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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Amor Eterno (Spanish) [Eternal Love]

Now this was a weird film! When someone says that this film fans in a similar genre like ‘Strangers by the lake’; you automatically have huge expectations an thats where the fault lies. The film neither has suspense, nor content or skin show for that mater. The makers did try to make it a thriller but to a viewer like me it just seems like a wanna thriller, or was it a vampire thriller (we will never know).

Carlos is a middle age bearish language schoolteacher who frequently visits the local cruising ground after work where gay men, lesbians and teenagers find fleeting sexual partners. One afternoon he recognises one of his students, Toni, wondering through the woods with his friends. After class the next day, Toni asks Carlos for a ride, and the two end up having hot and steamy sex in the back of the car. While Carlos is adamant this is a one-time thing, Toni’s youthful innocence makes him develop a crush on the teacher. Despite his wishes to keep it a one-night stand, Carlos and Toni meet again. On the side we also see a group of teenage friends, all of them pretty much been dejected by their lovers, hanging out together inside and outside the forest dong something which is never very clear. Anyway, towards the end of the film Carlos and Toni are started outside the school and are given a lift by these “teenagers” who sexually tease Carlos and end up going to his home. It eventually results in a tragedy, that was probably mastermind of the group with Toni as one of the members.

Like I mentioned before, the film was quite confusing. There is an effort to make the film mysterious, but the confusion of what is even happening gets in the way. It is never made clear who these random bunch of teenagers are and whats Toni’s connection with them. The erotic love making scenes between Carlos and Toni are ok but most of the film is set is such dark, its really hard to comprehend whats going on. The music of the film is jarring. It feels so out of context and forced. There is nothing much good about the film. As viewer, I didn’t empathise with any character or even did identify with them. Was this supposed to be horror because it was not? Were the teenagers some sort of vampires? I don’t know! They were more like sex-driven zombies.

I think, this film was director’s self-indulgence to give the zombie-vampire-horror genre a new style but in my opinion it fails miserably. (3/10)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quand On A 17 Ans (French) [Being 17]

“Another coming-0f-age sexuality film”; this is the first thought you have when you see the title and ponder over what different can this film offer. But it does offer a lot more. Yes, the primary focus is on the two teenagers who are confused about everything and have feelings of fear and not knowing whats what! Combined this with the sheer beauty of the French alps, this film makes it for a spectacular watch.

Damien and Thomas are the 2 protagonists, turning 17 and both a bit unpopular in school. Thomas is a quiet kid and not very good with studies whereas Damien is a smart intelligent guy and on one such occasion Thomas trips him and thats when fights between the two of them start. But Damien is too tough to just accept the bullying and he fights back. Damien’s father is a soldier and mother is a doctor. Thomas is adopted and lives with his parents in the mountains. When his mother gets ill, Damien’s mother treats her during which she also has to spend some time in the hospital. She then invites Thomas to come stay with them so that his school doesn’t get affected. She also does this party because she is aware of the tension between the two and that maybe they can be friends. Battings have started to change. The boys, though continue to fight, you can feel something more is happening. And one such day, Damien very honestly feels Tom that he is attracted to him. Tom’s reactions are priceless and he is as confused as Damien. I mean he is a teenager. Since Thomas doesn’t know better, he hits Damien and in the process ends up breaking his arm. Damien’s mother cant take it anymore and send Thomas back to his home. In a twist of events, Damien’s other dies in the war and this brings the 2 boys closer yet again. Thomas becomes the emotional support for both Damien and his mother and this is the time when the two boys also realise how much they love each other, Although Damien is more sure than Thomas. Love losses and Damien tells about this to his mother who is supportive and happy for her son and totally accepts the relationship. What is to be seen is where this relationship will go forward.

Although the film starts slow with a few repeated scenes, it is still really pretty and establishes the base context for us on whats going on between the 2 boys. The eruption of confused feelings between Damien and Tom is portrayed with great sensitivity and a brutal reality. I mean when the boys fight and hit each other, you can totally imagine todays’ teenagers doing the same. It is interesting how the sexual tension finds an outlet in spontaneous outbursts of violence.Both of the boys are amazing in there acting. Damien, the geeky awkward guy but who wants to learn to defend himself, realises his love for Tom but is not sure whats happening to him and where this will all lead. And then we have Tom, who is a bit confused with his mother’s pregnancy, what that would mean to him, his dreams and now what Damien is doing to him. The director shows us the feelings of loneliness, fear, longing and magnetic attraction in moments so tender and private you almost feel like an intruder. But at the same tim, this is the only way to feel attached and empathise with the characters. I loved the last scene when Tom comes to Damien’s home when his mother goes in labour and asks Damien to stay by his side. We shouldn’t forget Damien’s mother’s character, who is critical and central to the film. She is real, warm, intelligent and relatable. Her husband’s death is a big game changer in all their lives. I know I have mentioned before as well, but the setting of the film through season right from winter through summer adds another interesting element. The calm and reasonable pace of the film helps the audience to absorb everything happening around them.

The movie is alive, real and full of love that started with violence. It at least made me wanna be 17 again. (7.5/10)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mexican Men (Short Stories)

This collection of short stories titled ‘Mexican Men’ is a collection of five encounters that are sensual & seductive and are the works of 2 very popular film makers of Latin cinema. Most of the films emphasise on the aesthetics of some handsome Latino men, and very little attempt to include a conventional plot. I had mixed feelings after watching the series. Actually not all 5 short stories are gay themed (sigh!) but they are still good.

Trémulo (Trembling)
Carlos, an adult teenager works in a barber-shop. One day his eyes meet with Julio, a customer. Julio returns in the evenings asking for a shave (or maybe to meet Carlos). They spend the night together, eating, chatting and even dancing getting increasingly close, with sexual tension building between them. They both know that this is short lived but was still amazing. The best film in this collection, this is the sort of film that you watch and anna be in love again. Brilliant!

Young Man at the Bar Masturbating with Rage and Nerve
This documentary film follows a man who works as a rent boy, which helps to support his real passion of dancing. However, for him these two things are not mutually exclusive, with sex and dance playing similar roles. This is more like a constructed documentary with interviews and scenes and sections that have obviously been staged. But surprisingly, it still makes for uninteresting story with how our protagonist discovers what its like being gay, his passion and desire to do something with his dance and how does prostitution fit into all this.

Nubes Flotantes [Wandering Clouds]
This short film about swimmers uses highly choreographed dance movements to tighten the sexual tension and emotion between people. Two young men are swimming, while in voiceover one of them tells us about their relationship – a mix of friendship and rivalry with an undeniably homoerotic edge. When a third guy joins, who is homophobic, a bubbling anger is brought up to the surface. A decent exploration on homophobia and difficulties of maintaining relationship.

Atmusfera [Atmosphere]
So this is one of the films that is NOT a gay themed film. A loud speaker talks about the dangers of the world, a possible epidemic and caught between that are 3 characters. The streets are abandoned and slowly the characters want to find the truth. An incontrollable desire forces them to leave in search of the sea. Weird but lyrical !

Vivir [To Live]
Weirdest of them all and again not a gay film. A short film set in three parts showing three different emotions (at least that is my interpretation). Through art and dance, the film explores both the characters’ emotional closeness and distance.

The first 2 films are really good. The rest are just meh!



Saturday, September 24, 2016

Outings (UK) (TV Series)

Being promoted as an original homegrown independent gay British series and something of a sibling to Queer As Folk, this series was a sheer disappointment. The show, focussing on a group of gay 20-Somethings trying to work it all out; doesn’t even come close to the above mentioned show or anything else decent for that matter. Poor story, bad acting and just a big mess all over the place.

The show follows three characters – Kane, Kiegan and Tim; and we witness their lives over a course of three episodes. Each episode sort of concentrates on one of the characters. Episode 1 shows Kane getting dumped by his boyfriend in the middle of having sex because it was so terrible. He moves in with his mom (it looks like there is history there before) and we are introduced to the other characters. Episode 2 focuses on Kiegan. We are not told about the history with family but apparently there are estranged relationships. He has been asked by his brother to be his best man and now he has to visit home for his niece’s christening. Tim starts dating a fellow actor and Kane is now a gay converted o straight man in a relationship with Lucy. Episode 3 is about him when he throws a birthday party with 80s theme for Lucy. The couple is going through a rough time with respect to sexual compatibility. Is Kane really straight now? The show ends with lot of open questions with Tim’s date and Kane ending up together in the end.

As I mentioned above, the story was quite all over the place, the continuity etc. did not make any sense. The acting was really poor too. I think Kiegan was probably the only saving grace. I highly doubt they ill ever be able to come back with season 2 unless they come up with better writing and direction and bring some sense and reality to the show. I understand that the writes used this from their own experiences, but still there is so much that can be improved in this show, pretty much everything. Take tips from Australian show ‘Please Like Me’ , which is unbelievably good.

I would recommend to not waste your time on this bad mini-series, bad acting and non-existing storyline. (3/10) 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Boys On Film 15: Time & Tied

The newest volume in this series is all about short stories from Britain. Sadly and disappointingly, most of the stores in this collection are below average. At least I personally did not connect with most of them.

Closets
We look at the lift of Henry in this time-travel coming of age drama, as a teenager struggling with his sexuality in 1986. Hiding in his wardrobe, he time travels to the present day where he meets up with a similar teenager, Ben, occupying his same bedroom 30 years later.

Putting On The Dish
This is London in 1962, a time when being gay is still a criminal offence.  Two strangers meet in a park and strike up a conversation in slang to talk about their experiences. I did not understand a word of what was being talked about

G o’Clock
After being called out to an emergency, Alex, saves the life of a young boy who had overdosed on GHB. He later arrives at a chill-out and meets Nik, a sexy young Spanish boy who he takes under his wing but soon discovers his caring instincts comes with a dangerous price.

Nightstand
Two men meet over three consecutive nights – one is young and gay, and the other is married. Their tender affair unravels in the night-time metropolis leaving them to face their biggest fears. Interesting but needs more !

Morning Is Broken
At a family wedding Sam meets Nick, who’s fond of vintage cars. He invites Sam to go for a drive, a pact is made and an adventure begins. But maybe Nick has a past that scares him.

Sauna The Dead
A night in a sauna turns into a fight for survival. Two men must over-come prejudice and join forces in taking down a horde of towel-wearing zombies. Who will live to see the dawn?

Crossroad
Liam, a young man wrecked with confusion after an incident that one night guides him on a mission of self-discovery where the choices he faces may risk changing his life forever. Yawn !

Dawn
As dawn creeps across London, two lost outcasts meet in the darkness, as the sun begins to rise, and the veil of the night is lifted, the pair look into the cold light of day for hope.

Trouser Bar
Set in a London gentlemen’s outfitters c. 1976 and taking inspiration from the emotions aroused by the love of corduroy, leather and tight trousers, two men enter Sir John’s Trouser Bar, little do they know the adventure that await them. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Gay Short Films : 49

These are a few short films with great stories, done well and are generally above 20 minutes plus duration.

How Not To live Your Life - Don Goes Gay (UK)
This is one of the episodes from the TV sitcom. Don is forced to question his sexual preferences when he wakes after a night of heavy drinking to find himself sharing a bed with Samantha's brother Jamie. Unaware he is actually the victim of one of Samantha's pranks, he decides to open his mind to homosexuality, and asks his apparent bedfellow out on a date. Eventually Don realises he is not gay after Sam's brother performs oral sex on him. This episode was hilarious. All the small things that Don thinks on why he is gay was brilliant. I think I am going to use the term 'Gayman' going forward. Funny!

Tranny Trainer (USA)
An interesting concept and thankfully made into a short film. Forrester used to be an athlete and famous but is now old, down and out and works as a personal trainer in a gym. When nothing else works for me, a chance incident leads him to becoming a personal trainer for a transvestite and he leaves the gym. Next thing you now is that gym is getting calls after calls for this special program while Forrester finds his calling and trains the ‘ladies’ in the park. Each character has their unique identity. Alright but could have been funnier.

Invulnerable (Spain)
Elías is just beginning his career as a high school teacher and just beginning his relationship with Pedro, his co-worker. He just finds out that he's HIV positive. The film goes back-n-forth on Elias’ early life, how he met Pedro, his ex-lover and how possibly he got the virus. But now the big question is how will Elias tell the truth to Pedro and how is Pedro going to react? The film and the story was told in a light manner and I found myself even laughing at few points. Invulnerable came down as raw and honest but not overbearing.

Utopies (France)
Thomas is suspected to be gay, and mobbed by youngsters in his poor neighbourhood. He meets Julien, from a different social background via Internet, in search of a different experience. They discover the suburbs around Paris, utopian architectural projects from times where a better future for all was still an aim of society. These discoveries will nourish their own personal utopia. The film is ambiguous, albeit with a love story that preserves a form of innocence. Acting is good but movie is a bit slow paced.

Sex Chat with Pappu & Papa - Homosexualiy (India)
In the final episode of this Indian web series about sex education, Anand, the dad meets his old college friend after ages who’s there to get his gay partner’s fractured foot fixed. This time both his son and his father have some awkward questions this time for Anand about homosexuality. Anand patiently explains them about homosexuality and also educates them on it.

Panorama, The Orlando Nightclub Massacre (UK BBC Doc)
It's America's worst nightmare: an armed gunman on the rampage in a gay club going around killing people. Panorama reveals what it is like to be caught up in the carnage of a mass shooting, telling the story of the Orlando massacre from the people who were there. Like everyone else, I too had been following the news but this short 30 min documentary showed with graphics and interviews, how terribly scary it was for people to be trapped inside and really not knowing what to do. I felt deeply for the people so far but not to the extent that I did after watching the documentary.

Tonight It's You (USA)
Browsing profiles on his phone, handsome CJ arranges a late-night hookup with misfit Hunter, only to discover more going on in Hunter’s backwoods farmhouse than he bargained for. This is going to lead him to something much more sinister than he could ever imagine. Misfit Hunter is going to haunt CJ for a while and he will not be able to control. A gothic, sexy, thrill and horror ride. Ending was bit confusing but still at least something different from the standard run-of-mill stuff.

Statross le Magnifique (France)
This film is the first chapter of a trilogy about Statross Reichmann, an incarnation of the western world and all of its contradictions. Statross is a mixed-race baron who lives in a mansion haunted by the ghost of his father, a Nazi colonel. Statross is tormented by his identity and the past of his ancestors.I had to watch this film without subtitles, so most of it did not make any sense to me.

Alfa (Cuba)
Alfa Mendez, Cuban gay porn actor, has to face returning to a film set without Yerry, his boyfriend with whom he used to shoot a few years ago. Sentimental and artistic by nature, on his first day of shooting without him, Alfa tries to act as in the past but things can not be like before. He is having difficulty getting close to anyone or even getting it up to be ready for the shoot. The film shows that the loss of one’s loved ones is equally painful to any profession.