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, February 25, 2015

The Boy In The Dress (UK)

Its not a queer film per say but depending on how to see it, this could fall in this category. Story of a perfectly normal kid, showing no sign of homosexuality, it just happens to be that the boy likes to wear dress. Is that so wrong? This and more questions are asked and answered in this feel-good heart warming beautiful film based on a book by the same name.

12 year old Dennis lives with his older brother John and their father. Their mother left them recently for another man. Dennis is very god in football an misses his mom terribly. When Dennis sees the Vogue magazine in a store with cover girl wearing a dress similar to what his mother wore, he gets intrigued. The school rebel Lisa James finds out and comes closest buddy with Dennis because she is all about fashion and wanting to break the rules. She makes Dennis wear a dress and experiment by going to the local store to see if anyone recognises him and of course no one does. One day when Dennis has had enough of his father’s gloom, he decides to do something crazy and wear dress to school. Initially no one recognises but the secret is soon revealed which leads to his expulsion from school, just few days before the final football match. Dennis is not allowed to play the game. When they are losing, Dennis’ closest friend Darvesh convinces entire team to play in dress so that Dennis can join the team back and bring back victory to school. As expected the team wins, the father is immensely proud of his son Dennis and the headmaster of the school has no choice but t o take Dennis back in school after one of his own little secrets of cross dressing is revealed.

What really impressed me about The Boy in the Dress was how deftly it skipped across its heavily mined social territory by simply treating it as no big deal. It wasn’t about sexuality of the boy or anything. The film is very light, easy on the eyes, made for Tv kiddo film and I think with that in mind, it does achieve it’s purpose really well. The acting by all principal actors is amazing and there was such a charm about the boy playing Dennis. He was just perfect for the part. All the other characters were likable and it was also pretty funny in some parts like the sports coach, or Raj (store owner) and the referee for the final match.

It is bright, cheerful, simple & funny film that delivers a worthwhile lesson without overstating its case. (6.5/10)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Turtle Hill, Brooklyn

This film reminded me so much of Ferzan Özpetek’s films that I have seen over the years. A very similar setup, specially to the Italian film ‘Saturno contro’. But I am not gonna judge this film based on that. We all have inspirations and as long as we still end up producing a good piece of cinema, I am going to appreciate it and enjoy it. This film falls in the same category and was a very pleasant experience in a lot of departments which we will talk about later. The title of the film comes from the name of the neighbourhood in Brooklyn where the protagonists live.

The premise of the film is a birthday party. Will and Mateo have been together for sometime and it is Will’s 30th birthday and they are hosting a party for their closed ones and friends in the backyard of their apartment. Mateo is Latino  and is frustrated with his career not going anywhere and we then find out that Will is not out to his family. Soon after the plethora of friends start pouring in and the plot just follows a party with the interactions between guests. Both Will and Mateo are unsettled emotionally, as are many of their party guests who engage in conversations of love, sexuality, politics, age and ethnicity. New secrets are revealed when Will’s gym trainer comes and kisses Will but it turns out it is Mateo who had slept with him a couple of time sand is now scared that his secret is gonna come out. It is on this birthday in presence of the guests that Will and Mateo have to try to figure out why they are not the happy, loving couple they want to be.

First things, the acting and the whole setting is pretty natural. No one seems to be acting and thats the biggest USP of the film. Friends--straight and gay--arrive, liquor and conversation are flowing, and everything appears to be as it should be. We know that there's a serious underlying tension between the two men, but this isn't obvious to most of their friends. Camera flows smoothly between all the characters. Everyone is given sometime and but none of the characters are probably established including the main leads. I think this has a good potential to become a web or TV series where all these individual stories can be established. Filmed on probably very low budget, I will still congratulate the director for finding actors who are natural, where the flow of scenes are natural and it makes sense. Sure, from a story perspective there may not have been anything conclusive to say but the director knows his craft and I think he can do a good job in making more films

Essentially Turtle Hill, Brooklyn is a snapshot in the life of a couple who are reaching a turning point in their relationship. It wasn't really a great party, and it wasn't really a great film, but the movie had its moments, and its charm, and it exudes honesty, authenticity and transparency. (6.5/10)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gay Short Films : 29

Eden (USA)
Adam and Everett are stuck  in an institution that cures you of being gay. With the help of Mary, a nurse haunted by her own past, they begin to execute their plan of escaping from the Eden institute. But as time starts to run out, and Adam struggles with a darkness that has plagued him for some time, they start to lose hope of making it out untouched. When Everett escapes and Adam stays in, he is supposedly cured. I really did not understand the ending of the film. This still confuses me. ON a bright side, the actors are cute and can actually act. (5/10)

HuffPost Talks With Brett Jones: The First Openly Gay Navy SEAL (USA)
Navy SEAL Brett Jones joins HuffPost Live to discuss his new book "Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy SEAL" and why he is pushing for equality in red states. Jones, the first openly gay Navy SEAL, was outed while serving when a voicemail to his boyfriend, who was also a member of the United States military, leaked. (4/10)

Monster In The Closet (USA)
An old pastor hires a twin for an evening of sex. When the job is done, the old man wants him to stay longer of more money, which they both agree. The hustler soon finds out that this is the homophobic pastor who is all over TV. The old man on the other hand has trust issues on the younger chap. A cat and mouse game follows in the midst of a very confusing plot. We don’t really know what was it that each of them exactly wanted. Hustler wanted money but the pastor seemed more like a psycho to me. The film ends with both of them dead. It’s weird and even the acting is a bit OTT. (4/10)

Estate by Bruno Martino (Italy)
A small video to express the simplicity about love, how it's the same for every one. The memories of a lost love, and how many of us have been there. Absolutely brilliant. (8/10)

Rite (UK)
Mike picks up his estranged teenage son on his birthday so they can spend a rare day together, a man desperate to prove he’s changed. Drink and the simmering violence of match day in London brings out the worst in him over a long, difficult afternoon for father and son. But at the end when the father realises that his son is gay, finally the calm and peace of his heart comes out in support of his son. It is about the unconditional love of a reformed father trying to prove he has indeed changed. (6/10)

Male Bonding Rugby Style (UK)

The cameras follow the players of the Sanbach Rugby Team  in North England as they celebrate their success in a series of local pubs. The more they down the alcohol, the more their inhibitions peel away,and their feelings for each other find physical expression.They may be playing it up a bit for the camera,but there's no doubting the sincerity behind the kissing and fondling. There's plenty of nudity and swinging dicks. A freedom of male bonding where everyone is super confident about their sexuality. (6/10)

OVO (France)
This short film is a political thriller set in near future where a extreme neo-fascist party has taken over the government and wants to get rid of foreigners, jews and homosexuals. Laurent has a gay Arabic lover. They both along with their friends have to decide whether to flee the country, stay and fight, or stay and hide. Will it be too late before a decision is taken. The film goes back and forth between various scenes. A difficult film to watch but doesn’t really prove a point on what it wants to say to its audience. (5/10)

Luces del centro (Argentina) [Center Lights]
This is a silent gay short film that shows as the night progresses and the countless city lights come and go, and like people, mingle, meet, separate, are reunited. A man looks at them from the top of his balcony as a reflection of his mind. They make visible the wide range of meetings that the city offers, but he prefers the man who lives in the next room, although not reciprocated. It was alright. (4/10)

En del av mitt hjärta (Sweden) [Passing Hearts]
This is not a gay short. A teenage boy who looks depressed because he cannot play goes for a cross-country adventure to meet a stranger couple and soon we find out why. Their son’e heart was donated to this kid and somehow through him, the parents feel closer to their son. A very intriguing and touching love story.  (7/10)

100 Metros Estilo Libre (Mexico) [100 m Freestyle]
Polo and Domingo spend their last days together before Domingo moves to another city. Domingo has to say goodbye to his girlfriend, Mina; while Polo deals with his feelings towards his best friend in the little time they have left. Although it seems that Domingo also has some feelings for his friend.  A classic case of who says it first and will it be too late? (6/10)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

West Hollywood Motel

I was given access to screener version of the film by Syndicado, a film and TV distribution company. I have mixed feelings watching this film. Had I seen this film a few years back, I may have thought that this was a feel good funny film but having seen a lot of meaningful cinema of late, I unfortunately can’t say the same about this one. This does not mean it was an awful film but there is nothing special about it either.

As title suggests, the film is set in a motel and focusses on few couples who are spending their time (a couple of days) in this motel. We meet a Venezuelan import trying to make it into movies and longing for companion. A chance encounter where the motel miss up a reservation for another guy could be his chance for companionship. We meet a straight couple who are in town to meet their cousin where the wife overnight develops a penis and the entire day goes in the confusion on what the hell has just happened. Then we have a lesbian relationship. One of the girls is an actress married to a man and is not ready to make any sort of commitment to her partner who is completely devoted to her and also is ok dealing with the fact that she is married. And finally we have a gay couple who have come for a romantic vacation but there is something that’s missing between the relationship. The film focuses on these couples and try to make a story of these individuals.

Let’s analyse the stories. The story of a married straight couple was weird. Also the casting of husband was probably not right. He felt pale in comparison to the very strong performance by the wife. She was fantastic. The lesbian plot was not convincing. There was just no chemistry between them, considering that they are supposed to be together for 2 years. For the gay couple, we didn’t know what was actually missing in their relationship? The younger dude is outgoing while the other one prefers watching movies; so how the hell does everything get right in the end and the extrovert guy has a change of heart. The only good chemistry was in the non-couple of the Venezuelan guy and the stranger. That story itself can be made into a short film which would be very nice. The actors had great chemistry but not a whole lot o focus was given to it. Performance wise, I have to admit that most actors did a pretty darn good job. Usually when I watch low production films, I keep my expectations low but these actors were all good. All they need is some good mentorship and some luck and they can do well.

Thankfully the film is not too long so its not too much of a torture. I think the idea was to make a pretty simple funny movie. They achieved the simple part but it wasn’t really funny. I did not laugh at even a single scene. Overall I would say below average. (4/10)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kissing Darkness

And its back!! The saga of terrible awful gay themed films mad in US is back. Let me just say it out loud: ‘Please do not watch this awful terrible movie. Save 1.5 hours of your life’. I would not recommend to watch it, even if you get paid to do so. But then, if you need lessons on how ‘not to act’ and how ‘not to direct’, this film could be a good case study.

A group of friends rent a cabin in the woods to escape the hollow festivities of West Hollywood Gay Pride. The group consists of 4 gays and one straight guy whose father owns the cabin. Once there, boredom fast settles as they're deprived of their usual party tactics. They get their hands on an Ouija board which somehow awakens the spirit of a Gothic murderess. The vampire starts following and one after the other, the guys are attacked and made vampires. I do not even wanna go into the details of the story anymore because only I know how I managed to survive the film.

Acting was over the top by everyone involved. I couldn’t believe how terrible Sean Paul Lockhart was. Its such a shame. Everyone else was also quite annoying. The bitchy queen blond was so artificial and annoying. The scenes were totally out of sync and lot of connections just did not make any sense. The film would cut from one scene to the other without much explanation on what the hell is going on. You will never know why the straight guy kept taking his shirt off at every single given moment and why the hell would he come with a group of gay guys for vacation anyway when he doesn’t even like them. The only good thing about the movie is a lot of eye-candy, fully ripped torsos and some ass of the cute boys. The vampire girl was terrible as well but probably the most decent in the whole lot. The sound in many scenes is also terrible and you just can’t understand a word of what is being said.

Horrible acting, horrible production, horrible movie. Two stars for some (actually, a lot of) eye candy.   (2/10)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cambridge Spies (Mini Series) (UK)

This BBC mini series is definitely not a gay mini series but the fact that 2 of the 4 principal characters of this series were gay, makes this series qualify for me to write a review about it here. This series chronicles the lives of the four Russian spies from 1934 to 1951.

The series shows us how the 4 characters, Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt are recruited and why they feel compelled and obligated and wanting to do this with Russia. Each series focusses on an individuals life and the interactions between the four people. Blunt is the reserved one who occasionally is allowed to show emotions and is also gay. Guy Burgess is witty and charming, who enjoys picking up men in public toilets. Maclean is a man of privilege who feels guilty for what he has, yet is aware of his limitations. And finally we have Philby, the most enigmatic, fiercely loyal and intelligent, devious and filled with angst. There is a lot of information that is thrown at the viewers and you just have to keep taking it. I am not going to try to summarise the story or narrative here like I do most times, because there is so much that it is difficult to summarise it into words. But in short it is a sympathetic look at these 4 gentlemen from their Communist days at Cambridge in the early 1930s through their rising through the ranks of British government. Highlighted in particular on this journey are the sacrifices that they all made in their personal lives ranging from Philby's first wife to Burgess' great love Julian Bell and Maclean's being forced to leave behind his wife and children. Also seen is Blunt's journey as he gradually loses faith in both Communism and his spying for the Soviet Union.

The acting and production by everyone is just brilliant in the whole series. Thankfully it was not made in a documentary style and hence the viewers are always engaged. It is never made a big deal of the fact that 2 of these guys were gay either by their friends or even the Russians. It was just accepted. It was definitely eye-opening and insightful. I thought the story and focus on each character was quite balanced. Though personally not being aware of the whole history, made it a little difficult for me to follow the series completely. There were instances where I was completely loss because I personally am not very aware of the overall picture. But all said and done, it doesn’t take away form the fact that this is an important piece of historical information.

Definitely recommended. (7/10)