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.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Speech And Debate

I dunno exactly how I felt after this film finished. This was a very average film, where conveniently strained situations are created and by the end of it all life goes back to being very rosy; which all feels too good to be true. Touted as a teen comedy, I personally did not laugh at ay point and I couldn’t really connect with the actors either.

Three oddballs in a school ultimately come together: Dan is a new boy in the neighborhood, openly gay and wants to start a gay straight alliance but the school board would not allow. We then have Diwata, an aspiring outspoken wanna be actress who is heart broken when she is not selected for a school musical because she is against the changes made to the story to suit the sensibilities of the conservative town. Finally we have Solomon, who has a lot of thoughts and topics that he wants to write about but the school newspaper is heavily censored because of board rules and hence he is also frustrated. Among the only options available to them, the make/join the ‘Speech & Debate’ club because they feel this is what will give them a platform to showcase their talents and fight against the outdated rules of their school. After a few weeks, they make a disastrous attempt to participate in a Portland competition, and get into some big-city trouble when they miss the bus home. They then come up with a master plan to use the board meeting to make people aware of their problems and hoping that with the use of media, things will finally improve for the three of them, for people like them and for the entire school and town.

My biggest problem like I mentioned above is that, this film never connects with the audience. It fails to make a convincing case. If you look from a point of view of brainless entertainment, maybe this is good but then I doubt this was the intention, since a lot of issues have been tried to highlight in this film. Hypocrisy, teen pregnancy, closet gay teacher, homophobia, social media craze, bullying, freedom of speech, and other general teenage issues; and because of this, it never does justice to anything. On the bright side, the acting from all the three main characters is amazing, especially Diwata. Actually she did crack me up a couple of times. Dan was gorgeous looking and gives in a very restrained performance of a city gay boy trying to adjust in a small town. Solomon was also good and added a charm to the story.

A strictly time pass film which I would say as below average. Good looking cast but a weak storyline. (4/10)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kept Boy

After a long time i saw a gay film whose subject wasn’t run of the mill. Complexities of living with a sugar daddy is something new, maybe it has been handled in a few short films or side stories but a full fledged film on this subject is a great idea. Sadly personally for me, it didn’t translate too well on screen as I would have liked to, and I will write more details about it but nonetheless I really appreciate an interest in bring something new to the table.

Good looking and hot Dennis lives with his sugar daddy Farleigh who works in reality TV production. Dennis has never worked in life and has enjoyed his time as Farleigh’s kept boy, and unfortunately his production is not doing too well. So on his 30th birthday, Dennis is asked to look for a job to support himself a little bit. This comes as a shock to him since he has never worked in his life and his circle of friends also include Lonnie & Paulette who themselves are living with a much older woman and a man respectively. In between all this, Farleigh starts giving a lot more attention to the new pool boy Jasper, including making him the design assistant for his show. Dennis now has to do everything that he possibly can to win back Farleigh into his life. Dennis and Jasper try to overdo each other including when they all go to Columbia for vacation. The climax and all seems pretty contrived and convenient where Farleigh dies and it seems life for Dennis is going to be more independent and happier but who knows.

The film is touted as comedy but to be honest I didn’t laugh at any single instant. Instead I felt that it was handled more like drama and what really happens and thats what got me more excited about the subject. It is hard to say whether Dennis wanted to stick with Farleigh just for money or did it include a bit of love as well, probably latter since he rejects an offer by another rich old man, who happens to be Jasper’s uncle. But then , anyone with even little bit of dignity would wanna look for some self-respect when clearly Farleigh is more interested in Jasper now. He spends the entirety of the film trying to win Farleigh back and nothing works. The whole climax of Jasper and Dennis hooking up to win Farleigh back was also bit weird. And what about the end? The two kept boys are now together or was it a whole planned affair? Anyway, besides these screenplay grudges, as far as acting goes, Dennis was the star. He portrayed his character exceptionally well. I thought Jasper was a bit confused and not natural. And of course, I am not complaining about some hot nice ass that you get to see in the process.

An interesting insight for people who think they can have a carefree life finding a sugar daddy, it is very easy to be replaced in such scenarios. Overall a decent film. (6.5/10)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bear City 3

And finally the third and the last film in this bear trilogy, brings back all principal characters back from the first two films and continues to what’s the latest happenings in everyone’s lives. As enjoyable as the first two films were, I was looking forward to this film as well. Though it didn’t disappoint, it also did not bring anything new to the table.

Lets look at all the major characters and couples that we are introduced to and will watch. Fred who has started making a documentary on bears, is now about to have a baby with his husband Brent. While Brent has completely taken over the responsibility of doing all preparations for the arrival of the baby, Fred is busy with his documentary, making Brent feel that Fred is not taking the baby’s arrival with as seriousness as it deserves. Then we have Michael, who although still mourning the death of his past lover is building a new relationship with Dalton. Dalton’s daughter Emma, a very tough teenager and very protective of her father,  comes in to the mix a year into their relationship and the trio is going through their own tribulations. And then we have Roger, who has not only lost his love in part 2 but also has now lost his job and apartment. The entire group is now going to the bear campground for the weekend or something and Roger also goes hoping to rekindle love with his ex Tyler. But Tyler now has Jay, a fireman and they are both very much in love with each other. Each character goes through their ups and downs, laughters and cries, hopes and wishes and start to redefine ‘family’ in their context, especially after Fred & Brent have their baby two weeks early in the camp. Each learns a valuable lesson about tearing down misconceptions, building relationships, rebuilding one’s self, and finding more than enough love in their hearts.

I dunno what was it but the film didn’t excite me as much as the first two did. This could be a combination of expectations and the fact that the film really did not have anything novel to offer unlike the first two. I mean, there was nothing wrong with the film but then there was nothing outstanding either. Like most films, each couple had their share of misunderstanding which gets resolved by the end of the film. We all know exactly what the outcome is gonna be. I think it was the expectations that left this film a little short in fun quotient for me. Acting by all principal actors was still pretty good with Brent still taking an edge over the others. Roger’s character in this chapter, according to me was quite irritating and unlikeable. I wonder if that was the intent but besides that I was happy to see that all characters were given equal prominence including Fred’s sister who is also the surrogate.

Not bad at all but not great either, This film is an alright conclusion to the trilogy of the gay bear life. Now lets look forward to something new. (6/10)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gay Short Films : 53

Johnny (US)
An older man hires a young sex worker named Johnny to be his first sexual experience with another man. The night they share forces them to face the difficult truths they've been trying to outrun. Johnny is a story about finding the strength and courage that it takes to accept responsibility for the choices you have made.

Camchat (US)
An experimental look at online sexual encounters through one young man's interactions. Yawn!

Lily In The Grinder (US)
Ryan struggles to find meaning in his provisional existence, exploring sex and death and the idea of 'becoming something.' This surreal film, enveloped in a classical string quartet piece, is a rumination on death, time, and the nature of existence. What if human life cannot be said to truly begin or end? This one was way too weird for me.

Never Too Late (US)
A teenage romantic short film that shows that even with HIV+, its never too late to find love if you truly look for it.

Dans Les Yeux (France)
A Sunday morning like any other in the Parisian suburbs. Two 18-year-old men, are secretly in love. An odd situation that Alex imposes on Victor. But an unexpected announcement will challenge his love and force him to take a stand.

Workout Buddies: A Bro Love Story (US)
Brian begins working out with Miguel, because he wants to get fit and they are both having a great time. But eventually, Brian starts getting jealous when he sees Miguel working out with another bro.

Turbulence (Canada)
As the plane slowly makes its descent, a young couple is faced with their differences through sudden pockets of turbulence. Alex, who's about to start his career, struggles to communicate his true artistic passion to his boyfriend Brett, a straight-laced, privileged law school frat boy still coming to terms with his sexuality.

Tienda de campana (Spain)
Adrian and Dario are friends since the age of fifteen, but that will change after the camping trip.

Éden (Portugal)
João and Pedro live in this garden. What João wants the most is for Pedro to be happy and the only way he found to make that happen is to support him in his escape with Sara. On the other hand, Pedro learned how to love João and does not want to leave the garden. But one of them ate the forbidden fruit.

OuT (USA)
We travel through the stages of coming OuT with the mysterious "A".

Pipe Dream (USA)
Peter’s girlfriend of two weeks, offers to give him the greatest gift that any young man would want: his first blow-job. Problem is, Peter has a small dick... or so he thinks. With the support of his super-hip gay DADS and a penis pump, Peter must prepare himself to measure up against the expectations of society. But sometimes in this world, it's not the size that matters, it's definitely how you use it. This film was brilliantly done with a good mix of humor and message.

Scaremonger (USA)
Hearing news that her 10-year-old son is being bullied because of his feminine long eyelashes, a single mother descends into a paranoid spiral of nightmares as she tries to protect him by trapping him inside. A very interesting film that shows how parents can get so protective.

Heet Water (USA)
A sober intense situation of exploring sexuality in a bath tub.

D.Asian (USA)
A young 4th grade is trying to fit in, where he likes the cutest boy in class. Where everyone thinks he is White, he identifies himself a s Asian and he bloody well has a very good reason for it. Amazing IMO!

Der Untermensch (Canada) [The Subhuman]
A contemporary dance piece abstractly depicting the persecution of homosexuals at the hands of the Third Reich.

Dragen (Denmark) [The Kite]
The film is based around a kite which rekindles memories of childhood between 2 long lost friends. The film is with barely any words spoken. They meet as kids and slowly start falling in love, only to be dragged back home by one of the parents. All memories come back flashing, seeing the kite again.

Arrival (USA)
An animation film following a young boys journey into adulthood and gay relationship.

Tu.Yo.Baño.Sexo.Ahora. (Spain) [You.Me.Bathroom.Sex.Now.]
When Antonio finds out that his boyfriend of 8 years is cheating on him three days before Christmas, he decides to find solace amongst friends at the neighborhood dive. He meets a guy there who pretends to be German and they both have a great time in the bathroom leading to a fast way of Antonio forgetting his anger. Will he be able to use the same trick on another guy? I absolutely loved this film. And would highly recommend this comedy.

Paradigma (Spain)
Innocence, sex and lust converge to tell the story of Guille, a teenager who seeks himself through others. With his best friend, he is seeking to control his sexuality and maybe find one guy that loves him for who he is.

Green Light (USA)
The lonely nights of two gay men, seeking connection in their worlds of isolation.

Friday, August 11, 2017

That's Not Us

This is a film that examines long term relationships, (definition of long-term is debatable) over the course of weekend in a nice picturesque beach town. At the onset it seems another one of those improvised, low budget, indie films, but its thankfully saved by some really good acting. The actors maybe unknown but they definitely don’t come out as novice and that’s a good thing because otherwise, a film that relies heavily on dialogues can very soon get very boring.

3 couples (gay, lesbian and straight) come to a beach town near New York for the weekend. Each one wants to have a good time but internally each of them is going through their own problems. James and Spencer have been together for a while and are very much in love but Spencer has just been accepted into a grad school in Chicago and that seems to have put a discord in their relationship. Alex and Jackie, the lesbian couple , hasn’t had sex in ages and Alex is trying her best but feels constantly rejected by Jackie who has her own issues. And finally we have Liz and Dougie, who have recently started dating an dare in their honeymoon phase of constant sex but when Dougie admits he doesn’t know how to ride a bike, it drives a wedge between them. Each of them tries to talk about their problem with someone except their respective partner. Issues are raised, some fights happen and as expected everything is resolved by the time weekend comes to an end.

Storywise, it is as simple as what I mentioned and to be honest, the dialogues are also pretty lame; but thankfully its the acting that saves the film. I think the idea was to keep it as real as possible, but I really doubt that the couple who have been together for a few years talk this formally with each other using the sentences being used in the film “Let’s be in the moment” and “Just tell me how you f---ing feel!” There is way too much talking and after a while I started losing interest in thier story line because to be honest, even though the issues were trivial, they were made out to be of the utmost criticality and hence when I read somewhere talking of these as “first world problems”, I couldn’t have agreed more. The gay couple’s chemistry is the best one and for obvious reasons, I connected most with. They are also given some good funny dialogues which keeps the mood of the film light. Talking always helps and even in this case the conflict, miscommunication, and resentment in the group is eventually resolved.

A decent feature if you have nothing better to do. Its worth a watch only for the natural acting. (5/10)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Handsome Devil

Set in the backdrop of a boarding school, this film is another one of those coming-of-age stories for a teenage boy or boys. What’s a little hard for me to believe is the fact that neighborhoods and societies in general can be still so homophobic in Ireland, but then I don’t live there, so its not fair for me to comment on that. It may not be the easiest for  a teenager to come out but but something tells me that its highly unlikely that a whole high school community would be harsh including the teachers.

Ned, teenage gay outcast, joins a boarding school since his parents work in Dubai. Taunted and laughed at because of his ginger look and non-interest in rugby, he has learned to live that way. He is soon joined as his room mate by Conor, who also joins this school because of suspension from his previous school for picking up fights with students. A quiet and shy guy by nature, it turns out that he is a rugby star and now the only hope for the school to being them back the winning glory of the tournament. Ned and Conor form an unlikely friendship, ably supported by their English teacher who continuously encourages students to be themselves (who later we find out that he is gay himself but surprisingly in closet, maybe because of his job). The school bully soon finds out that the actual reason for Conor to leave his earlier school was because he was picking fights for anyone who would confront him to be gay, blackmails Conor to cut off all ties with Ned and help them bring the coveted cup. Ned is surprised by how suddenly Conor has disappeared from his life because of nothing. Initially hurt and tired of being called a faggot, he announces to the school that Conor is also gay. This is what Conor has always feared and his nerves get the better of him and he disappears from the school on the day of the final match. Ned realizes his mistake, somehow convinces Conor to take back the charge and bring back the glory by being himself and not pretending to be someone he is not. He comes back to the team and is ready to join the team only if they all accept him for who he is. Miraculously all of them agree despite a reluctant coach. The match is won and the two friends are back together.

The best thing that I liked about the film and two main protagonists is that no romance angle was forced into the narrative. They were friends who truly cared for each other and being the oddballs (gay/quite/sarcastic) was their common binding factor. And I really appreciate the efforts of film makers for keeping this simple. As I mentioned above, yes, we do see certain bullies in high school, who would indeed act the way some of the students did, but the headmaster and sports teacher probably should not. Guy who played the English teacher is a wonderful actor and beautifully plays his role of a brilliant teacher who is trying to push students beyond their limits, while struggling with himself to be true to his own beliefs. Ned’s character was nice and witty like someone who has become used to being bullied and now uses humor as self-prevention mechanism. Conor on the other hand is troubled (I feel their needed to be a back story with his father, that could tell us more about what’s truly bothering him. On one side he is this quiet, shy musically inclined guy but then he is this aggressive rugby player. Both the guys acted their parts brilliantly, but somehow the empathy was missing. I could relate with them but I couldn’t feel them and this is one of my major concerns with the film.

This film is about being gay, and about anyone that doesn't fit into the social norm. People need to stop thinking that anyone who is different is a lesser individual. (7/10)