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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Opposite Of Sex

This movie is a mix of comedy, drama, satire, spoof and trying to be a little bit of everything, the film at some point in my opinion loses its whole point. Agreed maybe 13 years ago, when the film came out, most of it would have make sense but in today's time, it doesn't anymore. That does not mean that the film doesn't entertain you. It does but at the same time, some repetitive scenes and mostly one dimensional acting prevents it from becoming a better film.

16 year old Dede runs from her mother's home and goes to live with her half bother Bill. Bill is gay and is a school teacher whose partner Tom died of aids few years ago which brought Tom's sister Lucia and Bill very close. Lucia pretty much doesn't have a life outside Bill. Bill now has a new boyfriend Matt. Ever since Dede moves in, she tries to seduce Matt because he is hot and young and eventually succeeds. The affair goes on till Dede finds out that she is pregnant. She convinces matt that he might be straight. Bill devastated to know asks them to leave the house but they take some money with them. Meanwhile another guy shows up asking for Matt to Bill and claims that he is Matt's boyfriend. Since Bill doesn't know and cant tell this new guy where Matt is, he falsely accuses Bill of molesting him when he was in high school which turns into a big town scandal and Bill ends up losing his job. here begins chase of Bill after Dede and Matt. Bill still wants Matt back. Matt wants to stay with Dede despite eventually finding out that the baby i snot his but from one of the other loser guys with whom Dede played around with. Lucia is forever with Bill in this endeavor and is constantly complaining. Anyway, everything ends well when Dede realizes her mistake, gives birth to the child, asks Bill to take care of it. Lucia meanwhile finds love with a local cop. Matt goes back being gay with the other guy.

The entire story is told through Dede's perspective which sometimes is funny because she throws in certain cliches associated with certain events that are happening in the film. The keeps the films pace going. It was never really clear why Bill still wanted Matt (who by the way did an excellent job portraying a male hunk version of a dumb blonde girl). Lisa Kudrow as Lucia was clearly very irritating. She just could not get over her Phoebe persona and would throw fits and tantrums in the same way in every scene. Dede did well as the 16 year old girl who hins she os very smart and can actually fool everyone around here. One major flaw of the film was that at any single point in the film the viewer never feels connected to the characters which in my opinion could be a major flaw. Production values were alright much like a TV movie though.

Nonetheless, if you dont mind getting offended by regular gay cliches and dont put too much brian into it, you might actually end up enjoying the film. (6/10)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Broderskab (Danish) [Brotherhood]

Now that was a complete surprise. A film that you would have not expected to go the way it did. It makes you think, you sometimes feel for the characters but you also feel repulsed by some of the acts they did. The movie was intense, it was gripping and it keeps you hooked throughout. You wanna know what is going to happen next. I was very pleasantly surprised with this film.

Lars has just quit army because he could not get promoted to being a field sergeant. One day when he is hanging out with friends, he meets some people from a new-Nazi group who are all about just having pure white people led by Michael known as Fatty within the group. Everyone and everything else is against the nature. Initially, Lars distances himself from their ideology and methods, but fuelled by defiance against the system in general - and his parents in particular - Lars decides to join the group. Michael for some reason think that Lars has potential even though his right hand man Jimmy does not agree. Soon Lars gets hired as A-member whereas that position should have gone to Patrick, Jimmy's younger brother. Lars moves out of his parents' house and into board chairman Ebbe's remotely situated summer cottage, which Jimmy is in the process of renovating. Despite their initial dislike of each other, the attraction between the two men soon becomes too strong to ignore. Before they realize, they are falling in love for each other while being torn between their emotion and ideology. Lars is still not entirely convinced about the group and when he finds out about their views about gays, he tries to pull out . Jimmy is now in dilemma but before they could make final decision, Patrick finds out about their relationship and informs Michael because of jealousy. They find Lars and beat him up real bad. Jimmy finally decides to leave with lars and go away but it is too late and he gets stabbed. FIlm ends with Jimmy in the hospital. Viewers are left to decide whether he is alive or dead.

The acting by the principal characters was so unbelievably good. Both Lars and Jimmy do so well in their parts. Their performance is nothing short of honest and heart wrenching and the director has utilized their potential. Such movies can easily have a tendency to get boring and draggy but this was different. The film keeps moving between being chilling to being a tender love story at times. There are certain flaws in the film like it is not completely explained why Lars joins the group or why is Michael suddenly favoring Lars so much. Despite these minor flaws you cannot ignore the overall film. The characters are all grey and not simply black or white.

I would have given a higher rating but this is a film that is a great first watch but doesn't really have a repeat value. It still deserves applauds for being different and meaningful. (7.5/10)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

This is a glam rock musical made to a movie after a successful running on the broadway. This film might not be everyone's cup of tea but you can't ignore it. Considering is a debut of a director who also acts as the principal character of Hedwig makes you sit and take notice of him and the film. I had heard a lot about this film specially in the realm of queer cinema which of course raised my expectations over a period of time. We will have to read further whether the expectations were met or not.

The film is set in a mocumentary style where Hedwig is doing commentary and singing songs based on her life. Hedwig born as hansel in East Germany fled to US when he met a soldier in Berllin. he wanted to bring Hansel with him but for that he will have to undergo sex change surgery. The surgery goes bad and he is left with an inch of mass in his front and has to now live with it. Unfortunately, things didn't work out with the guy in US. He is now following this very popular rock singer who Hedwig accuses that he has stolen all his songs. It turns out that when he was between jobs, he met Tommy Gnosis and taught him everything that today he knows about rock. They used to sing together and were lovers for a long time but Tommy found success and later he refused to acknowledge the presence of Hedwig.

The entire movie comes between musical sequences, during Hedwig's interaction with her manager, band, and showing of mixed feelings towards Tommy Gnosis. Her interactions with husband Yitzhak (a male character brilliantly played by a woman) are also serious, heart wrenching and confusing because he is just a back-up singer and whipping boy, a much less important character in Hedwig's life. The music is all hard rock. It is not my cup of tea. The songs take the story forward where Hedwig is narrating his story through commentary and songs. The music sometimes gets so loud that it can cause headaches but thats just the nature of what hard rock is like. The story still remains the same. I would have personally liked the film much more if it was not a musical or even if the music was a different style. people will argue that it is this punk rock style music that makes this film special and watchable and they are fine. It is a very personal opinion and everyone is entitled on one. This movie shows that human beings have faults, emotion, love, anger and strife, no matter what their sex is, or how unusual they seem. The ending is definitely a masterstroke when Hedwig turns a man again and his husband is now a pretty and successful drag queen.

You decide on your own. My ratings will unfortunately be lower. (4.5/10)

Meine Schwiegertochter ist ein Mann (German) [All You Need Is Love]

Thank God, after a series of watching really bad gay films (which seems to be the trend these days), I got to see a decent watch. In fact I was pretty surprised by the whole premise. What I loved specifically was it was a great blend of drama, comedy and social message. The gay characters are not just a walking collection of stereotypes, and the actors do their job well enough that you actually believe the characters love each-other.

The film starts with Katharina receiving a letter from her son Hans that he will bring Nicki with him whom he wants to marry in their small town of Bavaria. Katharina is very happy and tells her best friend and almost everyone in the small town. What she doesn't realize is that Nicki is a man. When Hans shows up with Nicki, she gets the shock of her life and immediately throws her son out. Initially they wanna go back to Berlin but Hans decides to stay and change people's mindset. Hans and Nicki check into a local hotel which again becomes talk of the town. Hans father Christian who s divorced and now married to the controlling Vera is also very disappointed knowing Hans is gay. he tries to take him to a whorehouse which surprises Hans. Since it is a small town, everyone finally finds out about the reality and start treating both Katharina and Christian differently. Vera even goes to the extent of spreading rumors that Hans is not he biological son of Christian. When Hans hears this, he cant take it any more specially after the fist fight that he has with a big group where he wanted to get married. They both go back to Berlin. Katharina's boss takes her to a lesbian club, thereby coming out to her and explaining her it is ok to be gay and how she admires how Hans has been so brave. Both the mother and father finally acknowledge that it is important to be happy be gay or straight and finally the 2 men get married in a very emotional celebration that the town puts for them.

What I liked the most was reactions of parents, neighbours and people in the small town. This is exactly I would imagine people in small town to react. Hans and Nickie made a cute couple and it was heartening to see Hans wanting to do everything right for his wedding which included making his parents happy too. The theme os sudden coming-out to the family was handled very bravely and rightly. We all love happy endings and so did I for this film but it went a little overboard when suddenly not just the parents but everyone in the town is so cool about it and are having a happy celebration for the married couple. Although what brought slight tears to my eyes were when Katharina's best friend Rosi sings a wedding song for the 2 men and their eyes get moist to see all the love they are getting from people who matter the most to them.

This is a film that makes me laugh, think and enjoy. It's rightly said that 'All you need is Love'. This is definitely worth watching. (7/10)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Release (UK)

The heart of this film was in the right place but I cant even begin to describe how faulty the direction and editing was. The film was going all over the place between past and present and even just random scenes popping here and there. If the makers had kept the film linear and simple, it would have had so much more sense to the audience. As of now, this film was nothing but a huge disappointment.

Father Gillie, stripped of his priestly garb and is marched through the recognisable process of being showered and dressed in prison clothes. Housed in his cell with a younger troubled man it doesn't take long before rumours abound that the Priest is really a paedophile. Now an easy target thanks to the insinuations he becomes hunted. Security comes in the form of a prison guard who befriends him and with whom love and an affair develops. When safely behind locked doors their illicit relationship blossoms and only then do we learn of the true crime that has put our priest inside. He helped 2 kids with euthanasia.

Terrible acting, uninviting characters, awful camera work, contrived and completely unbelievable plot, tacky music, poor flow of scene transitions, the list just goes on.. This is basically artistic masturbation without any regard to giving the audience a involving story telling experience. The film makers really took the audience for granted in this.

This one is completely avoidable except for a very few naked me shots. (1.5/10)

Handsome Harry

This was an interesting thought. There are quiet a few things that we all do when we are young without even thinking of what repercussions it might have in our old age. What we might think of it and how it is going to affect us psychologically. Using this as a primary theme, this film takes us through the life of Harry Sweeney.

Handsome Harry as he is called by his friends is 52 years old, divorced and has a son who lives in Chicago. He is ex army servant and is carrying a secret with him. He also does not allow anyone to come close to him. He gets a call from his friend Kelly who is dying and who wants him to find out their friend Kagan and ask for forgiveness. Thirty years ago, these guys were a group of 5 friends in navy who always used to hang out together. In a drunken brawl all of the the group subjected Kagan to a beating because of homophobia: all of the men participated in the cruel act but one crushed the jazz pianist Kagan's right hand with an armature, destroying the hand from ever performing again. Kelley's reason for calling Harry is that Kelley believes he was the one who crushed Kagan's hand and wants Harry to find Kagan and ask him for forgiveness. Kelley dies soon after. Harry then visits all his friends one and one and they relive that moment, no one wanting to ever talk about it again. One of them has a gay son and his wife is leaving him, 2nd has a sick wife and third is a college professor now. Finally Harry finds Kagan but the maid tells that he is out. Harry returns home, distraught and emotionally exhausted. Apparently both Harry and kagan were madly in love with each other except harry just did not have the courage to accept it in open. When Kelly finds them together, all the men gang up and beat Kagan. And it was Harry who is the one who actually hit him with the armature. Sometime later after singing in a quartet contest Harry spies Kagan in the audience and the two leave for a dinner in a deserted restaurant. There Kagan shares ALL of the truth about the incident and about his relationship with Harry and the film ends quietly and painfully with the truth being on the table.

I thought the ending was perfect. Bringing the 2 men now together after all these years of gap would have been odd. It was very heartfelt when Kagan tells Harry, how he has loved him still all his life and how he followed his every move and knew exactly what was going on with his life. Their love was pure but for some reason Harry did not the courage. They both wonder how different and happy they both could have been if they stayed together.

This one is a soul-searching, heart-wrenching drama. (5.5/10)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

R├╝ckenwind (German) [Light Gradient]

This film was weird. It was just going nowhere. Looking at the poster, you might think that it might be somewhat like Summerstorm but it doesn't even come close. This is one of those really bad foreign / independent films where all that happens is bicycle riding. Trust me, thats exactly what they show for a good 30-40% of the initial time in the film.

2 young men Johann 7 Robin are on a train bound for some country-side experience. Half of the film just focuses on them and their adventures of biking in the woods. When their bikes get ultimately stolen, they look for shelter and find a 40s woman with her son. The woman is interested in gay men but her son is not. He is just used to being a bored teenage who just does random things to kill his time. Then random things happen. The 2 boys spent sometime with mother and son and then go back to woods. And then something happens in which one of the boy either gets lost or killed or something. It is not very clear.

Trust me, the film was exact;y as boring and ridiculous as you must have felt reading the storyline above. This film seemed to go nowhere, slowly and randomly. The film was full of bits and pieces of this and that. Sun shining through the trees as they ride bikes through the woods, S&M in the woods, robbing sandwiches from other bike riders in the woods were some of the scenes that made the film. This is one of the slowest films and bad films I have seen and i have seen a lot of bad films.

Completely avoidable. (1/10)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Callas Forever

This film though might give an impression of a biopic, is really not. Its the directors fantasy that he plays on the screen around the idea of Callas starring in a film production of Carmen at a time where she was losing her command of her magnificent opera voice.

Larry is a famous singer who meets Michael, an artist on one of his trips to France. They have an instant attraction and slowly start dating. remember that Larry is much older than him but that means nothing. Michael idolizes Callas, a very very famous opera singer. She is now losing her voice and confidence and prefers to live in seclusion. Larry used to be Callas' agent in her heydays. Larry proposes a film version of her famous opera Carmen to Callas so that the younger generation gets to see her work and see her perform which they have never had the opportunity to. Initially reluctant to star in a film that will use her old recordings dubbed on the film soundtrack, she ultimately gives in. The projects is launched and things go well. She retains her temper tantrums and demands for perfection that hallmarked her real career. The film is finished and turns out to be great but Callas then realizes that her youth cannot be regained and decides to get rid of the film. In the meantime Larry loses out on his time with Michael who is now leaving for a tour to showcase his art and doesn't know when and if he will ever see Larry again.

I dont know why but the film did not really strike a chord with me, neither at emotional level nor at a cinematic level. I would say the acting was good but the film tries to fool some gay audience by kind of forcing the romance angle between Larry and Michael. It was so not needed. They could have focussed completely on Callas and Larry and it would have ben all good. Not that I would have liked the film better. The movie might be loved by opera lovers but that is again one more things that is not my cup of tea.

This is my rating for the film. Your rating might be totally different based on your tastes. (3/10)