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, October 22, 2019

One Of Them!

At less than an hour, this tiny little film came out in 1998. I guess it was made for TV but I could be wrong. Anyway its about two flamboyant gay teenage boys (who totally are in denial about their sexuality) who can't wait to grow up and get out of New Zealand take a trip to Rangitoto Island and recall their friendship.

Jamie and Lemmy meet at school and become fast friends after a rather weird gay bashing teenage incident. They both are rather effeminate, yet neither self identifies as gay yet. They are rather rebellious, often cutting class to go on adventures. Their families find their friendship odd but they really cant do much about it. They are both drawn to homosexuality but then they both always make lewd and horrible comments about gays and how they should not be here and all that. In fact they even go to public restrooms to create troubles. They fight it to the point of doing some horribly obnoxious things to those they suspect are gay. However, when they start examining their own desires, what they find is most disconcerting, and their struggle becomes one of self acceptance.

Although the film is about self discovery of the teenage gays, I am not sure was it really necessary to make the characters so darn annoying and obnoxious. It prevents to empathize with them as an audience and when they actually accept they are gay, you don't really feel much for them. Sure the argument could be that rather than internalizing their demons and struggles, they took it out on others but it doesn't justify IMO.  The acting is okay. Both boys turn in believable performances, and do a decent job with the material they are given. The ending of the film, where both boys admit to being "one of them" is sudden but done well. I mean its not clear what made one of them finally admit to being gay.

Its not the worst thing in the world but nothing great to write home about. Watch this if you really have nothing else to do and are really looking for something quick and easy no brainer short-ish film. (3.5/10)

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sweet Boy (Thai)

Of most of the Thai LGBT stuff I have seen, they have few things in common. Cast usually has a lot of really cute boys and also they take forever to come to the point. Additionally, they also have plenty of side storylines that don't do much justice to the overall story line in progress. This little film is a very cute feel good love story with its share of ups and downs. It focuses mostly on love and friendship and how it evolves overtime.

Nack is a 17 year old boy living with his single mother. His focus is solely studying so he can get in a nice university. He has close friends but he still feels quite lonely. And now also feels pressure of studies. An openly gay boy in his class for some reason bullies him indirectly. As time passes, Nack starts to understand the feeling of sex and love. Especially when one of the cute guys (supposedly straight) makes a move on Nack in swimming, but that goes nowhere. Enter Toy, the class Maths topper who take a fascination for Nack and slowly they start getting together really close. They dont have sex or anything but clearly its so much more than friendship where Toy comes as a friend, moral support and everything for Nack. But Nack's mother sees this as a digression from Nack's focus and also worries if her Christian son is now gay, asks Toy to stay away. Sudden rude behaviour of Toy breaks Nack's heart but with the support of his friends he gets over it and eventually after a gap of one year and focusing in studies enters university and gets back with Toy.

Some things in the film are good like silent eyes talking. When Toy and Nack give each other lobe glances, or hugs and cuddles and also when they give gifts to each other with. a very well thought meaning behind it, they all make sense. It shows human touches make a lot of difference. The interactions between Nack and Toy are also adorable and sincere as you see them get to know each other and go on cute dates. The conflict if the film is very predictive and you know whats exactly going to happen which makes it not so much fun. It also left me confused as to the motivations of Toy's character and whether his character was trying to be friendly or romantic. It's this confusion that creates a conflict of it's own between the two main characters and it just doesn't make much sense. The cast was good , acted well and was cute but i am still not sure what the actual relationship of the boys was. Slightly better storyline and direction could have easily taken this film to the next level.

I'd say this movie makes a good one time watch, without you having to think too much. It is strictly ok IMO. (5.5/10)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Flyover Country

I am not sure why this film is being targeted as a romantic comedy drama about coming out. It is actually neither of these things. No comedy or romance as such and definitely not coming-out. If anything, its a story about friendship between a gay and a straight man and where does life and situations take them through over a period of a year of their friendship.

Todd and Russ are in the same literature class and soon become friends. Actually Todd is gay and has a crush on Russ and secretly hopes that Russ is gay too. But thats not to be the case. They bond over their common interest of foreign films and jazz music. Things go south slightly when Russ realizes that Todd is openly gay and that he has crush on him. Todd tries to explain but the friendship gets sour only soon to be mended around when Russ' grandfather passes away. None of Russ' friends and family approves of Todd as a friend and in fact even Todd's sister and her family don't approve. But they stick true to their friendship and by now Todd realizes that he can never have Russ as a boyfriend. A couple of times Todd meets possible suitors and boyfriends and they all get jeopardized because everyone thinks Todd is still obsessed with Russ. A misunderstanding soon follows and their is a big falling out between them. Todd finds a boyfriend and moves to California. A year later when he visits, they apologize to each other and revisit their good old days.

First things first, acting is pretty awful by all characters. Main actors as well as every single character that comes in and out is horrible. Everyone has to extreme reactions to everything that it gets painful to watch. There are so many random things that happen in this film. How come, Todd's sister only finds out after a decade that Todd is gay! Why does everyone think that Russ is gay, just because he hangs out with Todd. His grandfather, friends, colleagues, classmates, everyone hates the idea of homosexuality and after a while its a joke to hear them giving a lecture about Jesus and christianity combined with the really bad acting. It was also weird (making me roll my eyes), that how every guy who would approach Todd would talk just about foreign films and jazz music and as if these were the 2 most important things that one needs to be interested in for a meaningful relationship. It was very odd. The movie set in Omaha was super low budget and a terrible one all thanks to a poor screenplay, direction and acting. Thankfully it wasn't as bad as some of the recent ones I have seen but it is still pretty lame.

I would recommend watching it ONLY if you have nothing better to do in life other than look for ways to waste 2 hours of your life. The similar premise with an able director has a potential to give us a decent movie to watch. (3.5/10)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Memorias de lo que no fue (Spanish) [Boy Undone]

This is one of those films thats stretched beyond reason and the story could easily have been told in a short story format. In this film I can easily snip off almost 60m minutes worth of scenes and as an audience you will not miss a single thing about the film. Long minutes of silences , awkward advances and just random memory flashbacks. I guess I am not going through a good time of watching decent films.

A young man finds himself waking up to no memory. He is at Miguel's house and he doesn't remember a thing about who he is, where he is from and how did he get there. He starts to panic but after being calmed down he decides to stay in the apartment as he attempts to piece his memories back together. Almost an hour into the film and 3-4 days later is when the young man asks Miguel on how he got there. Miguel tells him that they met at a nightclub and he come home with him , had sex and slept but the young man remembers none of it. Flashbacks to sexual encounters and violent confrontations begin to surface and Fernando begins to put the pieces back together with the help of Fernando. It turns out that some of his so called friends are responsible for this state who suspected that he was closeted gay.

I am trying really hard to think about anything positive about the film. IN fact at almost 2 hours the film was stretched beyond imagination . The acting by the leads was strictly ok and had absolutely no chemistry. There were so many sex scenes, almost soft-pornish thrown in every now and then which was very uncomfortable to watch. Then there is a scene when Miguel goes to meet a creepy old man who for no reason goes on and on for almost 10 minutes on Mexico's existential crisis, which had absolutely no relevance to the film. The director tried to make a homoerotic thriller but this was far from it. The idea had potential had it been done right.

Bad direction, ok acting, endlessly stretching storyline and moments of silences. This movie is without a doubt a miss. (2/10)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Thirty Years of Adonis (Mandarin/Cantonese)

I understand when film makers think they know every thing about art and they wanna use a new medium to show us what their version if art is, ultimately becomes very exhaustive for audiences. And when you take a gay theme subject on top of that, the line between soft-core porn and pompous art-house cinema grows ever finer. This film is nothing but a sensational film making.

The story is pretty thin. An aspiring gay actor Adonis has blind trust in his agent. He has an ailing mother and he is also supposed to take care of her. Keeping faith in agent, he agrees to work as a nude model a few gay art films which ultimately gets sold as porn films. He eventually joins porn and prostitution as well since he has to make money. We see various "artistic" scenes including Adonis getting raped by some 30 odd men for a film. Once his mother dies, he opens a bar with his agent to serve gay clientele and he also meets a caucasian man and falls in love. A tragic end awaits for Adonis when he is mercilessly murdered right about when he is thinking of leaving the country for good.

I really am in loss of words to write down how bad the film was made in the name of art. There was a LOT of nudity which wasn't needed. There were sex scenes, cum scenes and full on erection. There were scenes shot in artistic manner to somehow show link between life and karma and religion and faith and what not. I just did not understand the point of the whole thing. And why was Adonis so blindly trusting of his agent given that he got him in so many troubles. He would just give in to whatever he says. It was bizarre. The only saving grace was Adonis was quite good looking and acted quite good. Mr Scud or whatever you are called, please stop giving us your artistic BS.

Don't waste your time on this piece of garbage in the name of art. (2/10)

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror

From the very first dance number, I knew this film was going to be bad. But I wasn't sure how bad it will be. It was very over the top as you would expect from a movie of this genre and a poster like this. I wonder if this was supposed to be a trashy spoof comedy, because it would have been so much better. Sadly, I had to bear the ungodly story, acting and the overall premise for almost an hour and 45 minutes.

The mother-daughter duo of Helen and Luella run a gay bed and breakfast far away form the center of the town. Its the weekend of the biggest party in town and we meet 5 gay/lesbian couples who are forced to stay in this BnB because they did not make prior arrangements. We have all stereotypes covered. A leather daddy and his boyfriend who happens to be the drag queen, a twink with a richer and older troll, an upscale gay couple with their annoying fag hag, an entrepreneurial lesbian couple and finally a singer and a tomboy lesbian couple. Luella also likes girls but Helen wants to use this opportunity to find a nice gay man and convert him to marry luella. We keep hearing about Manfred, who it turns out is the son/monster of Helen with 100 other men in an orgy. Slowly couples are cheating and we see murders start happening in this place. Secrets are revealed about why Helen is doing what she is doing, why Luella is the way she is. Murders continue and the film ends weirdly with everyone dead except the drag queen and tomboy girl who decide to take over the Bed and Breakfast place.

This film is very much aware of its B grade movie status. It tries to be a mish mash of comedy, terror, spoof, religious and christian bickering etc. Trying to be too much at once, it fails to keep any single focus and fails miserably in my opinion. All the gay couples cater to some sort of gay stereotype and are obnoxious not just to each other but others as well. This is a typical gay camp film which probably I would have tolerated 10 years ago but not anymore. Its my fault that I am watching the film more than 0 years after it came but still! I heard people say that its offensive but I really doubt it. I mean when the story and concept itself is so silly, who in their right minds would get offended by any of this, be it religious people, homosexuals or republicans.

My advice would be to strictly stay away form this, unless campy movies are something that excite you or you are drunk with 5 other friends and want to watch a non-brainer. The acting is horrible and every every scene lingers on way too long. (2.5/10)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

New Queer Visions - Men from the Boys

A compilation of short films exploring first love, revenge, new beginnings and more are unwrapped in this exciting collection from first-time directors from Portugal, Taiwan, Belgium, the UK and the USA. This collection, as expected is a very mixed bag of short films. None of the films really stood out for me.

CIGANO (Portugal): Wealthy young Sebastian finds out he has a flat tyre and ends up accepting help from a Gypsy passer-by. When Sebastian offers to give him a ride home, their expected destination is not what it seems. I am not sure what was the gay connection here.

TALKING TO MY MOTHER (USA): A young Asian man is trapped in a culture clash where traditions stunt his quest for personal happiness. He has a boyfriend but is expected to marry a girl who also is a close friend. The film shows the struggle to open up to his mother with the truth but maybe its too late now.

DAWN (USA): On an evening commute, Tye detects racism from another passenger's glance. In revenge, he decides to follow and confront the man. But things will clash when Tye will find a connection with his assaultee.

SPILT MILK (UK): An unconventional and highly moving love story between two teens leading up to the night of their prom as they begin to understand the differences and similarities of love, sex and gender and sexuality.

DINNER CONFESSION (Taiwan): In the hilarious and sweet 'Dinner Confession', Che is having dinner with his mom, but all of a sudden, she takes out Che's secret magazine and starts to question him about it. However, she is interrupted by the unexpected visit of Che's close friend, Chun-Hao, who is actually his lover.

PITTSBURGH (USA): An intimate, emotionally turbulent yet occasionally light-hearted look at a young deaf man's relationship with his boyfriend, who isn't quite ready to come out of the closet. Wonderful!

KISS ME SOFTLY (Belgium): 17-year-old Jasper lives in a small town. Jasper finds it hard to come to terms with his father’s career and also struggles with the problems of adolescence, but eventually he musters up the courage to be true to himself and those around him in this heartwarming coming of age tale.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Seat In Shadow (UK)

Don't let the poster or dvd cover of the film fool you. This is a very unconventional film. Sadly, not a very good one. It is very artistic with less focus on story but more on the unusual treatment given to it. Its a case of style over substance, disguised with wordy dialogue and random narrative turns. It was really hard to keep your interest intact during the narrative.

Albert is an ageing and eccentric painter who lives by himself in a very old and dirty house. He is visited by his friend who asks him to help her troubled grandson because he seems very sad all the time. I guess Albert is also a psychiatrist. When Ben visits Albert, we find that he had a boyfriend Adam, who dumped him and thats why he is sad, lonely and depressed. Albert tries to help but also at some stage is afraid of being alone himself. He knows he is growing old and through Ben, he tries to hold on to his youth. Using unconventional methods, he tries to cheer Ben and actually make a friendship. Albert even forces himself to go with Ben to a nightclub to meet Adam. Its not very clear if Albert is interested in Ben sexually or he is using him to relive his youth. The ending is bit weird where a few guys from the club come back to Albert's place. They have an orgy while Albert watches in awe and then he tries to give Ben a chance of an Australian experience.

If the summary sounded weird, its because the film actually was. Only some of the banter between Albert and Ben is ok, but most of the times, it just made no sense at all. Its not very clear whey Ben is depressed and sad. It can't be just because of Adam. There has to be more reasons which I wish were explored. Similarly, its not really clear who Albert actually is and why does he keep doing those random long momologues. The two characters are an odd match and to be honest it’s baffling why Ben’s grandmother would even entertain the idea of getting Albert to help her grandson as he hardly seems capable of looking after himself.

The film is very artsy with a wafer thin plot and its films like these where I struggle to understand what's the kind of audience who like these kind of films. (3/10)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hwanjeolgi (Korean) [In Between Seasons]

Though I have seen a similar themed film in the past and reviewed it here, this film does work on its own merit and sensibilities. This is a very sensitive film, that some may find slow, but its a beautifully directed and scripted drama without going over board at any stage. A beautiful setup of two main characters who come close to each other but then there is an invisible gap that comes between them and how it is handled.

The film starts with an accident, in which Soo-hyun goes into coma. His friend Yoon-hoji survives and then we go into flashback. Soo-hyun lives with his mother whose husband left her and it was 4 years ago that Soo-hyun introduced Yoon-hoji to his mother as his friend. As the friendship grows, Soo-hyun's mother soon finds herself to be a motherly figure for Yoon-hoji also. Time progresses during which individually both the boys spend time in college and then Soo-hyun goes to mandatory military service, but during these times, Yoon-hoji makes a point to meet the mother and also both Soo-hyun and Yoon-hoji make sure to spend some time with each other. Only slowly we realize. that the two boys are actually romantically involved as well and it was during one of their romantic weekend trips that this accident happens. When the mother accidentally sees the boys together on camera after the accident, she understandably shows a restraint and distance from Yoon-hoji and asks him to not meet her son Soo-hyun who is still in coma. At one point, she flatly asks him not to come to see her and her son again, and she subsequently moves her son to a facility located in some remote rural area. Few weeks later Yoon-hoji finds out where the 2 shifted and he decides to show up despite the mother's refusal. By this time the mother is also tired taking care of her son all by herself and reluctantly becomes a little more relieved than before as Yoon-hoji willingly helps her taking care of her son. The distance soon transcends between the mother and Yoon-hoji. She wants to know more about her son's relationship. Soo-hyun eventually opens his eyes and soon strats recuperating with love and support from his love and his mother.

As mentioned above, this film could easily have been your average over the top melodrama, but the movie wisely goes for quiet intimate drama instead of resorting to sappy sentimentalism or overwrought melodrama. And this is what I loved the most about the film. Not even a single instance is shown uberly dramatic. There is only one scene where the mother gets frustrated and lets out anger but even then the film continues to engage us with small nuanced moments to observe. The pace of the film is consistent and not all cards are laid out in front of us. We find out slowly the details which also helps us understand better where everyone is coming from. The story is not new but the treatment and sensitivity is fresh. I liked the non-linear narrative and acting by all the actors, primarily Yoon-hoji and the mother was really good. Yoon-hoji's co-worker's track was completely unnecessary and that could have helped trim the film a little. I got a warm feeling seeing the love between the two men and how they both also balanced their love and respect for the mother and not putting themselves in her face all the time. Both Yoon-hoji and the mother have their own emotional journeys as a lover and a mother, but its their interaction with each other which makes this film very endearing.

This film shows us how complex human relationships can get especially when they have someone common binding them. Be patient and this film can actually surprise you with the maturity with which the subject has been handled and delivered. (7/10)