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, July 31, 2018

Like It Is (UK)

I dunno why but my reactions watching first few minutes of the film was that this is going to be another disaster. One of those poorly acted low budget movies which takes its audiences for granted. A full on campy film. Rather, it threw a pleasant surprise by being a touching love story between a boxer struggling to come out and accept his sexuality and an up-and-coming music producer who has been around the block for a while.

Craig is a boxer who makes money by fighting in back alleys. His elder brother worries about him but since his wife doesn't like Craig, he stays away. Struggling with his sexuality, he hangs outside a gay bar where he meets Matt, who happens to be the manager there and also a music producer. Craig gets too talk to him and brings him back to his apartment for sex but changes his mind and asks Matt to leave. But the next days he goes to club again, so that he can spend a day to hang out with Matt and not just have sex. The two get really close. But Matt's room mate Paula doesn't like this one bit. She is a singer doing very well thanks to Matt and now she is not getting any attention by him. We also meet Roger, owner of the club and music company who lures young guys into music for sex.. But he is also mentor for Matt and takes good care of him. He flirt with Craig but knows his boundaries. In fact he even gives a job to Craig. Paula leaves no stones unturned to bring in all kinds of differences between the two and finally succeeds in her plans as well. Heart broken Craig goes back to his hometown and decides to pursue boxing again. When Matt finds out the truth, he goes to Craig's home and finally the lovers are united.

There were many positives in the movie. Firstly Craig's character. After a long time, we see a guy who knows how to handle himself. Even though he is struggling with his sexuality, he embraces gay clubs and flirting from everyone else but clearly his eyes are only for Matt. He has a smile to die for and he has amazing chemistry with Matt. Matt does well too. He has been a regular shagger, so his character demands that openness and flirt. I loved Roger's character as well. He knew where to draw lines. There were so many times I thought some or the other cliched event would event but thank god it didn't. Yes, Craig makes a mistake bu. Sleeping with some other guy drunk but he has no recollection and it is refreshing to see when he doesn't understand why Roger doesn't want him to tell Matt the truth. This movie tells it like it is: coming out is a very painful and distressing emotional experience. The total contrast of the characters and their origins, explains a lot of gay stereotypes through an unusual romance. Surely the ending was fairy tale-ish but I am not complaining. Some lover stories should end happy.

Very well written, sensitively acted and directed, I am surprised this film doesn't find any mention in an already short list of well made gay cinema. Yes, it came out in 1998 and is a low production film but still definitely worth a watch. (7/10)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Back On Board: Greg Louganis (Documentary)

I reviewed the film based on Greg Louganis' life way back in 2007 here. When I found out about this documentary, I was looking forward to it, especially from the point of view of what's happening in Greg's life in todays time. Spanning over three years, this documentary focuses on his struggles with financial security and reunites with the sport he once dominated but not welcomed in.

Louganis is introduced auctioning off memorabilia, hoping to save the Malibu home he’s owned for 27 years and to what he hasn't paid his mortgage for a few months now. He later finds out he is victim of being fleeced by his former boyfriend/manager who robbed him off a lot of his finances and someone who was also responsible probably for Greg's HIV status. Although. This can never be confirmed. We see his past of winning olympic medals and other important events, especially the now famous incident when Louganis hit his head on the board. The documentary's central focus is Greg and his coach. It was heartwarming to hear the incident when they couldn’t divulge his HIV status at the time if he wanted to compete, and discussing the mix of emotions and concerns that raced through Louganis’ mind when the injury opened a gash in his scalp. We see few such incidents, where we finally also see how he finds new love in life and is now happily married. It is sad to see how once world famous olympic gold medal winner is struggling to make ends meet just because of his sexuality. He is trying to re-emerges on the world stage to combat prejudice, promote tolerance, and return to the diving world after a long period of absence to act as a mentor to the next generation.

This documentary reminds us that everyone has challenges in life. The fact that he was rumored to be gay also led to millions of dollars in lost corporate endorsements , despite the fact that he was an Olympic superstar. The documentary very well shows us Greg's amazing accomplishments as an outstanding platform diver and his life now. His struggles )personal and professional) because of his sexuality is something that cannot be ignored at all. Louganis' honesty and courage was fully on display here, as well as his incredible diving talent, all detailed in concise interviews and historical footage. And my god! Even at this age, he is so sexy and that smile is still a killer.

I would recommend both the film on his life and the documentary to really appreciate the life and person that Greg Louganis is. (5.5/10)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dream On (UK)

Ever since 'Beautiful Thing' became one of the gay cult classic films, many film makers have tried to take ideas form the scenario to come up with their version of a young teenage gay love story but most of them have been able to achieve the charm of the former film. So this film is also a coming-of-age love story between two teenage boys, set in 80s time period,  who meet on a Welsh campsite and how make promises about love for each other.

A very awkward and shy teenager Paul comes to this Welsh campsite with his overbearing and controlling mother. Paul has no charm for anyone to have a second look at him. At the camp he meets another teenager George, who unlike Paul is very assertive, bullish, confident and independent. He is there at his camp with his father, who is never around. We soon find that his father is alcoholic and hardly there. The both of them make good friends with Angharad, the daughter of camp owner. Soon the boys get closer and promise to meet exactly a year later so that they can run from everyone around them and move to Australia. One year later, Paul keeps his promise but George is nowhere to be seen. Looking for him, Paul & Angharad, go to England and find him in a bad shape and he refuses to go with them sayings father needs him. But just the very next day , he shows up extremely drunk. Cleary he has alcohol issues rooted in him because of his father's situation. Paul refuses to leave his side and work towards cleaning him up and make him better. After initial reluctance, even his mother comes around., but things are not meant to be. George cannot give up his addiction and has to pay the price for it resulting in death. The ending just shows Paul as a slightly more confident man, more in control of his life with a good support system with. His family and friends.

This film was probably done at a very low budget and towards the very beginning, the tone of the film is set. The one thing that wasn't clear to me  throughout was why would someone like George bother with utterly boring and weird Paul. He remains completely without charm throughout the film, probably because thats how his character was established and this starts to get very annoying after a while. The love happens so quick between the actors that its hard to warm unto them and connect with them. The story is moving and emotional, only if the focus was done on that. It would have been nice to know more background on George. Why was he behaving the way he was. Clearly he also loved Paul and couldn't handle all the love showered on him by him because no one ever cared for him; but this could have changed and the film could have a bright spot. The acting by both the actors was reasonable. I thought Angharad's character was also interesting. On the outside she was made to look this bullish, tough girl but eventually she is the only one who stands by Paul through thick and think and shows him true meaning of friendship. Sadly the film failed to focus on that aspect as well.

Even though the film was set in 80s, I expected a lot better output for a film that came out only 5 years ago. Overall there are some moments of a delightfully relaxed approach to sexuality and the adult world but nothing that stays in your mind after the film ends. (4.5/10)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities (Documentary)

Of late, the world of transgendered people is getting more visibility and public attention. But this documentary came out back in 1999 and is an illuminating and compassionate look at the world of transgender identity, as seen through portraits of some of San Francisco's leading gender mixers. The individuals in this film are people whose (genetically) assigned gender does not match their social gender identity. The subject is pinpointed in the film independent of sexual orientation.

Ms. Treut, a chirpy, sympathetic presence whose curiosity is always balanced by tact, introduces us to a few residents. Texas Tomboy, is biologically a woman, a former Penthouse model who sees herself as Tomboy's surrogate mother. But Tomboy sports blond stubble on her chin and prefers to be called he. A blue-eyed, crew-cut, six-foot photographer named Stafford, on the other hand, doesn't care what pronoun people use so long as they use it respectfully. And Hida Viloria, a voluble hermaphrodite with exquisite cheekbones, can pass effortlessly from ravishing femininity to sullen machismo. Having lived credibly as a woman and as a man, Hida, like Stafford, now seems happiest occupying 'the middle ground'' between them. We also meet Max Valerio, a female-to-male transsexual, and Annie Sprinkle, who calls herself 'a sex artist'. All these times, Ms Treut, talk to the audience in a very odd manner telling us her views in sleep inducing moments.

To be honest, I was disappointed by the documentary. Maybe it did make a lot of sense 19 years ago, but in today's time, it feels shallow. Although the purpose of the documentary was clear, choice of content was not always effectively used. Transitions between scenes were at times abrupt and not very logical. Interviews with a minimal amount of activity in the background were easier to follow whereas busy scenes with a lot of sounds took the focus away from the interviewee. It also would have been nice to see non-transgender point of view as well.

Overall, the documentary was more informal, informational but not professional or something that could hold your attention. (4/10)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Nijinsky

I just wasn't sure when I started watching this film. Made in 1980 and a period drama, I had my reservations both for the story and how the execution would have happened. I also wasn't sure of what the storyline is like and will it actually qualify as a film that could be reviewed on my blog here. Apparently this is the true biographical film of the famous Russian ballet dancer.

The film is told in just 2 years of 1912/13. Vaslav Nijinsky is a young, supremely talented baller dancer. He works for the Russian ballet company managed by Sergei, a controlling but loving man. Everyone knows that they are a couple but they keep the personal and professional lives separate. Of course Sergei sees talent in  Nijinsky and encourages him to do better, even asking him to try choreographing some of the ballets. But Nijinsky is always a bit insecure of their relationship. They have continuous misunderstandings but their true love for each other keeps bringing them back together. It doesn't help that other people working in the company keep trying to turn one man against the other. Enter Romola, a very wealthy aristocrat, who takes a liking for Nijinsky and wants him at any cost. She learns ballet, and manages to join the dance troupe. In one of the trips when Sergei is busy with work, Nijinsky is told that Sergei stayed behind to look for another young ballet dancer and choreographer. By this point, Nijinsky has started to have mental breakdowns and in one such fit of anger, he spends a passionate night with Romola and also ends up marrying her. When Sergei hears this, he immediately summons Nijinsky that his contract will be terminated immediately. But true love can't stay apart for long. Nijinsky continues to long for Sergei and soon Romola realizes her mistake. She begs Sergei to take him back but he listens to his mind like a true businessman and doesn't even meet Nijinsky. Nijinsky ultimately loses his mental stability and spends rest of his life in mental institute till he dies.

To be honest, I was quite surprise to witness such a passionate gay love story. For some people, it may appear that old man Sergei was exploiting a young man's ambition or perhaps an ambitious Nijinsky was exploiting an older man's lust, but this in fact is a genuine love affair. At least thats what I felt after watching the film. Sadly, since this film was made such long time, the makers were probably not brave enough to exploit this completely. If this story was made in today's time, this would have been a gem. This setup feels very slow at certain points and there are a lot of ballet dance performances (which are necessary in the film premise), but they are just not my taste. Thankfully, film focuses on their love and passion for each other and how it affected both men. Actors playing the key roles were marvelous and very good. They felt real, as if they have completely immersed themselves. The sets were grand and you can see the hard work that went into creating this grandeur film. Overall I think this film deserves to be seen.

For a change, I will still recommend watching the film , especially for people who have patience, who love ballet and the history. Just because I wasn't able to connect with the film completely doesn't mean this film is bad. (5/10)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Finding Me: Truth

And so now is the time to review the sequel. My first reaction is that this was slightly better than the original film but still pretty dumb from an overall concept and convenience of how things just fall in place. Thankfully this time the focus is not just on one character, but it is evenly distributed amongst friends, which is a welcome change. Primarily, we see all main characters are struggling with romantic issues of one kind or another.

Its been a year since Fabian broke up with Lonnie but could never get over him and continuously writes to him. When he finds that Lonnie is now seeing a new guy, the old feelings re-ignite and on insistence by his best friends Amira and Greg, he decides to meet Lonnie to see if there is any scope; but its too late and Lonnie has moved on. Amira now has a hot boyfriend but she is insecure and suspects that her boyfriend is cheating on her for absolutely no reason. Bisexual Greg is the meanwhile has found the perfect man and the perfect woman (who is Amira's cousin) and is seeing both of them without the other one knowing about it. So essentially all three of them are dealing with their individual issues. And in this mix, we have Jay, Greg's roommate who is always angry for some reason and is always trying to bring the other person down. Ultimately everyone's issues come out in open when Greg hosts a dinner and invites all friends and their better halves, including Lonnie. Things get heated and pretty much everyone breaks up. a few minutes of regrets happen and then magically everyone is back with their love in hope for a better loving future.

The title of the film comes form the fact that the friend's keep asking each other, what is your truth. I guess essentially trying to find, whats driving them and what is it really that they want from life. Not much has changed in terms of acting. Fabian is still the most annoying of all and it seems all he expects from his friends is to support him and deal with his issues. Meanwhile if his friends need him for anything, he always has excuses. Amira continues to shriek like a loud mouth drag queen in ever scene she is in, but at least it makes for some fun watching. I still feel that Greg was the better of 3 actors. And then we have Jay, who also is now seeing a thug whose ghetto accent was so laughable, I couldn't believe it. Editing of the film was terrible. Some scenes and their continuity just didn't make sense. And some other scenes has just no business being there in the film. It fails on editing, screenplay and even the direction. The only saving grace is that we don't have to deal with Fabian throughout the film.

It wouldn't hurt to watch if you saw the first part and thought it was even half decent. But if you were pulling your hair while watching it, then stay away from this one. (3.5/10)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Cowboy Junction

I hate when a seemingly simple story that can easily be told with a very tight screenplay and even sometimes in the form of a short film, is sometimes stretched to no extent and it turns out a very frustrating movie experience. I can discount poor production quality as long as acting and direction is something to talk about, but sadly this movie disappoints there too. More on that later.

Greg drives up in desert near cowboy junction and picks up a hooker. Turns out the hooker (cowboy) is sensitive types and our nam decides to bring him home with him. Only when he comes home, he tells the cowboy that he is married. He tells his wife that the guy will stay in back room and do chores for the home. Since the wife is sex starved and has no knowledge of husband's philanderings, she makes a move on cowboy only to realize that he is gay. Clearly there are strains between husband and wife. Apparently this started about an year ago when the husband hit a deer. After controlling his urges, one night Greg cant control and he visits the cowboy. This becomes a nightly affair, till one night the wife sees them both. The two men start falling for each other and the cowboy tells Greg that he lost a very very close friend a year ago in an accident. Soon, as expected, we realize Greg actually did not hit the deer but it was a hit and run accident. Cowboy feels cheated and since by now the two men are completely in love with each other, the cowboy shoots Greg and then himself to get united in afterlife.

OK, so if you are laughing reading my summary of the film, especially the ending, trust me its all true. The film starts with a very awkward staged fight between rent boys at cowboy junction, which sets the tone that this movie is gonna be bad. And then who in their right mind, would ick up a guy and take them home and introduce him as a 'handyman'. The scens between husband and wife are interesting but I can't imagine how bored they all are in their life. I mean I was bored just watching the mundane life they lived. The story is stretched and is very predictable. It is painful to watch through the slow proceedings and I wished there was a way to fast forward the film and the dialogues while still listening them.  The hit-and-run plot was so thin it was practically invisible. A little more back story on the cowboy's friend (or was it boyfriend) would have helped. The only good thing was the really hot cowboy. He was really good looking.

This could have been a very tight crispy short film in the hands of a good director, but sadly, this is another one of those stereotypical bad, taken-for-granted gay films with a hot cowboy, clueless wife, a depressed husband and a very very depressing house. (3/10)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Angels with Tethered Wings

I think my streak of watching bad films is not going to go away anytime soon. I am not even gonna question on why one after the other, the movies I have been picking are somehow terrible and have some cross between horror, comedy and zombies. Tis film is an erotic thriller with lot of penis and ass shots. I wouldn't say that nudity was important, but its there and I am not complaining about it.

The film is in three parts and goes quite a bot in flashbacks. Gareth is a porn film director and has been making it films with lead bottom start Timothy. But he is in short of cash. When an investor Cody comes to make his own film with Timothy with 200,000 dollars, things start going wrong. Timothy refuses and immediately leaves panning to start his own business. Soon Gareth realizes that the money goes missing and is now on lookout for Timothy. Now we meet Grant, Gareth's twin brother, who is taking care of a hurt Timothy in remote woods. But Gareth and his crew, with support from his assistant Veronica, find Timothy and make Cody rape him as punishment for stealing the money. When Grant finds this, he tries to kill Tomothy because he doesn't want him to suffer further. He then tell Timothy , that it was he who stole the money so that Timothy can have a comfortable life with his boyfriend Jessie. We then get to see the love story of Jessie and Timothy. Every character crosses the other actor. Timothy dies in a car accident. In the final chapter, Jessie visits the grave of Timothy.  Jessie wakes later that night to discover Grant and Timothy having a shower together and are now zombies, who have returned to help Jessie fulfill his promise of revenge.  And they ultimately take the revenge.

The big problem with this film is that it cant make up mind on what genre does it want to stick to. It is marked by some very stark tonal shifts from thriller to comedy to horror to something approaching softcore porn. And the constant back and forth in the way story is told, doesn't help the cause of the film much. The film quickly gets to the point where its shenanigans get so crazy that I just kept rolling my eyes watching all this absurdity.  The script and screenplay both need a lot of tightening. If the film was kept as comedy, it would have been a better deal IMO. Even the way the actors were acting, it felt as if they were told to be in that way. Acting was just bad. Jessie was the only one decent in the film. And I still don't understand what was the whole point of this zombie angle. That was just plain stupid.

Borderline ludicrous film, you can enjoy this film , if you are really bored and if you keep really really low expectations in general from movies. (3/10)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Skull & Bones

Oh my god! It was actually embarrassing to watch this film. How could anyone in their right mind make a terrible film like this? And by terrible I mean, the worst acting and mindless direction. I was constantly in a state of disbelief and hysteria over the fact that someone actually thought of making this film. I mean the film is not even that old, wherein, I could give concession for this being from a time period where amateur gay themed films were just a starting market.

Nathan & Justin are a gay couple who are going through a rough time sexually. But they do share their love for extreme cinema, zombie films and sadistic pleasures (at least in their minds). The though of serial killers and gay rapists actually make both of them horny. frustrated in their obscure university, they decide to invite one of the hotties from their class and rape him. In the drug-fuelled incident, the guy dies but this in fact makes the couple even more dangerous. They decide to go to Connecticut in search of Ivy league rich students. They think by raping them, photographing them, they surely can make a lot of money by blackmailing these straight guys. They meet a group of four Ivies who brag that they've recently been selected to join the notorious secret society, Skull and Bones. The couple gets insulted by the quartet and the rest of the film follows how Nathan and Justin plan and kidnap their victims one after the other, humiliate them, rape them in most horrible disgusting ways and eventually kill them.

IN have already given my thoughts on the horrible acting and direction. The ending of the film is just retarded. We do not see the cops intervene at any point. The couple of times, they show up on the screen, they look and act like a joke. It was annoying to heard the exact same dialogues and scripts four different times, when Nathan and Justin try to pick up the 4 Ivies. I mean how stupid or dumb do you have top be to make an awful film like this thinking that maybe you are making a horror comedy. Horrid acting & the unattractive actors made it even worse.

I would not recommend this film at all. Even if you were bored out of your wits. Might as well, re-watch one of the many beautiful queer cinema out there. (1/10)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Leather Jacket Love Story

All through watching the film, I was under the impression that this film came out a long time ago. I did have my doubts when there was a scene about AIDS and HIV, so it was slightly difficult to pin-point the time, but only after watching the film I realized that this came out in 1997. So not really that old, as I thought. Filmed in gay clubs and neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the black-and-white film has moments that border on hard-core pornography without actually going over the edge. But more about that later.

From a story perspective, the film is quite simple. Kyle has just turned 18 and wants to move out of his parents home in LA. Hi ex, a rich man, is his true friend but he wants to experience the real life. He hangs out in this cafe where he spends time writing poetry and he’s taken under wing by a trio of drag queens. In the same cafe he meets 30 year hunk and stuff Mike and they both have instant mutual attraction. Their passionate one night stand develops into an instant attraction between the two men and Kyle decides to buy a leather jacket exactly like that of Mike, just to show and prove his affection and love for the guy. 2 days into knowing each other, Kyle starts nagging Mike about monogamy and questions about his love. On being asked to give space, Kyle retaliates by going to a bathhouse (I am not kidding) but soon realizes he in fact loves Mike. and in the end, he recites his poem defining Mike’s leather jacket and his love for him. Mike reciprocates his love and tears up the telephone number of a man he has just picked up on the street and takes Kyle in his arms for some very vanilla-flavored smooches.

Yes, the film was directed very amateurishly with some very below average acting. It wasn’t thankfully outright bad as we have seen in some other films but it was still quite pathetic. Most of the times, as an audience we are not expected to put logic behind people’s actions. For example, Kyle’s possessiveness and sudden bathhouse visit while claiming all this while that he wants love. Thankfully there are some explicit good sex scenes that help you keep entertained. Actually come to think of it, move is not thats boring, but there is just not enough going on, its just too predictable and has no excuse for not flushing out the characters properly. Kyle was slightly annoying. But thankfully Mike as an actor was decent, but with such bad dialogue, cliched situations and the use of full frontal nudity to mask the films flaws, there is only so much that he could do.

This is strictly time pass when you are looking for some good soft porn which also happens to be supported by a nice gay romance. (4/10)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Finding Me

Just because the production budget is low doesn't mean the acting has to be so subpar. This was my first reaction while watching this film. A lot of shows targeted towards black gay men aren’t worthy of talking in high spirit but still some of them are at least slightly bit decent. This film however was pretty pathetic mostly because of bad acting and direction. The concept on paper must have been nice but sadly it doesn’t translate well on screen.

Fabian is a young gay man who lives with his father and is looking for a job. His father is homophobic but Fabian has no means to live on his own. He has a very strong support system via his friends Greg and Amira. Greg is a free spirited bisexual man, who happens to be Fabian’s best friend and is his voice of reason. He is there for him always. Amira is aspiring singer and is constantly at loggerheads with Greg but together both of them are always there to help Fabian. Fabian meets this young, charming activist Lonnie. There is mutual attraction but unlike Fabian, Lonnie os confident and openly gay. He pursues Fabian but his own insecurities and always pushes him away. A good part of the film is about Lonnie pursuing Fabian who keeps pushing him away. But thankfully Lonnie helps Fabian get comfortable in his own skin and he faces his father and tells him the truth. Ultimately Fabian starts discovering himself and and although he breaks up with Lonnie, he writes him a lengthy note to thank him for everything that he did to boost his confidence.

I have already talked about how bas the acting is in the movie, especially from lead actor  playing Fabian. Some of his reactions are truly laughable. Also, I grew so tired of Fabian just rejecting and ignoring Lonnie for no specific reason. I fail to understand why would such a charming guy like Lonnie continue to pursue Fabian, especially after the asshole-ish behavior that he keeps showing towards Lonnie. Fabian’s character became very very annoying after a certain time. His character was full of insecurities, ignorance, stupidity, laziness and the most extreme extent of low self-esteem. Amira shout and screams all the time and is so fake. Greg is the only decent character. This film could have been an ok short film. Almost one hour of the film is dedicated to Lonnie pursuing Fabian and he keeps rejecting him time and again. There are serious continuity issues as well. Unfortunately, I will next be watching the sequel as well, just so that I can get it out of my way.

Truly terrible film that should never have been made. Please don’t waste your time on this. (2.5/10)