his wife, who throws him out of the house. The film ends with all 3 principal characters being left alone to deal the realities of life.

Interestingly the film has  lot of reference to Superman, which I found oddly fascinating considering the target audience was primary gay. I have to point out here that every single acorn in this film does a brilliant job. My fav scene is when Matt calls David as buddy and he exclaims to Violet that "Did you hear that your husband just called me buddy. You know I am a fag, right?" The scene was fantastic and it sort of establishes the character that David is. The guy Matt was very believable as the loving husband, who for some reason could not help himself falling in love with another man while loving his wife equally strong. I for once was never bored in the film and was curious to see what would happen next. I don't think the side story of the transgendered girl was a drag to the film. The film very subtly focusses on crisis and epidemic that AIDS and HIV is bringing. Sure the film doesn't have a happy ending but then at least it is more realistic and believable.

I liked it a lot and I think most people would. (7/10)

Luna Park

Films or stories based on ancestual relationships can always be tricky ones. There is always this think line where you want to be a keep a balance between possible reality and making sure the audience doesn't completely dismiss the idea. The story of this film was decent but the direction was so so so bad, I couldn't believe. This film is a very good example of the self indulgence by a director, who probably thought he is making a classic and meanwhile what comes out is pure torture.

Alexia is an ex-actress turned movie producer in New York who now produces gay cinema. She owns Luna apartment building in california where she puts up all her actors. She has amuse brother Christopher, who supposedly takes care of the apartments but is not doing too well. She sends her right hand man Max, to take care of Christopher and the apartments. Christopher is a troubled 18 year individual who spends all his time inside the apartment. Max starts taking care of Christopher but soon enough they fall in love. At the same time Ma discovers some hidden secrets of Alexia's past life when she was Rose. How she was raped as a teenager, and then was in an incest relationship with her brother. It turns out that Christopher is actually her son and not brother. When She asks Max to come back to New York, he refuses and says he wants to stay and take care of Christopher. She gets really angry and reveals the final secret of her past life which Max is shocked to find. It turns out that Max is actually Alexia's first child from the rape, who her brother told her had died. And when Max finds out the truth, he promises to love Christopher (who is actually his brother) forever.

Like I mentioned earlier, the direction of the film is really poor. Half of the film is in black and white when we are shown secrets of Rose's life, but the placement of the scenes is so poor. The scenes keep going back and forth, such that afar a while, you are like what the hell is going on. Some scenes are shown multiple times and it just adds to the confusion. All these back story scenes are the times where the director shows his self indulgence. My reactions were frustration, wtf and finally just laughter. The story had potential, lot of it. The acting by most actors is also sub par. There is lot of nudity in the film , most of which is forced.

You seriously will have to watch this film to see how bad it really has been directed. I wish some sensible director attempts to make this film again with sensitivity because it definitely has potential. (2.5/10)