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, September 30, 2015

G - Lost In Frankfurt (German)

I really don’t understand what was the point behind making this film. It was like an extended promo for gay tourism in Frankfurt. Not just any gay tourism, but something that involves drugs and sex. The story can be summed in a very short time and this film if edited well could be like a promo for gay/sex/dug tourism in Frankfurt.

Kris just lands in Frankfurt to work in an underwear shop. He meets Damiano who offers to show him around Frankfurt. the night ends in a gay club with G and sex. The next day he shows up with another friend David. The trio end up in a club, drink up G ad have hot passionate sex. The third day, the trio meets two of their other friends. This sis the only time they have some conversation where they all discuss their coming out stories. The night ends up in a gay club and surprise surprise, there is more G, following a full on orgy between the 5 guys.

And thats pretty much it to the film. There is constant electronic music playing in the background which annoyed me a lot. As I mentioned, the film has no logic. Its like a character study of kind of excitement a new life can bring (in this case that of Kris). There are elaborate sex scenes which didn’t arise any sort f excitement in me. By then I was so bored of the film and wanted it to end. Thankfully both Damiano and David were good looking but besides that it was like watching a virtual tour guide of the gay environment of Frankfurt. Totally avoidable. (1.5/10)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sturmland/Viharsarok (German/Hungarian) [Land of Storms]

What a shocking, disturbing yet poetic ending! And to know that this film is actually based on a true story makes it even more interesting but not in a happy sort of way. I guess this is a film that shows harsh realities of gay life in certain regions of the world (this one focusing on eastern Europe I suppose). Its sad that whichever first world country you are living in, you may still encounter intense homophobia and similar heartbreaking stories, the moment you step out in the interiors.

Szabi is a good football player, playing for Germany but is into the game only because of his father. He doesn’t really enjoy the game. He is friends with Bernard and also possibly both of them are in love with each other but can’t say so. There is definite tension which one day leads to a major fight after a game between the two of them and Szabi decides to leave Germany. He goes back to interiors of a village where he has inherited his grandfather’s home. There he meets Aron, who he catches while trying to steal his bike. Friendship gets struck between them and they start to rebuild Szabi’s house together. Friendship soon turns into drinking and a night of poison of Szabi pleasuring Aron. Nothing is said and a similar incident gets repeated again that is enjoyed by both. Aron doesn’t know what’s happening to him and ends up confessing the whole event to his sick mother who he has been nursing. Stab gets beaten up badly by the town boys. We later find out that Aron’s mother told the  boys because she thinks Szabi is being bad influence on Aron. Soon Aron starts feeling something for Szabi and he also gets beaten up in school. Right when things are going ok between the two, Szabi’s old friend Bernard shows up confessing his love. He wants to take Szabi back to football but he is very clear that he cannot leave Aron and go. Bernard tries his best but ultimately gives up. Meanwhile when Aron’s mother gets really sick and ultimately dies, Aron has a very tough choice to make. How will he move on with his life? By now the town knows about the boys. So what’s Aron going to do? He chooses a path that punches you in the stomach.

The film is intense and slow, so you really have to be mentally prepared to watch this film, otherwise it is very easy to get uneasy. Set in rural Hungary, I recommend to be patient and enjoy the beauty, the cinematography and most importantly the cracking chemistry between the lead actors. The film has drama but is never melodramatic. The sensual love-making scenes are so well done. Not many gay films have been successful in showing real love scenes between 2 men without making it graphical. A simple scene where the two men put up a door in the house is brilliant. Their eyes speak so much. Similarly, the sexual tension between Bernard and Aron, because both of them want Szabi was also handled brilliantly. The scene where Aron confronts his mother if she told the boys about him and Szabi is also very painful to watch. The homophobic scenes against both Szabi and Aron are quite graphic. Things get ugly and violent and tragic. This isa film which shows that love is beautiful and pure but how easy it is for the society to be very cruel about it and ruin everything for the lovers to such a drastic effect. I also liked the way the character graph evolves for both Szabi and Aron. Aron specifically is a difficult role to play. If not for the brilliant acting and equally brilliant direction, this film could have easily become a big bore. I really dread even the thought of being in the shoes of our protagonists.

A true story of selfish love for oneself over all others and in its worst form. Definitely recommend it but urge you to be patient. (7.5/10)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gays: The series (Web Series)

Another one of the web series, focusing on life and musings of the gay characters, this one is very innovatively titles “Gays”. :) It is set in New York city an mostly follows four twenty something gay best friends navigating the tumultuous terrain of NYC. Actually if you include the girl as well, who is an integral part of the show, you can say that it is the story of 5 young twenty-somethings.

Huxley, Jackson and Natasha are room mates. Huxley and Natasha work together in a very well known restaurant. Huxley is a wanna be photographer and somehow not confident about himself and wonders if anyone will overdate him. Jackson, often referred to as a ‘bad’ person, has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer and is struggling with how to deal with it. Natasha is in her own happy world and dreams of making t big with some famous movie star. Then we have Ben, an attractive introvert, who works for a non-profit organisation and is in a long-distance relationship with Andrew from Boston, who by the way, is full of himself. And finally there is Cameron, a dramatic drag queen with a love for old Hollywood. Although these group of friends are very close and always there for each other, they are all hiding secrets about themselves. Cameron is a working call girl for the rich in NYC. Ben starts hanging out a lot with his very dominating boss and even ends up sleeping with her, twice! Huxley is secretly meeting a famous film star and something that started with friendship leads to sex and drugs for the film star and of course Jackson is hiding is cancer. Over the course of 8 episodes, we see how these characters interact and their stories unfold.

I felt that Huxley’s character was given more prominence compared to the others but maybe that as intentional. Acting of the characters start growing on you after a while. After watching first three episodes, I wasn’t sure if I eve wanted to continue to watch because it seemed like the story, the characters, the acting were just all over the place but thankfully things started to improve after a while and it started to make sense. Acting by the characters is strictly ok. A little unrealistic scenarios, but who cares when you want be a in a make-belief world. Also I feel the makers were not sure if they wanted a more serious tone or overall a fun campy sort of vibe to the whole series. Despite having no humour or drama and an abundance of stereotypical acted scenarios, this series was still watchable.

I would rate it strictly average or little lower than that. (4.5/10)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

There used to be a time when I was all about chick flicks But as I have grown up over a period of time, I just find them so annoying. The cheap teenage girls histrionics makes me cringe and wanna slap someone. Anyway, coming back to the film, the main story is about 2 19-something BFF’s and how their life an chemistry withe at other changes over a period of time owing to certain men in their life.

Naomi and Ely are next door neighbours in manhattan and they have been together ever since kids. They have list of men who they can’t kiss just so that it may ruin their friendship. Also , we are told that Naomi is not totally ok with Ely being gay but she never tells him. After a few really annoying sequences, we meet few other characters. Naomi has a boyfriend Bruce who is nice and cute but she also fancies their doorman Gabriel (really yummy). She also secretly might be in love with Ely. Even when she is with Bruce, she constantly talks about Ely. One day while waiting for Naomi, Bruce gets to hang out with Ely and they get to know each other better and realise that they have something in common and end up kissing each other. But they both feel a very strong connection. As expected help breaks lose when Ely tells this to Naomi. She gets heartbroken but doesn’t even give a chance to Ely to explain things. She is in her own world. She decides to completely break things up with Ely. In such a time, Gabriel comes as a friend and completely supports Naomi and becomes her friend in need. Time passes, confusion and misunderstandings are cleared and both friends realise that they cannot let such a trivial thing affect their lifelong friendship.

My first impression while watching the film was not ‘awww’ but it was highly annoying. Naomi’s character was very annoying but even her interactions and how Ely and her behaved just got on to my nerves. First 15 minutes literally made me angry and super annoyed. Thankfully both the characters and actors got better after that but still it was just a very usual rom-com film. To be honest and fair, the film was not bad. It was everything that you expect from a fag and a fag-hag friendship rom-com film, but I guess these films are no longer my cup of tea. I can see why teenage girls would really enjoy and go ga-ga over this film. But all said and done, the movie still feels too shallow and glib and fails to connect the audience with its characters. The only good thing about the film was dreamy manhattan. Seeing all the streets and places that I frequent in this city was a relief. Also it is good that I saw this film while being in New York. Had I seen it anywhere else, it would have made me miss Manhattan even more.

A typical yet annoying rom-com , which I cannot handle anymore. (4.5/10)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apo Thavma (Greek) [By Miracle]

This was an interesting and a weird film at the same time. I haven’t seen any film from Cyprus before, so its hard for me to say how developed their film industry is. I am nostrum, if that’s something that should change my views about overall film in general but personally, it does change my perspective a bit.

The story has 2 parallel tracks running, whose characters occasionally cross paths. In the first we have Aliki and Andreas, a couple in their thirties, who have lost their 4 year daughter in an accident. They are leading a very depressive and mundane life which is putting their married life at risk. I got the impression that sometimes they wanted another child but other times they didn’t. Parallel , we meet Marios, a teacher in his twenties living with his mother. He is gay and satisfies his sexual urges with random hook-ups, but things change when he meets a young choreographer in his swimming club, but he is too scared to fall for him, because he doesn’t know what future will hold for him. Back to the couple, the wife gets fascinated by a sudden miracle of statue of Virgin Mary shedding tears and hopes that soon a miracle will happening their life.

There is no proper ending to the film, because when Aliki leaves her husband, I am not sure if thats for good or she wants to come back. Does she blame her husband for it? Why is Marios afraid of committing to the guy. How much does he really care about his mother finding out the truth about him? Many such questions and acts of the individuals are left unanswered. Acting by the actors is decent but overall the direction is quite poor. The scenes look very well rehearsed. And to be honest, there wasn’t much sense behind the plot. The only positive I can think of is that in society like Cyprus, it wasn’t probably easy to make a film with almost 50% of it focussing on a gay issue.

Its a very below average film from story, direction point of view. Something that would have been better as a short TV show episode. (3/10)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ya-gan-bi-haeng (Korean) [Night Flight]

An interesting film. A very interesting film! Now hold-on. I didn’t say this was a good film or a bad film; I don’t know yet. Hopefully while I recollect my thoughts while writing this piece, I would have made up my mind. This Korean film would probably have found more acceptance with me, had the narrative style not been so all over the place Its takes a while to understand the whole picture and by then you are uber confused.

Primarily a story of high school and adolescence, it focuses on 2 of the three friends. Yong-ju and Gi-taek are close friends. Soon we get a hint that Yong-ju is probably gay and has some very strong feelings for Gi-woong, who also happens to be the leader of the school gang. What does the gang really do besides buying, we don’t know. But they seem evil and Gi-taek is an object of their bullying on more than one ocassion. We also find outfit these 3 people used to hang out together as kids but something changed over the time and Gi-woong no longer hangs out with him. Meanwhile Yong-ju is sincerely in love with Gi-woong and makes many advances to show his love but there is something that’s stopping Gi-woong from accepting or rejecting his love. When Gi-woong steals Yong-ju’s bike, this official gives him an opportunity to stalk him. But  rather than appreciating his efforts, Yong-ju gets beaten up. It doesn’t change his love and he continues his advances because he knows there is something more personal and serious with Gi-woong and believes that he can bring him out of his shell. At the same time when Gi-taek gets a hint that Yong-ju may be gay and that he actually is in love with Gi-woong, betrayal becomes inevitable. Gi-taek tells the gang about Yong-ju being gay and his love for Gi-taek. They both get punished in a brutal sexual assault and a physical assault who then attempt to take revenge.

As I mentioned, my problem with the narrative is its uneven structure. It is a hard film to watch, a gruelling experience but you are trying to fit some pieces together and they get unfold quite late in the game. The slow-up gets tiresome and I almost lost interest in the film but I am glad I sat through. While the teenage period is more violent, brutal and real, their childhood times are more friendly and sugary. A lot of questions still remain a mystery to me. Why did Yong-ju keep pushing Gi-woong to get him to accept that he is gay. There was never an incident before that can say that Gi-woong could possibly be gay. Finally when Gi-woong reciprocates his feelings for Yong-ju, is that because he is lonely or because Yong-ju is the only one who has ever cared for him. Why was Gi-woong bullied as a kid that changed his entire personality as an adult teenage. We never get to see details about his father’s arrest and why was he hiding. Anyway, the acting and the direction are pretty alright. A world of casual violence in school, longing and loneliness, friendship and relationships and taboo of being gay are also woven pretty well. I think the problem is that the makers wanted a little bit of everything added which sometimes took the focus away. Or maybe my expectations were high, after all, the director gave us the immensely marvellous "No Regrets".

The film questions traditional thinking in Korean culture and discusses taboo subjects. It must be seen but be patient. (6.5/10)