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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Whatever This Is (Web Series)

Expectations always make a huge difference. Whoever is into watching gay shows or something has probably seen "The Outs" and know what a fantastic show that is. Now when the makers come up with another web series, the expectations are bound to be sky rocket. I had huge expectations form this show as well. Were my expectations met? Probably not, but was the show good? I would say "Hell! yeah". Its so very different from 'The Outs'. If that was about gay couples, this show focuses more on trails and tribulations of young adults trying to make it big in NYC. It paints a broader picture of a group of young creatives trying to make ends meet and working disappointing jobs in what seems like an unending road to emotional and creative fulfillment.

The story is primarily about 3 roommates: Lisa, her boyfriend Sam and their gay friend Ari. They all live hard lives. Lisa is struggling to live the a state of poverty she's uncomfortable with but still appears as a kind person. Sam and Ari work on low paying video production his with their horrible boss Oscar as PA, just so that they can all pay the rent. They have a jar of cash at home, so that one day they can realize their dream of making and doing something on their own. Lisa, unemployed in summer because she is a teacher, happens to find a job as a caretaker with a lesbian couple, who I still believe had some ulterior motive because they hire her as a cook, even though she has no idea on how to cook. The 6 part series follows the lives of these 3 characters and a few more that make the part of the entire gang and primarily asks you how long are you expected to do work that you hate, for pennies, until it becomes something that you love that pays the rent?

As I said before, the show is very different from 'The Outs'. It had very natural acting while somehow I miss that here. The characters are real but it feels they have a theatrical style of acting which doesn't really fit into this kind of web series, specially Ari. The interactions between the room mates does seem very natural. Sure the show has its share of quirky comments and one liners that will make you laugh and giggle but overall the show is more thought-provoking while trying to be entertaining at the same time. I wish the characters were well developed. It would be nice to know some back stories about all the three characters and others. Why is Oscar the way he is? Clearly Lisa can do better, why is she putting up with all this? Why are the lesbians going out of their way to help Lisa. More on Ari and his romantic love interest. The director make short appearance in one episode and I instantly remembered how much I liked him in 'The Outs'. Despite all the above so called flaws, the show is still pretty darn good. I mean, there is so much crap out there in movies, in TV and on the internet; I really feel that a maker like Adam Goldman is definitely trying to defy the norms by thinking out of the box and bringing the viewers what they can relate to and connect to.

I will strongly recommend this show. Unlike me , try and watch the show in its individually and try not to compare with the maker's debut show and I bet that you will indeed like the show. (7/10)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Partners (TV Series)

Touted as the show by the makers of "Will & Grace", Partners is an American comedy TV show, which was cancelled only after season 1, which is amity because the show wasn't bad at all. I am pretty sure that there was some political game for canceling the show because the prime channel didn't even bother to air the entire season 1 completely.

Partners centers around 4 people, but 3 relationships anchored with the main characters Louis and Joe. Louis is gay and has been there for Joe since childhood. The two are partners in architectural firm who consistently delve into each others lives meddling wherever they can. The two, who have a codependent relationship are trying to navigate their own relationships while maintaining their friendship. Louis lives with his under-the-top hunk of a boyfriend Wyatt and Joe has just proposed to his girlfriend Ali. The episodes focus on the bromance between the 2 guys and how each of these characters interfere in each other's life. Every episode focuses on different adventures that these guys get themselves involved with.

Promoting a show by the makers of "Will & Grace" creates huge expectations and high standards. Unfortunately this show never established the depth of story or emotional ties that we had with the characters of that show. Doesn't mean to say this show was bad, but I think there were way too many repetitions and similar gags being repeated. They were all funny initially but started getting a little flat after a while. Both the lead actors Joe and Louis are good. Joe was surprisingly quite good IMO. Brandon Routh as Wyatt was definitely unite funny in a weird sense of way. Wyatt was a very original concept and I would have loved to have seen that developed further. I don't want to forget to mention the secretary who would occasionally show up and crack me up with her antics. The dialogues were good but not snappy enough as one expects these days. The makers tried their best, I am sure, but it didn't always seem to work.

All in all, its a mildly amusing lighthearted show that you won't regret watching and don't really get very upset that it got cancelled. (6/10)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Boy Meets Girl

I just saw this film in "Out In Africa" film festival in Johannesburg and boy was I in surprise or what. I expected a cheeky gay-chick flick by the title and synopsis but it turned out to be a very mature, intelligent, poignant story about friends and coming out and being comfortable in your skin. I am running out of words to say how beautiful and exciting this film was. Right mix of emotion, comedy, maturity and acceptance. Big applause for the makers to make this film.

Set in Kentucky, Robby and Ricky have been the best of friends since childhood but never dates each other.  But their closeness and affection is very apparent. Only a small hitch, that Ricky is a transsexual undergoing hormonal changes to become a woman. Enter Franchesca, a rich girl engaged to be married soon to her boyfriend serving in Afghanistan. There is some sort of instant connection between the two. They become great friends which somehow is not acceptable to her fiancé. On Robby's insistence and constant flirting, the two girls end up coming really "close". They both don't know whats going on. Is Ricky now straight or Franchesca now Lesbian? Its so funny in a poignant sort of way when Ricky discusses this with Robby. and then her fiancé returns and gets angry seeing that they girls are hanging out still. Turns out there is a history between the fiance and Ricky which no one knows of. Meanwhile  Ricky's dreams of becoming a fashion designer and living in NY coming to a crash when she doesn't get accepted in the college. Her best friend Robby is her support even at this time and finally they both admit their love for each other. Things slowly start falling in place for everyone. Robby comes up with a marvelous idea of supporting Ricky with her dreams and Franchesca and her fiancé talk out their differences and love and promise to work together. A new journey begins for everyone.

As I mentioned before, I was very happy and pleasantly surprised to see how maturely the whole story and concept was thought of and presented. This story had the potential of going hugely wrong but thank God that it did not happen. The direction was top notch and choice of the actors was incredible. Everyone was just perfect in their roles. Special credit to dialogue writers because some of the one-liners were just spot on. Ricky asking if it smells like fish down there, 2 old ladies remembering how they were fat in high school and Ricky saying he was a boy, tea bagging and many more like that. The story never got too serious but still remained true to the core of the heart. I also absolutely loved the 2 fathers being supporting of Ricky and Franchesa's father as well. Robby had more of a supporting role but very key to the movie plot. You see a selfless and unconditional love and friendship. How many of us can say we have such a person in our life? Something that I have not mentioned above is that this film also deals with a very sensitive and important issue of teenage suicide. We keep seeing bits and pieces of a video that Ricky made as a teenager about how her mom left them. And its only in the end we see the whole thing and that was such a nice way to end the film. I wish the film makers were present at the screening for us to ask questions. Its an important concept and message that we all need to see and be aware of.

I am very very happy that I saw the film. I just hope that this film gets the right market and viewership that it truly deserves. Big applause. (8.5/10)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Les Garçons et Guillaume, à Table! (French) [Me, Myself and Mum]


We have seen a lot of coming out gay stories. This one is different. Its about a boy, who everyone around him is sure that he is gay and how he ultimately comes around to break the myth and accept his heterosexuality. Sounds funny! But actually this film is done very very well. Initial few minutes are boring but it does get interesting after a point. Its the kind of movie which strikes a good balance between comedy and emotions.

The film opens as a live premiere of a monologue play by Guillaume, who recounts his days with his family and invariably his mother is part of every single event that he talks about. As far back as he can remember, his mother treated him like the daughter she never had. And he doesn't mind because he is in so many ways similar to his mother, to an extent that when he talks, no one can differentiate. All his life, he adored his mum, and that affection, along with much of the sexual-identity confusion it caused, comes across loud and clear in the worshipful way he portrays her. He is the kind of kid who invites bullying, shame to their father, ridicule from the brothers. He recounts his days when he was sent to all christian boarding school, how he was so bestowed with girls that he wanted to be one, how he spent some days in England before finally he himself come to a realization that his fascination for girls and their mannerism is not because he wants to be one of them; it is because he likes them and it was because of his mother's pressure and love that absolutely everyone was convinced that he is gay.

Portrayed as a one man show for a huge audience, Juggling laughter, pity and poignancy throughout, our protagonist bares his most embarrassing memories for our amusement, and though it’s easy to relate to the shame he may have felt in the moment, there’s strength in the way he retroactively takes ownership of the entire experience. It’s all cleverly constructed to blindside us with the surprising way the story turns out. Acting is top notch. The best part worth applauding is the writer-director of the film also plays 2 diametrically opposite parts; that of Guillaume and his mother. It takes you a while to realize that. He is so good in both roles. You smile, you laugh, you sympathize, you cry -- there's so much emotions, sensitivity, wit in this movie The film is ode to a mother's profound attachment to her son, it may be overbearing, but despite what happens the bond remains.

A decent watch and a good time pass. A little slow but you get over it very quick. (6.5/10)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gay Short Films : 19

These are reviews of some really short films that I saw. Just under 5 minutes.

Niagara (UK)
Two guys in a car and one million dollars in a bag. One of them wonders how he’s going to steal it all from his lover. A road trip starts. A boring clay animated.

Gay is the word (UK)
When a guy's friend refuse to understand that their pal is gay, he makes them understand that gay doesn't mean weak or crap or stupid. He loves another man and thats what makes him gay. Do not abuse the word! Excellent short.

Sidste Kys [Please Stay] (Denmark)
A young boy is going crazy and is talking to his penis who wants to be shared with others and not just played with and by his owner. A funny concept except the ending is ouch.

10 Men (UK)
A rough, raw and joyous ride with 10 gay male dancers as they prepare a sequence for Nigel Charnock’s performance piece 10 Men. Filmed over a week inside the rehearsal room capturing the energy, humour and pure joy of one of Britain’s best loved choreographers. Superb and brilliant !!

Sexy Grandpa (USA)
2 old ladies take fancy to a new resident at their retirement home whose personalized license plate reads “SXY GPA.” He reciprocates their advances and the two women become more and more competitive, which may threaten their friendship. But they are in surprise when the grandpa shows up hand in hand with another man.

Any Given Tuesday (USA)
This film shows how sometimes getting snubbed by family and friends lead a LGBT youth on all wrong paths including street living, drugs, prostitution and very high rate of suicide. The L.A. LGBT Center offers much more than life-sustaining support; they offer young people the help they need to get off the streets and make it on their own.

Middle Earth (Thailand)
A so called "art film" which is more an erotic short film. We use 2 male bodies intertwined just lying in various positions naked. The film ends when the 2 guys are sitting and one guy's dick slowly moved from limp to hard. Thats probably the only highlight of this otherwise weird film.

Bob (Germany)
I should have known to not watch this film. Its animation and I don't like it. Its a silly sort of short that is shown on TV as a filler between programs which has no real relevance.

In The Light (Canada)
John and Zack wake up disoriented after a passionate night of love making. When they wake up Zack realizes that John has not been truthful about his name and also finds a ring in his pants. He asks John to not call him because he is not a home wrecker. John leaves and calls his bf about agreeing to being exclusive. Simple, short and cool.

An overall average rating of 5 for all these movies collectively. (5/10)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Jongens (Dutch) [Boys]

Gosh! Its been a while since I saw a really well made good gay film that so well balances the core theme (in this case sports) and the emotional ones. I wasn't sure what to really expect but am I glad or what to have seen this beautiful film. Specially worth mentioning is the fact that the director of the film is a female and making a film on a Dutch teenager who is trudging with his sexuality while balancing his dreams as an athlete and be there for his family.

Teenage boy Sieger, a good athlete, is a caring boy who gets selected for a relay race. His brother Ed is a rebellious which is hard for their wider father who is trying to raise the boys as best as he can. Sieger seems to be compensating for his brother. Sieger and his best friend Stef get selected in the team with 2 other boys. One of them is Marc. The two boys keep stealing glances at one another and don't understand what is going on. His yearnings finally get into reality when the four boys go for swimming. When the other 2 boys leave for home, Sieger and Marc continue to swim which leads into the most beautiful kiss between the boys. Dealing with his father's emotions and Ed's rebellion, Seiger can't understand what's going on with him. His emotional immaturity to understand and accept that he doesn't like girls and may actually be gay, creates various ups and downs. WHen he is with Marc, he is happy but doesn't know whether it is right or wrong. In the process he ends up breaking Marc's heart on more than a couple of occasions. But there is only so much that can be controlled. The team finally wins the race even though Sieger had earlier snubbed Marc, he can't take it anymore. WHen he sees some support from his friend Stef, Seiger's finally accepts who is and decides to be happy with what he is.

There are so many good things and moments in this film. The film talk about family bonding, brotherly bond, importance of friendship, love, dreams, loyalty, happiness and letting everyone be what they want and deserve. The best thing about the film is that the decision that either character makes in the film is not because of just one desire or reason. instead it is the outcome of several connected events and possibilities. The scenes where Sieger is forcing himself to date a girl or the scene where he is tries to be supportive of Ed or be there for his father, are straight out of life. The friendship between him and Stef is our and even the way love blossoms between the Marc and Sieger is done with such emotional maturity but simplicity that you immediately connect with everything that's going on. Couple of kisses that the bus share are done so well and aesthetically, it melts your heart and you just want the 2 boys to be there for each other before the world corrupts their innocence. The director beautifully portrays the confusion of first love, specially because it is against the so called norms of the society. The guy who plays Seiger is unbelievably good. He plays the quiet and withdrawn character who only wants to do what’s right very convincingly. Marc's role may not have been detailed as that of Siege but the guy playing the role is radiant and easy to fall for. I liked the family dynamics of Marc. Also the one thing that I liked was that even though Ed and the father had their own differences, there was an inherent love and respect for each other which was within boundaries. You realize that the film maker knows exactly what she was making.

Ending the film with an excellent music , this drama about first love and conflating feelings is a must watch. Not many love stories touch you without being overly dramatic or melancholic. (8.5/10)

Saltwater

Some films start with a good promise and sometimes fizzle out. We all know there are quite a few gay themed movies which are made on low budget because there is not much viewership out there, which is not really a problem. The problem is when the makers try to pack in way too many things into a film rather than keep it a simple engaging affair.

Will is an ex-marine who leaves armed forces after serving for 14 years. He then reconnects with his old friends, and crashes with Rich, a very flamboyant but very nice and friendly guy, and begins to look for a new boyfriend to settle down with. Rich attempts to fix him up with the sexy and handsome Josh because he thinks they are a perfect match. It seems everything is going perfect on the first date till they can't seem to align on don't ask don't tell policy. After that series of events follow, mostly parties where the two meet each other but for some reason their stars never alit and one or the other person is not ready to give each other a chance. A shock is in store for everyone when Rich commits suicide on new years day, leaving everyone shell-shocked. Will and Josh are forced to deal with this loss together and pack Rich's life in boxes. The tragedy brings the 2 men finally together, they pick up pieces and start an attempt on a life together.

The film also has a lot of supporting characters. Token fag hag who knows everything about gay sex like any other person, but at leafs the one in this film was not annoying at all. In fact she was endearing. We then had a gay couple in love who are looking for a third in their relationship. A guy, Hank, who no one really likes but is somehow always hanging out in the group wanting o have sex with anyone and everyone. And this is where a small problem was. It seemed like every character in the film seemed completely wrapped up in the idea whether Will and Josh will ever get together. I mean, they got to have their own life. Sure, the acting was quite decent and ok but there is something missing in the film that makes the viewers sit on their seats and enjoy. The pacing of the film is slow and you feel like saying, common guys, just give each other some slack. :)

Strictly ok, in my opinion. A tighter and crispier editing with a little more fast pace, this movie could have been quite good. (5.5/10)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gay Short Films : 18

Lost Angel (USA)
This is the story of Mikael & Carlitos who together become each others' protectors. Dutch guy Mikael has everything going wrong for him. He loses his wallet, his phone breaks and his suitcase exchanges with another tourist. He finds unlikely help from Carlitos who not only helps him with a place to stay but also teaches him a thing or tow. Are these guys each others' Guardian Angels? Sometimes, it seems, you need to get a little bit lost, in order to be found. A decent short story which shows how destiny has its own way of panning things out for people. The two were destined to meet and help each other out and become lovers. friends or whatever. Quite decent acting and god production values. (6.5/10)


Triple Standard (USA)
After a basketball game, Crim and a fellow player are roughhousing as usual, when Crim angrily accuses him of making a gay play for him. While many of the others in the locker room try to calm Crim down, D, Crim's roommate of five years, seems quietly to be the one most annoyed by Crim's reaction to Stanley. D and Crim talk about the issue later when they get back home, Crim's reaction to his mate is only the latest in many vehemently homophobic statements and actions Crim has made in his life, which could destroy D and Crim's relationship, especially as Crim seems unwilling to acknowledge many aspects of his own life not only to the world but more importantly to himself. A very well movie that shows the inner struggles of a man who is clearly gay but has troubles accepting it but at the same time how his partner teaches him to go for the right path and do the right thing. (7/10)


Cold (Canada)
It is probably not fair to classify this as a gay short because this is a generic sentiment in the movie. Set in Toronto on a very cold night, a city notorious for being cold to strangers, several lives intersect, oblivious to the loneliness that connects them all. We have 2 Radio talk show hosts, a lonely lady getting over her ex, a foreign can driver away from his family, a prostitute, a sister calling in for her brother who committed suicide because he was gay and an old drag performer, who wants to commit suicide but changes his mind to brave the odds. The essence of the theme is that its not the cold weather (you can get used to it) but its the coldness of the people that makes it difficult or get used to in this city. Decent storyline and a very interesting thought and observation. (7/10)

It Could Happen To You (USA)
I have reviewed a documentary based on this true story here. Shane and Tom were husbands, living and loving together for six years. They planned to marry once equal marriage was made legal. And then, one day Tom had an accident and died. This heart-breaking autobiographical short film documents what happened to Shane following Tom's death. It's really powerful and emotional stuff! The lesson is that no matter how young or old that you might be, it is SO important if you live in a country/state where gay people can not legally marry and if you are in a committed relationship, that you make a Will. Just so that your and your lover's interests are fully protected. DO IT! Just do it! (7/10)


Only Always You (USA)
A silent film with just music, it is an interesting film about this teenager geeky boy who is into drawing sketches and into fantasizing what his life could be. He is totally bestowed by a guy who he sees in park and imagines of his life together with him. Right form the moment they meet till the moment they hold hands and commit. He captures all that in his sketches and thats the thing that brings happiness to him. (6/10)

Lovely Faggot (Germany)
An interesting short film about internalized homophobia. Walking around at the beach, Peter meets his classmate Chris. This guy is already tipsy and calls Peter a "faggot". But he doesn’t take any shit from him and moves on. Chris apologizes and confides that he may himself like guys and the two men end up kissing. The film treats the sensitive topic of homophobia and coming out but sadly the treatment of the short film is very shabby. The acting, specially the last kiss looks so forced by both the guys. THere is no chemistry and truth be told I felt a little cheated by the short. (4/10)


Les dieux préfèrent les hommes [Gods Prefer Men] (France)
A very interesting short film. This is a stylish and modern day retelling of the Myth of Hyacinth. In Greek mythology, Hyacinth is a young man of great beauty, beloved of Apollo and Zephyr. He is killed in a terrible accident and from his blood a flower blooms. We see 2 guys in love arguing over their past. God is more in love with human that the other way around and He fears losing the human partner to death and someone else will follow. How long will this trend continue? Very interestingly directed, I just wish I got a little more understanding of what exactly was going on, in terms of their discussion. I tried my best to pay attention but I failed. So I guess there is some kinda failure at that end. (6/10)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gay Short Films : 17

The Young Prime Minister (Canada)
Luke is bright, politically aware boy who wants to grow up to be Prime Minister. He lives with his mom Rita and they share a close bond. When Rita takes Luke out shopping to buy a new pair of shoes, she agrees reluctantly to buy him a pair of pink runner shoes. She is afraid of the reaction of all the other children at school to the color. Will Luke’s classmates call him a sissy like Rita fears, and even if they do, does it matter? Brilliant thought IMO, and a superb idea for a short story. It's a short sweet and interesting story. Very well directed and acted. (7/10)

The Armoire (Canada)
Adolescents Aaron and Tony are playing a game of hide and seek in Aaron’s house, Tony now the hider and Aaron the seeker. When Aaron can’t find Tony, he gives up. Tony has apparently gone missing, which brings the authorities and news media in on the case. Ultimately Aaron is placed under hypnosis to see if he remembers anything significant about that day leading up to the game of hide and seek. As Aaron remembers backward from that game, he reminisces about an earlier incident in the armoire in his bedroom which may have some sexual connotation between the 2 boys. He very smartly also knows not to tell the hypnotist of what happened. Another brilliant idea and treatment. Although, I wish there was a proper culmination to the story and a little more details on the bonding that the two boys shared. (6/10)


Skallamann (Norway) [Baldguy]
A story about a young man's quest for love and acceptance. Directed in a lively musical fashion, the story is about this young boy who is coming out to his parents that he is in love with a fat and old bald man. Of course, it creates a scandal in town that why would a young guy want to love a bald man but when they all see the guy, they all approve it.  This is a film about forbidden and boundless love and the risk of losing everything when your choice is head on with the morally accepted. Its probably the best short film ever made that shows us that masterpieces can be accommodated in 12 minutes of stunning details, huge efforts and lovely storytelling. I absolutely loved the film, the performances, concepts and even the music, which even though I don't understand, was absolutely fantastic. I am so gonna recommend this short film to everyone. Its funny, its touching, and above all its entertaining. (9/10)


La dérade (France)
Oh My God!! Such a beautiful and wonderful and heart touching story. Simon and his sailor boyfriend Francois are sitting on the beach completely devoted to each other. They remember the moments of happiness and togetherness. They recount the times when they met, when Francois met Simon's mom etc. It turns out that Simon has a heart condition and every time Francois goes out for his job , he is always worried. Once while Francois is on such a trip, the hospital gets in touch with Simon that they have found the perfect heart for him for transplant. Little does Simon know that the heart is of Francois who never made to his ship and died in an accident. And now its just his shadow that Simon will ever spend his time with. Brilliant !! I solo wish that the makers of this short will come up with  a full length feature film around this with same actors. Brilliant acting and direction. (9/10)


One Hundred And Eleven (USA)
I am not very sure of the exact reason of the title of the film. I thought hard but still dunno. The story is about 2 asian guys and how their interaction. Jacob meets Adam through common friends and they immediately strike a chord. But Jacob feels that Adam is not spending enough time together and they decide to breakup. Jacob realizes his mistake and asks Adam to be back together. Adam agrees to try but can't promise. It turns out Adam has completely lost his feelings for Jacob. Jacob tries his best but ultimately gives up. Six months later, they both meet again. Jacob has a boyfriend now and Adam is in school. They finally patch up and end things on a good note. Decent movie and acting and direction as well. It would have been better if better explanations were given for the behavior of both the boys. (6/10)


Saddest Boy In The World (Canada)
Timothy Higgins, the saddest boy in the world, prepares to hang himself at his ninth birthday party. We are not very sure on the reasons as to why the boy is sad but nothing about his life excites him including his mother, sister or friends. The short focusses on many reasons that Timothy remembers that make his take this extreme step of thinking of suicide. The performance of the lead child artist is excellent and so is director's point of view for the entire film. It is interesting in a odd sort of comedy way. (6/10)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Petunia

This film kept reminding me so much of one of my favorite films "The Family Stone" But in terms of what a nice film that was, this film fails to come close. At best I would call this film as poor man's "Family Stone". I think the filmmakers were quite confused on whether to make this film a drama or comedy. There were btw and pieces of both and it was becoming very hard for me to see if I should be taking things seriously and with a touch of humour.

The film is about Petunia family. Husband and wife going through their marital menopause, they have 3 kids: Michael, Adrian and Charlie. Cute but awkward Charlie is celibate by choice and has problems with intimacy. He wears a rubber band on his wrist to control sexual urges. He meets the cute George who he gets an instant liking for at his brother's Michael's wedding to Viviana. We slowly see that Michael and Vivi do not really love each other and they have all sort of issues. The third (middle) brother Adrian is a sex addict.  Charlie and George get along well and start hanging out, and Charlie soon falls head over heels in love with George only to get the chock of his life later. He finds out that George is married. Although George's wife is ok with open relationship and ready to do anything for George's happiness, her and Charlie become really close. At the other end we have Vivi getting pregnant and not knowing whose child it really is. Adrian is trying to fight and get over his sex turned love addiction. There is tension in family and everyone is dealing with their own issues and then magically a few months later everything falls in place and things are hunky dory.

Only if the makers had not tried to incorporate all ingredients from one of my fav film, I may actually have liked the film. They tried to foci on each and every person's problem thereby robbing the audience of satisfaction of connecting with any single member from the family. It kept moving all way too fast. The acting was pretty decent by principally everyone but there were so many things just taken for granted and not really answered. The whole thing between George and Charlie was totally unbelievable and non practical. Adrian meeting a plump girl to get over his addiction; my reaction was WTF! The production values were high and everything going in favor except the script.

I love dysfunctional family movies but this one was completely lost in what it actually wanted to be by the end of it. (5/10)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Grind (Short narrative)

Grind is a short feature in a musical format, Grind takes a very artistic, modern and realistic loo at how the gays connect today. There was a time when meetings an connections used to happen in bars, in person, in house parties but all of that is now replaced by online apps and multi screen hook ups. Or as one of the character says " We are at a gay bar all the time".

The story is about 2 guys; Vincent and Thane. Thane is a successful model and extremely hot twinky guy, who can probably get anyone he wants. Vincent on the other hand is smart, intelligent, very good with words and can charm anyone with is wit an humour but uncomfortable in his own skin and doesn't think very highly of himself or his self-esteem. Thane knows that he can get any guy but since he can't carry on a conversation on chat, guys eventually lose interest. One day at a bar, Thane asks Vincent to chat for him. The combination of Thane's sexy pics and Vincent's flirty witty chat, could be a deadly combination which can help Thane attract all those clever guys who don't take him seriously. Thane is introduced to a new class of serious good looking men, but this soon becomes obsession and addiction for Vincent who chats for Thane. In the process, the 2 men begin questing their life purpose. Thane misses a genuine connection where Vincent unleashes a monster within.

Apparently based on true incidents, the idea and plot of the film is very novel and something that needs to be shared within the gay community. When their friend Autumn asks them on are they never scared if something goes wrong and all; they both shake their heads and completely disagree. The debate on how gay men think its easier and never worry for their own safety needs to be talked about and discussed. And I commend the film makers for taking up such an important topic. Put in a musical feature with quite decent music, the film manages to effectively tell us what they really wanna say without making things too heavy. The guys are gorgeous and actually act and sing really well. They are right choices for their part. Although Vincent is still so attractive, I wonder why he would get rejected!!! You can see that some hard work has gone into the creation of the music and picturisation and it really comes off well on the screen. The opening song with the guy in the bus is my personal fav in the whole film. The NYC scenery has been captured really well. Is this a perfect short? Probably not. The relationship between the 2 guys (friends, co-workers, room-mates) was not very clear. Did Thane really start missing connection and was Vincent eventually that person that he had been thinking of? A few rejections by a superficial gay society and the monster within Vincent gets unleashed, realistic or not!! But despite these questions, one thing is for sure that this film needs to be seen and lessons learned.

“Do you REALLY know who you’re talking to?”. Ask yourself this question that the film asks, the next time you decide to meet a stranger. (7/10)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tamam miyiz? (Turkish) [Are We Ok?]

First things first. Although I am reviewing the film here, I personally do not wanna classify this film as a gay film. The lead of the film is gay, yes, but thats all the extent of gayness that is to the film. This beautiful film is so much more than that. I will strongly recommend this film as it delves into human bonding and how e are all special and bring a change to each other's life.

Temmuz is an openly gay sculptor living at a flat with his dog in Istanbul. He enjoys a carefree attitude to his work and also to his relationship to his boyfriend.  This bohemian lifestyle and has a happy go lucky, carefree, eccentric nature gets him into trouble eventually leading him to be abandoned by his boyfriend via e-mail. He is given solace and affection by her wealthy mother, who is fully supportive of him, and best friend and co-worker, Beste. Temmus is constantly haunted in his dreams by a mystery man who wants his help and is asking him to come to him. At sea one day hanging with Beste, he finally sees the man of his dream in human form but without arms or legs. His name is Ihsan who is taken care of by his mother Feride. Temmuz comes up with a plan wherein he can see Ihsan everyday as a social worker so that he can solve the mystery of his dream. During one such sessions it turns out that Ihsan had also been getting dreams about Temmuz, and that the two mens' lives had to be carmically connected. Ihsan asks Temmuz to kill him because he cannot continue to live this life and he wants to ask God as to why he mad whim this way. Once Ihsan is in his life, we see how Temmuz approaches his sculptor work with renewed vigor. The destiny brings the 2 guys together and the ending is no endearing where in both men do end up making a difference in each other's life and teach a thing or two on how not to give up on life.

Wow! was my first reaction when the movie ended. I had stopped being bothered of the fact that there was nothing gay about the film. The special bonding that 2 guys share and want to be with each other as brothers and nothing more. Ihsan brings a renewed vigor in Temmuz' life and the latter in turn tries to infuse a reason into Ihsan to live. The director clearly knows how to tackle human emotions and present it to viewers. Destiny brought them together but they now have to figure out why are they destined to be together. Performance is top notch from all the actors. Sure Temmuz's mother looks like a walking advertisement of botox but even she acted quite well. Her last scene threatening Ihsan's father was simply superb. Ferida's character ws so loving and enchanting. You wanna give a hug to woman and tell her that everything will be alright. Temmuz as eccentric gay male is excellent and Ihsan is definitely very cute and charming. Their growth of characters is amazing. The music and background music need special mention. It was haunting and enchanting. The ending I felt was a little rushed but overall it was still worth it. Excellent visuals of Istanbul, that make me want to go there again even more.

Strongly recommend the film to everyone. Lovers of good cinema (7.5/10)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Where The Bears Are: Season 2 (Web Series)

Its good to see sequels coming out for web series and gay films as well. If the content is any decent , I am always up to watching something decent. LIke the predecessor, this one also was a web series and later converted to a movie format. Although this time I saw it as a series with 23 episodes. If you watch it back to back, its almost like watching a film. Th basic theme, characters and premise are the same as part 1.

Nelson, Wood and Reggie are still together and Nelson's hunk boyfriend Todd has also moved in with them now. Reggie's former college roommate and a candidate for city council gets murdered at his campaign launch party. The trio are again caught up in the murder investigation but this time primarily the foci is on Reggie since he found the body. We have the detective from season 1 who gets attracted to Wood and we now also see his boyfriend who is equally attracted to Wood and they form a trio. Back to the murder mystery, there a few people who are usual suspects and the trio go through usual antics to find out who is possibly the murderer. After 2 wrongs , they get it finally right and is a surprise because he is the guy that Reggie is seeing. In between all this we get to see usual life of gay bears, in clubs, nudity, gags, kissing etc.

Like season 1, his is also supposed to be just fun and not something to put your brain to. Its my guilty pleasure watching when I really need something totally mindless. The trio are still funny although I have to admit Nelson's constant talking gets on your nerves after sometime. There s a lot of kissing and I mean lot. The series is dragged but its ok because if they focussed solely on just the mystery, it will probably end in just a couple of episodes. Wood is still the cutest with his brain dead antics and always getting attracted by hot men. I believe that the producers are looking for funds for season 3. My advice would be to keep it a little short (about a length of 1:45 maybe), specially if you are still looking to sell dvd's in a film version.

Slight better than season 1 with more eye candy and laughters. You may roll you eyes but will still laugh. (5.5/10)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tom à la Ferme (French) [Tom At The Farm]

I am still not very sure what I think of the movie overall. The premise of the film sounded interesting and I wanted to like it but somehow I missed that feeling by the time the movie ended. I felt a lot of things were unanswered and left open. The pace was slow but it is ok, given the film is supposed to be a psychological thriller, you can't leave a lot of thing son viewer's imaginations. Sometimes it works but other times it is always better to clarify things for sanity sake.

Tom's boyfriend Guillaume is dead and his funeral is being held in his hometown. A town of farmers in a town which is in middle of nowhere. Guillaume's mother didn't know he was gay and his psychotic brother Francis threatens Tom to make sure it stays that way. Francis is handsome but scary at the same time. Tom makes up the story that Guillaume had a girlfriend and couldn't make it to funeral. Francis assaults Tom both in bed and in a toilet cubicle, threatening him with more considerably more grievous harm if he reveals the true nature of his relationship with Guillaume. Soon the game begins where Part of Tom wants to leave the farm but he is also enchanted by the life style. He is scared of Francis but then there is also something about him that attracts him. He accepts Francis' abuse for nothing. But when Sara arrives (Tom's friend and supposedly Guillaume's girlfriend), things change. Sara tries to put some sense into Tom but he is somehow blinded by everything. But son he finds out the truth on how dangerous Francis can be and how he needs to be careful for his own life. Finally Tom manages to escape the farm life prison from Francis and run for life.

The characters are interesting. They're strong. But I couldn't understand the basis of their actions. There is a scene when characters are doing this, and the next they're changing, and then they're going back, and then they make a new thing. Why does Guilaume's mother bursts out in hysterical laughter after Tom quotes some perverse language from the imaginary girlfriend. What does Francis really want from Tom? He doesn't want him to tell his brother's secret but why does he want Tom to stay? Is it because of his loneliness, the fact that he is stuck with his mother or is it that he may himself have some homoerotic feelings towards Tom. Its never clear. Its shown that most people in the village do not like Francis and his family but again its not clear on reason. The story that Tom finds out in the end is scary but is that the entire truth or there is more to it? Tom does manage to leave the farm but everything in the story is left completely unresolved.

It has some homoeroticism but thats not enough to hold someone's attention. (4/10)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Boys On Film 11: We Are Animals

Boys On Film 11: We Are Animals showcases short works from around the world that challenge genre, initiate discussion and explore issues of sexuality in beautiful ways. This diverse and daring compilation tells stories ranging from the whimsical, heart-rendering and poignant to the unflinchingly bold and provocative. Volume 10 was disappointing and this series is no less barring just a few stories. Can we please have those amazing collection of short stories back soon.

We Are Animals (USA)
Set during the 1980s AIDS crisis, this is a dark film. When a closeted young man finds himself in the midst of an anti-government coup, he joins in the fight against the strict regime that is being enforced upon them. I thought it was quite boring.

Burger (UK/Norway)
An observational study looking at the variety of customers that a late night burger bar attracts. It covers both gay and straight couples. It is a very ordinary film IMO. Actually no, it was quite annoying with some bad acting.

Alaska is a Drag (USA)
The unique Leo stands out from the crowd. This isn't ideal when working in a small fish cannery in Alaska. His dreams of leaving this small town appear impossible, until a new boy joins and sees Leo for the superstar he was destined to be. Thankfully a light in dark tunnel. This film was entertaining and interesting.

Three Summers (Denmark)
I have reviewed this film earlier on my blog. An excellent short film and a must see. As poignant as it is daring, Three Summers charts an unlikely friendship between a middle aged divorcee and a teenage boy. As lines are blurred and secrets are shared, a closeness develops in a way they never would have expected.

The Last Time I Saw Richard (Australia)
Set in a teen mental health clinic, we meet lone wolf Jonah who is forced to share a room with the newly admitted Richard. The boys form a connection based on mutual respect and some common demons; though Jonah soon discovers that not everybody wants to be saved. This film totally went over my head. Also, there is no reason for it to be in the collection of gay short films.

Little Man (UK/Israel)
Facing thirty, Elliott realises he has jeopardised every relationship that has come his way. The weekend his brother shows up on his doorstep and a bizarre neighbour begins spying on him; Elliott is driven to the edge in this uneasy psychological tale of obsession. Another very vague and artsy fartsy short.

For Dorian (Canada)
For Dorian deals with a sensitive and vastly under-represented issue: the sexual awakening of teenagers with disabilities. Told from the moving perspective of a devoted father of a boy with Down Syndrome, it challenges the ways in which the disabled are frequently asexualised. A very novel and different film and emotions are handled very well in this short. Kudos!

Spooners (USA)
In this hilarious, inventive and pleasingly whimsical comedy, a gay couple s ridiculous quest for a comfortable mattress transforms into a journey of acceptance and public openness with their sexuality. This is really funny.

Not as bad as the last volume but please bring back the greatest stories again. (4/10)