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, March 25, 2012

Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend

When I saw the first film in this series, who knew that soon enough there will already be 5 films in the series. I must give kudos to the producers and directors of the franchise. Lets admit it, Eating Out series are no brainers. There objective is simple, lots of skin show, keep the gays happy, make them laugh with stupid jokes and just entertain them. I call this guilty pleasure which most of us sometimes feel embarrassed to even admit to liking it.

A lot of characters are continued from the previous Eating Out series. Zack and his new boyfriend Benji are setting off to vacation at an all-male resort in Palm Springs with their MTF friend Lily. In light of the fact that there will be all these available men that are sure to be awaiting their arrival, Benji has proposed that he and Zack open up their relationship, just for the weekend. He's not ready to limit himself sexually and explains that this will be a good way for them to explore together. Zack is less than thrilled with the idea, but he's eager to keep Benji happy and, after all, he likes sex too. At the same time, Zack's ex, Casey, is making his way to the same resort with his hag-in-training, Penny. Knowing that Zack will be there with his new boyfriend, Casey immediately goes into panic mode, recruiting his new friend, Peter, to be his pretend boyfriend for the weekend, proving to Zack that he's had no trouble moving on from their relationship. But al the plans really do not go as they planned. There are series of confusions, heart aches and breaks. Zack and Benji's relationship is tested when Benji has his eyes all over the resort. Casey still has feelings for Zack which are more than evident. Lily and Penny fall for the only straight bartender in the resort and they have their own chase going on.

This film like others in the series are amateur, silly, over the top but at the same time they do touch upon various aspects of gay life and various natures of relationships specially ones that comes out of wanting to explore sexually outside that of the committed relationship. As they say that the grass is always green on the other side and our protagonists realize this soon. Boys in this film are gorgeous with perfect body and no ounce of fat. So yes, there is a lot and lot of eye candy in the film. I would not expect too much from the acting department because the story line doesn't demand any.

Just shut your brains, get some eye candy, laugh at the silly jokes because you want to and stop analyzing every single thing happening in the film. (5.5/10)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss

This film falls under the gay romantic comedy genre. There are not many gay themed films that are known in mainstream Hollywood but this is one of the films that common man has at least heard of, maybe because it premiered in the very reputed Sundance Film festival way back in 1998. Jack from Will & Grace is our main protagonist here and plays his part very well. There is a main theme that the movie targets but then there are all these things that go on the side. The name of the film comes from Billy's latest project which is a series of remakes of famous Hollywood screen kisses.

Billy is a photographer by profession. He moved to LA from Indiana when he released that no one in Indiana is gonna accept him for who he is. His best friend Perry is gay, (and I think Perry likes Billy but Billy has no idea about that) and his room mate is his fag hag Georgiana. Billy is sleeping around with Fernando who has a boyfriend but they have a fling on the side. Tired of being the 'other man' Billy wants love in his life, the real love. He meets Gabriel in a restaurant and Billy is instantly attracted to him. He is not sure about Gabriel's sexuality but still want to give it a try. He offers him his project on redoing the most famous Hollywood screen kisses. Gabriel soon finds himself into the modeling world being pursued by other photographers (of course of this good looks and his body). Billy and Gabriel one night get into an awkward situation as well when they sleep together. Throughout the movie Gabriel pretends that he was never sure about his sexuality although towards the end he leaves Billy by himself by walking arm in arm with his gorgeous model boyfriend.

So, the story is about wanting true love in life and doing everything, going that extra lie to find that love. Even if that means investing emotionally and physically in some unknown person not knowing anything for sure about him, this film shows us all. The film also gives us a reality check on how many some people could use you to get big into the big bad world of modeling and hollywood. Billy does a great job with occasional dances, although truth be told, there is not much to do as an actor in this role. Gabriel is good looking although he looks more like poor man's Brad Pitt. Most of the physical intimacies are kept out of the way, letting eyes and words describe the emotions of each character.

The film does offer entertainment and if you like romantic comedies that too in gay genre. (5/10)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oxygono (Greek) [Blackmail Boy]

This film is set in a closed community of a small provincial town and focuses on a family facing many serious problems. The characters are vulnerable, innocent and ordinary but they all become ruthless and callous worrying only about themselves and the money. The film, although gives a very soap opera feeling, is still pretty interesting in holding the viewers interest.

The family consists of mother Magda who owns important land coveted by entrepreneurs and who runs a bakery while caring for her wholly invalid husband injured in a car crash that killed her daughter; a money-conscious daughter married to Stelios, an earthy stud of a man with whom Magda is having an affair; the silent near comatose father who sits observing the tragedy like a wordless Greek chorus; and Christos, the hunky son who is bisexual and sleeping with a young girlfriend and an older woman and an older bisexual male city official Yiorgos who is married with children and is in charge of the city planning, his chief project involves the land Magda owns. The plot is convoluted but basically boils down to the development of a blackmail plan that will gain money for the land the family owns. The blackmail plan involves Christos' affair with Yiorgos in which videotapes are made of Christos' assignations with Yiorgos. The lives of all the characters are altered once the greed consumes them and there are discoveries, a death, betrayals, twists and feuds that end in a surprising manner.

The story moves fast, but once you get a hold of who's betraying whom, you become enthralled by the lives of this wonderfully despicable family. The actor playing Christos does really well; full of teenage angst, confusion, and only wants to detach himself from the family drama that surrounds him. The scenes of fights, arguments,, talk etc within the family are all very realistic. Another good thing is that no judgements are made on any character and it is left unto the viewers to make their own judgements.

I enjoyed it. I hope you do too. (7/10)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blutsfreundschaft (German) [Initiation]

This movie could have been really awesome. There’s much too little said about homosexuals in WW II and this film started talking about it. Problems with neonazis in Austria are often downplayed. This was a good opportunity to talk about it and show it but the film gets caught up in the ridiculousness and fails to say anything meaningful.

Axel is a handsome but troubled sixteen-year-old boy who comes from a broken home, has trouble connecting with his peers and dulls his anxieties with marijuana. Axel has fallen in with a neo-Nazi gang who give him the respect he craves, but their leader, demands proof of Axel's commitment and asks him to kill a social worker. Axel does it and while on the run from the police, he hides in a dry cleaning shop and is spotted by the elderly proprietor, Gustav. Gustav takes in the young man and allows him to help out in the shop, but doesn't tell Axel why -- Gustav is gay, and the young man bears a striking resemblance to a boy he loved when he was a teenager but inadvertently betrayed to the Nazis during World War II. When Lippi and his gang discover Axel has made friends with a homosexual, they're angry that he's gone against their principles, and Axel is caught between two different worlds in which he isn't sure he belongs. We also have Christina, the only social contact that Gustav has to the outside world who is undergoing sexual change. Her story gets prominent space in the film but has pretty much nothing to do with the basic plot of the film.

The story I felt was very over the top but I have absolutely no clue of what it is like in AUstria, so it will be difficult for me to actually make a comment on that. The story also seemed disjointed at various places. It was never clear whether Axel was with Gustav because his gang asked him to be with him or because he really wanted to. Was Gustav just protective about the boy or was he also sexually attracted to him? Acting wise Axel was ok but others were just ok. Christina looked over the top. I am not too sure what to make of all the aggression, violence, rape like sex that the members of neo-nazi gang indulge in. All this seemed unreal to me but I am not sure.

As per my very personal opinion, this film was full of flaws and does neither entertain you nor hold your attention. (2.5/10)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hua wei mei (Chinese) [Bad Romance]

I have always liked the idea of multiple stories in a film that somehow related to each other towards the end of the film but when there are stories and they have nothing to do with each other feels a little odd. I mean from a perspective that, why did you make a full length feature film out of it when you could easily have made 3 short films out of it. This feeling is even stringer when the overall film turns out to be a big disappointment.

This film is set in Beijing and follows life of 7 young people. We have a single mother who is very busy with work and hope stat she will meet her prince charming one day. She meets a student in the city and after much persuasion by the young boy, she finally gives in and they start having an affair. In the second story, we have a young city boy, who really likes another guy but he was taken. One day by chance they meet after 2 years of wait and our man cannot believe his luck. But the other guy is just nursing a breakup from his boyfriend and is with the guy just so he has a place to stay. This story deals with how one guys is madly and reply in love while the other guy really doesn't care. In the 3rd story, we have a girl who joins french classes and how she gets in between the games of a guy and a girl from the girl. She ends up making out with the girl and getting raped from the guy. Ultimately all these characters get their heart broken.

The stories move so so so slow that it tests your patience. Some of the scenes just drag on forever and ever. The only story that I was remotely able to connect to was the gay angle. It was interesting to see how one person is so much in love with the other one that originally he overlooks his faults. There is an interesting dialogue which says "As long as one person is committed in a relationship, it can go on". The acting was below average by all characters, specially in the French class story.

There are much better films out there that talk about failed (bad) romance. (1.5/10)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aka (UK)

In Britain, while the class divide is no longer relevant to most people's lives in terms of access to education or employment, there is still a great fascination with the lives of the rich. The premise of this film set in 1970's sounds so good when you read the summary but how I wish , even the execution was good.

18 year old Dean Page, who is from working class background, loves spending time with his mother listing to the tales of the upper class posh people by his mother based on her experiences with them being a waitress herself. We find out that Dean's father abuses him and soon throws him out of the house. He is picked up by an older gay queen who give shim shelter and clothes. He wants to move on and he visits Lady Gryffoyn, an art gallery proprietress, whom his mother had spoken of. She, for whatever reasons, hires him. She takes liking towards him which leads to his spending time at the Gryffoyn country house while people are away. Lady Gryffoyn's son Alexander subsequently humiliates Dean and he accepts it as his due, but goes off with their credit cards and winds up in Paris. There he impersonates as Lady Gryffoyn's son to get into the higher social circle. He meets a very wealthy man David and his gigolo boyfriend, a boy from Texas named Benjamin. The 3 of them start living together without any sexual favors till the time David stops caring for Benjamin and instead is more interested in Dean Page. Detectives come looking for Dean Page and soon the truth is revealed and Dean is arrested for impersonation and sent to jail.

The film is a bizarre coming of age story in which embracing a gay identity is occasionally considered in rather searching and realistic terms. The guy playing the role of Dean Page just does not suit the part (or maybe its the director's fault). Neither him, nor the situations are not convincing enough for the viewer to believe that Dean Page could actually pull off being an impersonator so easily and with such confidence. The only decent acting was from Benjamin but then none of the characters really get an opportunity to establish themselves. The film kept going in various directions and after I while, I really did not care of what's going on.

I wish this film was more social comedy rather than being a psychodrama. (3/10)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alle Tijd (Dutch) [Time To Spare]

First thing that comes to mind after the movie ends is how talented the entire cast was. Everyone in this film has done complete justice to their characters and somehow seem very fit to the role that they ere given. The movie starts slow but very quickly picks up pace and has various small subtle stories in between giving support to the main theme story of a brother and his sister.This is a story about families and how they come to grow, in all shapes and sizes, and what gives them their resilience and vitality, their importance in our lives.

Marteen in an older gay man who lives with his sister Molly. Molly now wants to move in with her boyfriend. Marteen starts to realize the emptiness in his life with Molly gone. Over a period of time Molly's boyfriend starts acting weird and even cheat's on her. When she can't take it anymore she decides to come back to her brother. Marteen , in the meantime, meets a gorgeous man, who is straight but something about marten attracts him and he slowly and unsurely falls in love with him. Molly meets a handsome doctor and they start dating soon. Soon Molly finds out that she is pregnant. Her ex-boyfriend realizes his mistake and begs her to come back which she obliges but his ways of life have not yet changed. Meanwhile Marteen's life revolves so much around himself or Molly that he does not think or care too much about his boyfriend's feelings. When Molly is diagnosed with cancer, everyone is shattered. She brings her ex-boyfriend and current lover together. Marteen and his boyfriend who broke up earlier come back together after she dies. Marteen , who originally brought up his little sister Molly is now left with taking care of her son.

The last moments of the film are very poignant. Its been a while since I sobbed while watching a film. For some reason I could see and feel the pain that the characters were going through. The relationship that Marteen and Molly shared was very nicely done. Any brother-sister might relate to it. The vet doctor with whom Molly later meets is shown as a sugary sweet one0dimensional character. It is very hard to believe why he blindly would accept all of Molly's faults when he himself is good looking , educated and decent guy. What is it about her that he can't let go off. My other problem with the film was that they tried to pack in too much into the story. If the story was kept a little simpler, it would have been better but it still doesn't take away from all the merits the film offers.

The film is heartbreaking but has its moments of light-hearted fun. I loved it. (8/10)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekend (UK)

I had meaning to see this film for a long time, specially since I had been hearing such positive reviews all over for this film. And I think it was worth the wait. Without being too wordy, the film and its two protagonists say so much and make you part of them. You feel for them, both of them in totally 2 different ways. You want them to be together, they want to be together but they can't be together. This feeling of love, longing, feeling lucky that you found someone but at the same time you can't be with them, is just so innocent and real on screen for this film.

The story is pretty simple but its the execution that makes all the difference. On a Friday night after a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. That weekend, in bars and in bedrooms, getting drunk and taking drugs, telling stories and having sex, the two men get to know each other. At the same time, we also find out Glen has plans to move to US to pursue his passion for art and is actually leaving the following Monday and this is where the whole emotions of pain an longing come to life. The ending is so heart-warming. Kudos to the director for handling the film so so brilliantly and getting such an exemplary job out of the 2 lead actors. I honestly wanted to be there with the guys wishing I cud see their story unfold in front of me for real.

This is the most real cinematic version of 2 guys falling in love. Nothing is over dramatized. You see this and say, "This is exactly how it would happen in today's time." It is a sincere attempt to try and capture how and why would someone fall for another person beyond the carnal instincts and physical attraction. It shows how people invest time in getting to know each other and before they realize , a spark has started and now they actually might be in love. The acting by the 2 leads is simply brilliant. Russell as the quieter guy and Glen who is more outward but still has some vulnerability about him are one of the best if not the best acting by male in a gay themed film. There are a few scenes just stand out. Everytime Glen leaves, Russell watches him from his window but Glen never looks back but finally once he does when it is time to leave. He shows he is falling in love too. I also like the scene when Russell finally admits to his straight friend that he might be falling in love with Glen and how he doesn't mind driving him to the train station to say one final goodbye to Glen. The scene where Glen reads all about Russell's one night stands was also done brilliantly. I am not very sure but I got a feeling that Glen's ex-boyfriend cheated on him with Russell. I could be totally off here though.

Weekend is genuine, original, natural, well made and well done. It is all about a relationship, gaining the audiences attention through involving, immersing, connecting, emotional quality. I would strongly recommend this film. (9/10)