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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boys On Film 5: Candy Boys

Candy Boy (France)
Panic at the orphanage! Children start falling mysteriously ill left right and centre. Candy Boy, the most valiant of the orphans, leads the inquiry. But our hero s investigations are complicated by the arrival of a beautiful new resident. My first gay animation film though a short film. It was just ok

Two Young Men, UT (USA)
Will and Eli meet by chance in a bar and head to the salt flats searching for a party. In the process, however, they take the first steps towards finding and accepting themselves that one is straight and other other is gay.

Blokes (Chile)
Santiago, Chile, 1986. Blokes tells the story of the sexual awakening of a boy during the dictatorship. He is totally infatuate by a boy living in the opposite building and he jerks off seeing him. Desire can result in a very different outcome depending on the moment that you live.

Last Call (USA)
After a tragic accident, Gavin is offered the chance to re-live three memories he shared with his ex-boyfriend, who recently passed away, by a mysterious bartender. Gavin takes the offer, but Fate has other plans when now he sees his ex-boyfriend is very happy with someone else who was able to give him everything he wanted to.

Go Go Reject (USA)
Daniel Ferguson yearns to leave his job at Yogurt World and fulfil his childhood dream of becoming the Jennifer Beals of male go-go dancing, yet his Flashdance fantasy comes a cropper when the clubs specify only muscular dancers. Undaunted, Daniel turns his small frame into a huge success.

David (Mexico)
Unemployed businessman José, looking for work in the city, finds instead David; a much younger man who whilst mute, has no problem in communicating his desire for sex. They meet, have sex, a great time and just move on.

Far West (France)
Eric is forced to spend his holidays on his grandfather's farm in the countryside. Bored out of his mind, an unexpected visit from OTT friends Mika and Koko, and the appearance of a hunky farmhand, pull Eric out of the doldrums. Twist in the tale is when the grandfather also turns out to be playing with the local helper.

Sweat (UK)
Shot in the bath houses of London s Vauxhall, Sweat portrays Simon s first steps in the sauna scene. How much trouble can one boy get into, or out of?

James (Northern Ireland)
Focusing on a boy in Northern Ireland isolated by his sexuality and alienated from his family due to his parent s marital troubles, James reaches out in desperation to his teacher for support and guidance.

The 4th film in the series was so good. This part is a tad behind that one but some of the stories still definitely leave a mark. You need to be in a totally different mood to enjoy short films. (5.5/10)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reinas (Spanish) [Queens]

I forgot about this film till I got my hands on it recently again. I enjoyed it the second time as well though maybe not much as I did the first time around. It was still very funny specially one of the mothers. The fact that the story is something totally new and deals with mothers issue with respect to their son's marriages is a different take on gay cinema. Any new subject makes it very fresh. The movie is all about guys getting married and their crazy (but believable) mothers. No matter what your mom was like, one of these mothers will probably remind you of yours.

The film starts with gay marriages becoming legal in Spain and we follow the first huge gay wedding and follow 6 couples but in this case the focus is on the mothers and not so much on the couples themselves. Mothers who are loving and supportive of their gay sons, yet to some degree are a bit embarrassed that they are about to attend a gay marriage and that is when you will have the real dramatic journey of our "Queens" in this tale. Some of the mothers approve, others despair, others take advantage of the situation to meet their own needs. Reyesis a famous actress whose class refuses to accept the fact that her son is marrying her gardener's son. Magda is a hotel owner whose hotel is hosting the gay wedding bash and her own son is also marrying. Nuria, a sex addicted nymphomaniac whose drives don't prevent her form bringing her lusts home to her family. Judge Helena who barely tolerates the effect of a public wedding of her son on her career but ends up being forced to perform the ceremony and Ofelia, a restaurant owner/worker who arrives form Buenos Aires for the wedding with her runabout dog causing antics that threaten her son's relationship.

The sons are played to perfection and without the slightest bit of tereotypical behavior we usually encounter in these films. The effect of these 'double mothers-in-law' on the six men involved is packed with surprises, secrets, bizarre behavior, confessions, manifestations of life patterns less than reputable, and whirling dervish spins on acceptance. The production values, acting, and directing are all first-rate. The pace is fast and the mood light. The humor is absolutely hilarious. I don't think I stopped smiling, and there were a few times I laughed very hard There's just so much great family humor that everyone would anyone would enjoy.

Definitely recommended and a very enjoyable experience. (6.5/10)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Almost Normal

A standard gay comedy, Almost Normal would be rather forgettable, if it wasn't also a social satire, designed to illustrate what it's like to be gay in a straight world. As satire, it succeeds to an extent, and in some ways as brilliantly as one could hope to expect although in spots, the plot is too confusing to produce the intended impact.

Brad is a good looking 40 year old single gay man. At his parents 45th wedding anniversary, he meets his best friend from school who stopped talking to him when he came out to him. His mother still dreams of finding a nice girl for him. This is when he remarks to his best friend Julie who also happens to be his sister in law that he sometimes wishes he was "normal". Not that he dislikes being gay, but he is weary of being different from the heterosexuals that surrounded him. Drunk, he leaves the party and gets into an accident and slips into a dream where he is transported back to 70s, his early college days. He gets his wish of being 'normal' because everyone in this world is gay and straights are looked down upon. A myriad of plot problems are resolved with witty or sometimes silly explanations. In his dream, Brad's parents have same-sex partners, but his father and mother begat him through a custom known as "birth partners". And then film takes a turn when Julie enters and suddenly Brad starts feelings for her. He is now turning straight which is again not 'normal' in this dreamy world. Of course, the dream ends and everyone is back to reality. The film ends when he suddenly he meets this guy (father of one of his students) who happens to be the same guy who Brad had a huge crush on when he was in college and we see that in this elaborate dream sequence.

The climax was the highlight of the film. Acting of the principal characters was also good. The whole role reversal thing was interesting but when they introduced Brad turning straight, it made it confusing for me. Was it about an individual's choice of sexuality or rebel. All was going well because Brad wanted a normal life and he gets that in the dream. Or maybe it was just to show the support of the minority group. In either case it confused me as a viewer. But yes, the film was still not boring. It kept my attention barring a few places here and there.

An interesting concept but now who is the target audience for this film? (5/10)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bayaw (Filipino) [Brothers In Law]

Bayaw is an odd little tale about two brothers-in-law running from the law, committing all sorts of other crimes along the way, and occasionally indulging in some forced gay sex. That premise alone doesn’t sound very promising, but the way Bayaw tells its story makes it an unmitigated disaster.

Nilo is a former cop thrown off the force for a crime he didn’t commit. His wife has become frustrated with having to provide for both Nilo and her younger brother Rhenan, both of whom spend most of their time at home doing nothing. One night, after a heated argument, Nilo’s wife is killed, and the brothers-in-law run from the law. Interrogated by the police, Nilo confesses everything, telling the tale of his wife’s death and the subsequent escape that leads to a series of murders along the way. We find out how during the course, there are points where Nilo forces sex on Rhenan in the name of taking his mind off, kills a thief on the way when he tries to come between the 2 guys and a prostitute who finds the truth about them. The film ends with Rhenan telling the cops that his sister was a real bitch and whatever Nilo did was right. He is the only family Rhenan has and he probably would have killed himself had Nilo been not there.

The characters were very poorly developed. The film doesn’t make too much sense. None of the characters act remotely like a real human would act, or say anything that people actually say. Even the movie’s framing device lacks any connection to reality. The worse is all the forced gay sex scenes which were absolutely not necessary. They really dont add anything to the story, not even cheap thrills. The camerawork was shoddy as if it was done by amateur phone camera. Every character seems stupid making weird faces. Though I must admit that I did sit through entire film hoping something better would happen but without any luck.

There are much better things that you can do than waste time over this film. (2/10)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Trip

This film can definitely be added in the list of beautiful gay romantic films that I have seen and you should also add to your list if you follow my blog. You know how some films have that extra 'thing' that just draws you in. You don't need to have random sex scenes or anything. It is just emotions that ultimately connect with the audience and they believe in everything that is happening in the film. The film follows the relationship between two men starting from 1973 continuing into the 80's, giving an opportunity for many political and social commentaries having to do with the times.

At a swanky L.A. party, lean and lanky Tommy introduces himself to sexually and politically repressed Alan who is a wannabe writer, belongs to young republican group and his book is on homosexuality. When Alan invites Tommy for dinner, their connection is so intense that Alan's then spooky girlfriend Beverly realizes that there is definitely something much more going on. They keep meeting wherein there is a clear sexual tension between the 2 men but Alan can't admit he is gay. When Tommy decides to not see him anymore because it is painful for him, Alan finally comes out and they start living as a couple. During this time, since his views on homosexuality is changed, he doesn't want his book on homosexuality published but 4 years later it gets published. It is because of Peter, an old man whose house Tommy and Alan first met who always had feelings for Alan. When Tommy finds out the truth about the book and Alan, he feels cheats specially since he had always been outright in his work for causes of gay rights. Alan's book destroys all of it. Circa 1984 where Alan is now living with Peter and Tommy is somewhere in Mexico. When Alan finds out Peter was the one who leaked his name to the media, he leaves to reunite with Tommy. The two finally take the road trip they previously planned, but under tragic circumstances, as Tommy is now ill from an undisclosed illness. In a fitting end to their love story, Alan fulfills his book contract by writing a second book. This time, it is about his coming out process and his love affair with Tommy. The book is called The Trip, and is dedicated to Tommy.

The story features well written, witty, and humorous dialog that moves the plot line believably through the years that the story encompasses. The performances are uniformly good. Alan has this incredible screen presence and very very natural dialogue delivery and laughter. His voice is a mixture of nervousness and confidence which I liked. The chemistry that Tommy and Alan shred in the film is to die for. They are so much in love with each other and they keep making jokes to each other. This is how things should be between a couple. Other characters in the film add to the right mix of comedy and light moments. Even when the film is reaching the climax which could have been a very sobby affair, the director tries to lighten the mood by depicting some of the events that happen on the road trip.

I am glad I saw it again. Fortunately, I didn't remember anything from the first time I saw it. Now thanks to this blog, I will. (8/10)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Il Sapore Del Grano (Italian) [The Flavor of Corn]

This is definitely a controversial subject but it also depends on the outlook of an individual towards the film. SOme can be offended while others can see it as a poignant tale of love that can never come together. In either csae, the film still leaves a lot to be desired and explained and as a viewer I felt a little cheated when I did not get explanations to certain events n the film.

Lorenzo is a college student doing a student teaching assignment in a small Italian Village. He has recently lost his mother, is estranged from his father and has no family to speak of. One of his students Duilio atkes an instant liking for him and invites him home. Duilio's family is made up of his grandparents, his father, and a stepmother, and Lorenzo very much appreciates becoming a kind of surrogate cousin in the family. He is in the middle of a deteriorating, though short relationship with a woman and the human companionship is enjoyable. He ignores whatever sensual undertones there may be in Duilio's admiration of him. Furthest they go is when Duilio gives little kiss on Lorenzo's lips. When his step-mother thinks that there is something going on between the two, she asked her husband to ask Lorenzo to not visit them as often which he happily obliges although he is aghast to learn what Duilio's family thinks of the relationship. When Duilio's grandfather is ill, the stepmother asks for Lorenzo to take care of Duilio, because she is pretty sure that Lorenzo will not do anything wrong with Duilio. And this is exactly what happens. The next day, Lorenzo goes back to his college leaving his young student thinking that their relationship would never develop into a serious one because of age difference.

Was there really love between Duilio and Lorenzo. I am not sure. I think Duikio clearly loved his teacher but the teacher was as straight as it gets. He liked girls and fooled around with them but then he also enjoyed Duilio's company and also was aware of his love for him. Or maybe Lorenzo did love him because we see him struggle with himself when he and Duilio are alone finally and Lorenzo sees him sleeping. Was it just a matter of age difference or something else? Acting was good. Its surprising o see village people in 80s in Italy being open about various issues including a father talking to his son's teacher about not visiting the family and that too in a very low toned manner like 2 mature adults would do. Despite all this, the film did not leave back much to take home with me.

One time decent watch and that is it. (4.5/10)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturno Contro (Italian) [Saturn In Opposition]

I have now seen this director's Ferzan Ozpetek few films mostly gay themed and I must say he has a penchant for telling interesting heart-felt stories. This film though does not match up to his earlier endeavors but just for the beautiful climax, I would give him 1 extra mark.

Davide,a much admired writer lives with his artist partner Lorenzo. Davide has many admirers who wish to fall under his influence as a writer and Lorenzo likewise has many friends who are devoted to him. These friends gather at the home of Davide and Lorenzo for meals, parties and celebrations. Davide's close friend Antonio is married to the beautiful Angelica who is writing a book about smoking and is not aware that her husband is having an affair with florist Laura until a mutual friend, translator Neval - caring for both friends' concerns - shares the information. The possible disastrous discovery is overshadowed by the sudden hemorrhage suffered by Lorenzo during a communal meal. Each of the friends' lives are halted while they gather at the hospital awaiting the inevitable death of their friend - each with open arms of support for Davide and each other as they find their way through dealing with the circle of life. After Lorenzo's death, Davide wants to be alone and this is when all the friends gather together at a weekend getaway to be all together despite Davide not liking it but ultimately forcing themselves on him makes all of them come closer to each other and continue with the family that Lorenzo always wanted for him and them to have.

he main problem with the film is that it introduces you to so many characters at the same time that viewer gets confused on who's who and what their relations are. For one of the characters, I realized only towards the end of the film that he was Davide's ex-boyfriend. The film is shot beautifully exactly like the director has done for some of his past films. Some scenes leave deep impression like the one when Lorenzo's father's acceptance of Davide's relationship to his son as the funeral is passing is shown. How the death of a friend brings a couple back together from a failing marriage. The acting of the main 4 characters is good but rest others are just mere fillers. When expectations are higher, the disappointment is bigger.

Could have been great but is just better than average. (6/10)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mine Vaganti (Italian) [Loose Cannon]

I wish I had started my new year with this gay film rather than the one I started with but better late than never. This was such a fantastic film. Though it still still does not reach to the level of 2 of my most favourite gay films but it is up there in terms on content, acting, direction and emotions that strikes a chord with audience. This is brilliant and the fact that it is a good mix of comedy and emotions as well make it a worth while experience.

Vincenzo owns a pasta making business. He is soon doing collaboration with a new partner and wants his sons Antonio and Tommaso to take over. Tomasso tells his brother that he cannot do this because he is gay and wants to become a writer. He alo tells him that he will tell everyone at dinner, so that his father gets angry and throws him out. But tables turn when at dinner, Antonio ruins Tomasso's plans and comes out to his family. As expected, the father gets angry and asks him to leave the house. The second son refrains from same announcement, fearing that his father won't survive a double "disaster". He tries to take up his role as second-in-line son to become the future company owner. But his heart is with being a writer, and not in leading a pasta factory. The father does not see this because all he keeps worrying about is what people would say. The grandmother is th eonly person who knows what's going on and keeps motivating Tomasso to do what he really wants to do. She knew about Antonio and also knows about Tomasso. Tomasso starts hanging out with Alba, their partner's daughter who has her own issues with life. Missing Tomasso, his boyfriend and friends come to visit him which creates an alltogether funny situation. Tomasso finds courage to tell everyone that he wants to become a writer and is not interested in family business. At the end, when the grandmother dies, Vincenzo and Antonio start coming together and hopefully bridge the gap between them.

The ending was so surreal and beautiful when grandma's funeral is pseudo combined with old days when she got married. Its beautiful and you will see it when you watch the film. All the characters are beautiful, stylish and middle class, living well and only through the aunt do we see any imperfections, which seem to be done for laughs. It is a wonderful tale of hope,friendship,love and family. Friendship between Alba and Tomasso is so tender and sweet. I loved all he times when Alba feels attracted to Tomasso but cannot do anything knowing he is gay and Tomasso just smiles. I just loved it. The whole scene where Tomasso's friends come to meet him creates very funny interactions between the family. I am not too sure as to why the movie has been titled 'Loose Cannon' in English and it's the grandmother who is referred to as that. The acting was brilliant, Tomasso was handsome and gorgeous with very very expressive eyes and I also loved the family interaction.

Strongly strongly recommend this film. Beautiful !! (8.5/10)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Alex und der Löwe (German) [Alex And Leo]

This German speaking movie begins with nice animations that instantly remind you of Pink Panther series and your expectations are raised. But as the movie progresses, you realize that it is such a predictable movie with very little charm in lead actors to carry it all the way through who hardly know the nuisances of acting in the first place.

Leo is in advertisement who just broke off with his girlfriend of 4 years finally accepting that he is gay. Leo is a regular guy who catches his boyfriend cheating on him and is himself getting out of a relationship. Alex has 3 other friends: perky and sarcastic Tobi, a stage artist who gets shy every time he sees the same hot stranger, the psychologist Steffi and the hard-drinking Kerstin. The group of 4 have a chance encounter at a bar with Leo. Leo who has instant liking for Alex extends a hand of friendship and take it from here. Tobi as himself hates him and is always mean to Leo. Leo and Alex start hanging out and finally sleep together. When Leo tells Alex that he wants something permanent, Alex flips out since he just got out of a bad relationship. Meanwhile Tobi finally gets courage to talk to the hot guy and is now so very much in love with him. Both Alex and Leo realize their mistake and finally apologise to each other and get back together.

This movie could have been so much better. With better actors, better character developments and better comedy. Don't get me wrong, the movie is charming in a amateur kind of way but it also has many flaws. Both the lead actors don't have it in them to carry a film on their shoulders. Plus they just dont have any chemistry to speak of. The plot is predictable, the camera work is unfortunately pretty uninspired, and it's obvious that the whole film was made with very little budget.

Despite so many bad things to say, I still managed to sit through my first gay movie of 2011. (4.5/10)