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.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gay Short Films : 44

Underwater (UK) 
Jonathan, is taken to an elite swimming academy deep in the English countryside by his soon to be step-mother, kept away from her upcoming wedding to his father. At the academy, Jonathan struggles to find his place among the group. He may be a top athlete in his field, but here, he is not suave enough to deal with sexcapades and chauvinism of people in the group. They act straight but don’t mind fooling around with each other. The chemistry is real, the penis shots are real & the drama is real; except I don’t really get the whole point of this short film. Just Ok.

Todo El Sol Del Mundo (Spain) [All The Sun In The World]
Pablo & Mauro meet each other while clubbing. They stare, they like each other, they leave together. For some reason, not very clear, they are not together any more (or was it really just a one night stand). The film is captured through a video that Mauro makes for Pablo since he promised to make a video for him in their one night stand. I was a bit confused about the last scene where it seems that Paulo is now standing the bathroom in a position exactly where the two met. Interesting!

Kiss Me (USA)
Set in the world of Latino boxing, Kid mentally replays his ring opponent’s death over and over. Outside of the ring, it’s a violent match in his head and his heart: his love-starved wife is begging for affection, his son is looking for a father figure and, within himself, Kid must man up and admit what he really is: a homosexual. No gay scenes as such but the message is very clear. It wasn't very clear how did his opponent know that Kid was gay! Overall a different yet interesting story.

Slant (USA)
The film is inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem.Ash, a college professor in his 50’s is looking for love after death of partner to AIDS way back. Ash fancies his gardener, a young attractive man who shows knowledge of poetry. Fooled by the fact that Luis is attracted to him too, he gets stood up. Patrick, his new neighbour comes for his rescue at this time with a bottle of wine, pleasant conversation and an age appropriate company. It is much easier to be with someone with commonalities than it is to train someone to like what we like. Very good.

The Main Event... in America (USA)
A Bronx is boxer and is living a decent life. He has a girlfriend and a son but still something is missing. He still prefers to have his single status and be a free man and ocassionally help out his family but something is bothering him. He is low on cash and needs to do something meaningful with his life. Only later we realise that he has a secret lover too. Now he must choose between his love for his dream of being a champion fighter, his family or his love for a man. Decent !

Butterfly: The Adult Word (Korea)
Cheol-soo is a grown-up who doesn't have a proper job and starts social life at a host bar. However, it's not easy adjusting to the bar,  where passion and lust swells. He is being well coached and mentored by his predecessor and slowly but surely he also learns the tricks of the trade. Now it is his time to open up to reality and become the new man. The cycle continues, when a new boy joins for job and he may not have feelings for the boy. To what extent will he go. I didn't like this film.

Pourquoi mon fils? (France) [Why My Son?]
This is the right time for Thomas and Louis to announce to their parents that they are gay and together. They are both teenagers at this stage. Everything goes well for Louis but Thomas’ father doesn’t take the news so lightly. He enters into a state of uncontrollable rage, and can’t live with the information. He even goes to the extent of threatening to kill himself. Better sense prevails and Thomas makes him realise that accepting the reality is much more simpler. All things ultimately fall in place.
Desnudos (Spain) [Naked]
Javier and Fran are naked in Fran’s bedroom and Javier has to leave. He forgot his phone at home and a innocent message by Fran leads to his parents discovering his sexuality. The father gets might upset about the contents on the phone. A can of worms of fear, homophobia & sexism opens at the dinner table. Javier has had enough and when his father asks him to leave, he gets naked (leaving everything that his father gave him behind) and his mother soon follows suit.

Beyond Plain Sight (UK)
Ryan is a popular member of his community. He’s charming, helping and a social butterfly. It feels like he’s lonely and in need of connection. However, when he returns home, we discover he has some extremely dark and disturbing secrets. The missing people in the neighbourhood may after all have something to do with Ryan. It is a pretty unnerving short, partly because the camera seems so neutral about what it’s showing you, to the point it sometimes feels like it’s taking you into the head of someone you might not want to be so close too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nasty Baby

This film has a very independent, next-door neighbour types, slice of life film. Its hard to put a genre to this film since it could be a comedy or drama but what is important is that the issue and the subject has been handled very sensitively with realism. A film about motives, hopes and fears; a small problem lies with the fact that while the film was happily going in one direction, it suddenly takes a different turn and as a viewer left me completely baffled.

Freddy and Mo are a happy gay couple living in a New York city apartment. Freddy, a budding artist working on a video piece featuring him like a baby, is trying to have a baby with is best friend Polly but it turns outfit Freddy has a low sperm count. Polly suggests asking Mo to be the sperm donor. Initially hesitant abut the whole thing, Mo finally gives in. Their neighbour homeless ‘Bishop’ has been making life of this gay couple a living hell by his antics. He doesn’t like gays and i a bit nuisance to everyone around. Freddy who has had enough of him is unto his hair with frustration. But when his meeting with the art producer doesn’t go well, his encounter with Bishop at the entrance of his house takes a nasty turn. Bishop is killed. What will the trio do for each other? Will they overcome their doubts and fears or will they go to extreme lengths to achieve their dreams!

Its a scary ending. Something that not many people may like but at the same time, the acting is so well and is done with such conviction that it is unbelievable. The natural chemistry that Freddy and Polly share as best friends. Their longing to have a child and be parents is very genuinely conveyed by their acting. Yes Mo is initially hesitant to be the substitue because he always considered Polly as Freddy’s friend but he changes his mind when he sees Polly taking care of a bruised patient. Almost two-thirds of the film is about trying to have a baby and the trio-chemistry which includes visiting mo’s family for dinner. Its when the whole Bishop episode comes, I am not too sure what I feel about the overall film. I would have much preferred it to stay one-track but I am sure the makers have their own motives. Will the trip be able to live the rest of their life having known what they have done? Happiness should not come at this cost, I believe. But it is for us the viewers to decide. By the way: Hats off to everyone to not make any racial comments about colour or ethnicity. In a city like NY, it all just co-exists without making such a big deal about it.

Having said that, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that the film is poignant, very watchable and has some of the best real natural acting I have seen in recent times. Freddy happens to be director of the film as well. Now I need to find out what else has he done. (7.5/10) 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Not Looking (Web Series)

If you are an avid gay movies/TV shows watcher; you definitely would have heard of HBO series ‘Looking’. This web series produced by ‘Funny Or Die’ is a hilarious spin-off of the original show and is about four gays not looking for anything but themselves. The girls ahem men are just living out the problems than any 20-something girl has while living in Los Angeles.

I saw 2 seasons so far and as annoying the characters seem to be; they are really hilarious. The web series follows 4 friends. One is older bitchy queen, who things he is the best thing to have happened to gay world and overtime he talks about his age, it cracks me up. He is the best part of the show. Then there is the other guy who keeps crying over has old boyfriend who has now suddenly become an internet sensation because of his hair. The guy with great hair has a stalker who follows him anywhere and everywhere. And finally we have the yummy bear, who adds his own spice. He is supposed to have dated Lance Bass in the show, who plays himself in a cameo. With its bad dancing, awkward hugs, morning alcoholism, this show address the critical flaws of Looking and show gay life as it really is. Hilarious & guilty pleasure watch. One of the shows I would hate to admit I watch but is stereotypically funny. (7/10) 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cut Snake (Australia)

There are very few thrillers in the gay genre, at least among the ones that I have seen; so I was quite excited to see this film. Having read the brief synopsis, I hoped that the film would be good. This crime thriller comes with a twist because this one has a gay love story and a straight love story smashed together in a love triangle and thats what makes this film more interesting.

The film starts with Pommie entering an old woman’s house trying to con her to give him her son Merv’s address. We don’t know what he does with her. Then we meet Merv, also known as Sparra, who is soon to get married to his sweetheart Paula. Together they live in a small town near Melbourne. Paula doesn’t know much about Merv’s past but since he is the most caring, gentle, sweet man; she doesn’t question much. A surprise visit by Pommie to Merv changes things. It turns outfit Pommie and Merv were cell mates in prison and in fact they were lovers too. Tommie is furious to see that Mrv has forgotten him an dis in love with a woman. Paula is welcoming but Pommie threatens Merv that he will tell her everything, despite Merv reminding Pommie that he will never go back to the old ways including violence and loving a man. Things just go downhill from here. On evening, in a fit of rage, Pommie picks up a fight with people in the local bar who later destroy Merv’s entire home. This is when Paula is surprised and in Merv’s absence, Pommie tells Paula about his prison past. This shocks Paula but she still forgives him. Things take another turn when Merv & Pommie get back at the bar people and now the police is after them. When Pommie realises that Merv may be trying to flee the city secretly with Paula, he goes and tells her the truth about the love between the two men. Relationship between the couple turns sour and now Merv must do something and decide what direction does he want to go. Tommie is against him as well now. Will he reciprocate his love or try and win back her lady.

From a story point of view, it is interesting but I felt something somewhere was missing. The director wants us to care for Pommie’s feelings but it keeps shifting between his menace and his vulnerable side. Yes, he is a killer and psychotic but his love for Merv is pure and real. Unfortunately, as an audience you fail to empathise with other of the two men because it is not very clear at any point what was the extent of her relationship in the prison and what was their secret pact? Thankfully, both the men are not projected as any gay stereotype, although the tight pants and shorts definitely showed their juicy behind very well. Thank you 70s. hahaha. Acting from all principal characters is quite good and this film is decent attempt but it fails to leave any long lasting mark. And the very strong Ozzie accent didn’t help much either.

The film may be thriller but doesn’t have either much of a thrill or suspense. It is strictly average. (5/10)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Please Like Me: Season 3 (Australia)

I was so excited and happy to know that season 3 of this fantabulous show is gonna be telecast soon. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it when it ended. Josh and Tom and Clair and everyone else was still so fresh in my memory. In fact me and a friend of mine who also loved this show, were both excited about this new season. And it definitely still lives unto the expectations.

This season’s focus is a lot on Josh and Arnold. After going back and forth with their relationship, they finally have sex and try and be together. They make a lovely quirky couple. Arnold eventually even comes out to his parents, who are initially taken aback but come to terms with it. Josh’s best friend Tom meets Ella, a girl at a bar, who now becomes a permanent fixture in the life. The friends make fun of how Tom also picks the wrong girls but thy stick together. Claire is back this season after a few episodes and brings her own baggage including an unwanted pregnancy. We get t see what’s happening in Josh’s parents life as well. Remember Hanna from previous season, the lesbian whom Josh’s mother meets at the mental institute. They are now living together and sharing a fun interesting life. Josh’a father is dealing with his own issues. His wife, May, tells him that she cheated on him during her pregnancy. After a few differences, eventually the couple gets back together. There are a couple of very interesting episodes about a new guy Ben, whom Josh meets on grindr. When Josh and Arnold decide to go for an open relationship, Josh hooks up with Ben, who has a brain condition and how they end up bonding with each other. Anyway, the show ends up at christmas luncheon, where everyone tries to be together but can’t help not being mean to each other, thereby, leaving josh, in a for of anger lashing out at everyone and reminding everyone that its their own faults.

The shows continues to be silly, funny and very real. The show is really about flawed, aimless young people living together. I love the fact that the show depicts a friendship between a straight person and a gay one without making a big deal of it. Season three is still about the little moments of everyone’s youth that are funny and tragic and wonderful and disastrous, often all the same time. The interactions between every character is just so good and real that I wanna be a part of this group. All these characters made me laugh and made me smile after a long day at work. I really am looking forward to more seasons of this show. It is sad that many people may not be aware of this series. This show needs to be promoted big time. It can make a huge difference.

And as I write this, I find outfit Josh and Tom are real life best friends and that a lot of scenes may have been inspired from their real life. Now this information makes this show even more special. Watch it to believe me. (8.5/10)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Margarita With A Straw (Hindi)

There haven’t been many Indian films that explore the queer theme in their cinema. Surprisingly the theme of lesbian is still far more acceptable than gay. But nonetheless, its every step that counts, and I hope that makers will take a leaf of lesson and would make more movies on similar themes. This film takes it one step further asking the question ”Do the disabled `also’ desire? Do they long for sexual exploration and intimacy?”

Laila, suffering from cerebral palsy is a free spirited teenager, who is an aspiring song writer. Her heart longs for the lead singer of the college band but soon her heart is broken. Keeping the timing right, she is offered a scholarship for creative writing course in New York and she along with er mother leaves for the city. She wants to lead  normal life in the city like any other song person and after initial hesitation, the mother allows. Here also she has a crush on a young man Jared in her class. But its her meeting with Khanum, a fiery young activist of Pakistan-Bangladesh descent, that changes her life.  Khan is blind and somehow the 2 girls instantly bond. Love soon follows between the two girls and Laila is happy. But she son discovers that she is actually bisexual because she is still very much attracted to jared and even ends up sleeping with him while she is still in relationship with Khanum. The girls are invited to India for their summer break because for the family, the two girls are best of friends. Getting courage, Laila confides in her mother about who Khanum really is. The mother totally disproves of her daughter’s choice but its too late since it is soon revealed that the mother has stage 4 colon cancer. When the mother dies, Laila decides to stay back in India & informs Khanum about her infidelity who believes that Laila just used her to explore her own sexuality. The film ends with Laila going on a date with herself thereby showing she has life in control now.

First thing that comes to mind after seeing the 2 actors is about their disabilities. Its unbelievable that the 2 girls are ‘normal’ yet play the differently abled characters with such confidence and grace. From the director’s perspective, the idea came to her form the thought that “When life hands you lemons you can be bitter and sour or you can make a yummy Margarita with them and raise a toast!”; the essence behind her film. Its refreshing to see that Laila’s character is shown as a perfectly normal girl who is rebellious, free spirit, what’s porn, makes songs, hangs out with friends, has crushes on boys and everything else. She just happens to have cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound. Laila acknowledges her difficulties but doesn’t let them overwhelm her. Khan’s character is another strong minded character who took a while to accept that she is lesbian and would not take nonsense from anyone. The love scenes between Laila and Khanum are aesthetically done that makes you feel tenderness towards the on-screen lovers. The mother’s part acted by Revathy is another essential soul. The chemistry that the mother and daughter share is so pure and real, i loved it.

The film has a lot of heart and very strong performances by the lead actors. A sensitive film and a subject that can be celebrated. (7/10)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Gay Short Films : 43

Aban and Khorshid (USA)
Inspired by true events, an intimate portrait of two lovers, glimpsing into the world in which they met, moments before their execution for being gay. So real, shocking, touching and so very sad !

Dinner with the Woodburns (USA)
A son's revelation about being gay opens up a can of worms. What he thought was going to be a huge deal compares nothing to everything else that will be disclosed by the family members at the dinner table. Funny!

L' Appuntamento (Italy) [The Appointment]
Francesco, hurt by the discovery of his girlfriend's betrayal, is craving to meet his contender and makes an appointment with him only to be surprised himself. The film relates to the identical thought which two different people have in common from the heart and are destined to meet, beyond their genders and their sexual orientation.

Green Line (Canada)
In the Montreal metro, two young men exchange furtive glances. Yes, thats all that is to this film :)

Brácha (Czech Republic) [Brother]
Young skater has an eye on his sister's boyfriend. He does everything to attract his attention but the guy freaks out and leaves.

Impact (France)
Mental journey of a high diver seconds before his jump.

'P' (Netherlands)
A family reaches boiling point during a pit stop. Will the volatile cocktail of sweltering heat, restless hormones and suppressed frustration explode? The father is bored, mother is having an affair, sister is crazy and the boy is raging with hormones and discovers woods where men ‘help’ each other.

E Perfekte Tag (Switzerland) [A Perfect Day]
Two boys meet for the first time through an app. A certain vagueness takes over the night as they seek to decide what they want from each other.

Rótulo (Brazil) [Label]
This film speaks about the need that people have to define the sexualities of other people. This film was done in a a really funny humorous way. Loved it !

Am Gipfel (Switzerland) [At The Top]
The story of two best friends that go for climbing in the alps and one of them accidentally meets a possible love his life.

Relación Abierta (Spain) [Open Relationship]
Oscar and Sergio have been in a relationship for 5 years. A random afternoon one of them decides to ask if they should be in an open relationship. But when they start discussing the rules of engagement, things start becoming more complicated than they had originally anticipated. A funny take on the whole open relationship concept. Loved it.

Tourist (Germany)
A young tourist is cruising the park in Berlin. What is he looking for? Is he as innocent as he looks?

Saturn's Return (Australia)
Barney and Dimi are young men in love and are on a trip to visit Dan, Barney's dying father. Dan is planning his suicide and wants Barney there. In the process the men rediscover their love for each other.

Mrs Craddock's Complaint (Australia)
Mrs. Craddock lives across the park's public toilets. What are all those men doing there? She decides to go and find out. A silly yet funny short film.

The Disco Years (USA)
Tom Peters looks back to 1978, the year in high school that he came out of the closet. Tom's mom drags him to her disco-dancing lessons. His friendship with Matt becomes his first love, and then Matt turns on Tom with homophobic venom. Later, Matt and Matt's new girlfriend trash the classroom of an effeminate teacher with more vicious homophobia. This incident gives Tom courage to accept who he truly is and its time to open the closet door.

Love Kills (Germany)
Young Tim leads an easy life - spoiled by his eccentric mother and his older, well-to-do boyfriend. One day, he meets Bosi, a straight, low-level criminal thug, and falls in lust with him.