In Her Line Of Fire: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"In Her Line Of Fire" finds Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the Vice President of the United States (David Keith). While en route to a diplomatic tour of Asia, their plane crashes in the South Pacific, leaving the survivors on a remote island where they are kidnapped by rebel soldiers that intend to sell the vice president to the highest bidder.

The movie is a taut, action-packed thriller. No gaping holes in the plot. The main issue is that for this story to work its magic on you, you really have to buy into the notion that it's a woman kicking all these guys' asses. That is the conceit of the story. If that seems empowering or makes you want to see the movie even more, then you're off to a good start. If your reaction is "So? She's a woman, and...?!" then there's a good chance it will seem like a formulaic movie with a woman playing the Stallone role. Maybe some people really are attracted to a movie where a tough, no-nonsense woman, aiming to teach rebel soldiers a lesson, straps on a huge

Queens: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

As Spain is about to wed its first gay couples ever, five women have to confront their pasts, presents, and prejudices before seeing their sons marry in "Queens," a glorious Almodovaresque film from Manuel Gomez Pereira. This Spanish film (with English subtitles) may be about gay sons getting married, but the headstrong matriarchs steal the show.

One mother has to confront the fact that her son is marrying the son of their gardener, who she's never even let set foot in their house for decades. Another comes a little too well packed from Buenos Aires, with her dog and no real plan to go home anytime soon. One is sexually compulsive in awkward situations and finds herself alone with her future son-in-law. One runs the hotel where all the gays are coming for the reception, but the chef (with whom she's having an affair) decides the whole kitchen is going on strike right before the reception. And, well, you get the idea...

Dante's Cove First Season: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Dante's Cove" is a sexy, gothic, campy soap opera that combines elements of Melrose Place, any horror movie involving centuries-old legends and spells, and Queer as Folk. Watching the first season on DVD (a second has already run on here! TV, and a third season has been ordered), my first impression is that watching this with a group of people would have definitely heightened the experience, primarily because it is the kind of movie that begs for people to cry out in disbelief, but at the same time it walks the line fine enough to pull off the whole crazy premise.

In a nutshell, a woman catches her groom-to-be having (graphic) sex with another man in the 1840s. Sadly for him, she has magical powers and sentences him to spend eternity in a sub-basement of the house chained up until some "handsome young man" kisses him. But then, she makes him look into the mirror to see that he is no longer the striking gay lothario he formerly was, but a wrinkled old coot with crazy-long grey hair. Somehow the inability of no one to find him there in the first place is now compounded by the fact that no one would want to kiss him anyway? But this isn't the kind of show where you sit around and dwell on these things for too long.

Poster Boy: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Poster Boy" tries to be so many things, you end up wishing it just picked one thing and stuck with it. The movie is about a closeted gay son of a powerful right-wing Senator up for re-election. His father wants him to introduce him at a campaign stop at the son's school. The son has kept a low profile there and doesn't want to be associated with the campaign. Another guy hooks up with the senator's son and decides to out him at the event. And the movie is told with the framing device of the son finally telling a newspaper reporter the whole story of what happened leading up to the father's speech on campus.

Reading that, it sounds like a pretty decent movie, so let's drill down a little further. First of all, let's examine the framing device. Four months after a political scandal, the son is going to tell his story to the press? In politics, there's no such thing as four months for something like this. It would be an entire non-story at this point. The other thing, we have a reporter from a fictional San Francisco newspaper who seems to not get the gist of homosexuality, telling him he's a handsome boy, didn't he even try to hook up with some of the co-eds on campus?

Before The Fall: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

I'm not exactly sure how to review "Before The Fall," a German film about a young boxer who is trained in an elite German school during World War II. Part of the problem was that is was on my stack of gay DVDs to review for Oasis, so I went in with some expectations... primarily, that it has something to do with being gay. So, let me be clear up front, there is no gay content in the movie. Nein!

That said, it was a very well put-together story about friendship and standing up for what you believe in, as well as showing how easy it is for fascism to spread unchecked. (A message that is still, sadly, needed.)

The primary story is of a young boxer that comes from a poor family. Someone sees him box and asks him to box for the German military academy, so against his parents' wishes (they are opposed to the Nazis) he goes to the school.

Kate Clinton: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

I've always been a fan of stand-up comedy. Hell, I keep threatening to do it.

When I first came out, I devoured the Out Comedy specials that were big deals at the time with Bob Smith, John McGivern, Marga Gomez, and Kate Clinton, to name a few. They were a new breed of stand-up comics, talking about their lives in largely straight comedy clubs across the country, as well as to appreciative gay audiences in urban areas. I remember taking a timid gay friend to a Lea Delaria concert in the early 90s, and sitting us front row center. He had no idea who she was, and I had as much fun watching his horrified face as we became part of her act for a huge chunk of the night.

I remember Kate Clinton as a bookish, proper former teacher, and just seeing her joke that someone "couldn't say lesbian if her mouth was full of one," was so surprising because it was so at odds with her demeanor. I loved her.

Innocent: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Innocent" is a movie about a 17-year-old character named Eric who is surprised to learn early in the film that his family's vacation in Canada from their homeland of Hong Kong is permanent. They intend to stay.

Eric is dealing with his homosexuality, but is not the shy waif innocent we're used to seeing in movies, despite the film's title. He stars as his cousin's ass in the shower, sleeps with a middle-aged man who sees him buying a gay porn magazine, goes right in for the kiss with his schoolmate, and seems like there might be a spark with a worker hired at the family's restaurant. He may be awkwardly dealing with his sexuality, but he seems pretty clear about it.

The movie, by Simon Chung, seems to lack a central narrative that pulls you through the experience as a viewer. Eric has these dealing with his sexuality. His mother is trying to start a restaurant with the help of someone who seems romantically interested in her. The father is getting some extramarital action on his neighborhood jogs, and ends up returning to Hong Kong in the middle of the movie.

Jackass Number Two Unrated: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Jackass Number Two: Unrated" features another onslaught of clips that dance between the dangerous/stupid and the homoerotic. It is pure devil-may-care bedlam for much of the movie. I'll leave it for other sites to walk you through the dangerous/stupid, we'll focus on the homoerotic.

Let's just say that for a bunch of supposedly straight guys, they certainly enjoy one another's nudity. At one point, they have the old "test of strength" carnival attraction, where someone has to bring down the sledgehammer to send the weight up to ring the bell. In the Jackass world, the bell is removed and Bam Margera sits on top of it, so if the person hits it hard enough, the weight will slam into his balls. But before they even try it, Bam questions why they don't attach a dildo to the weight, he'll pull his pants down, turn around the other way so that if it gets that high, it can penetrate him. So, that's what they do.

Another Gay Movie: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

Before I say another word, I need to point out that this movie is not for the younger viewers of the site. In the commentary track, the director mentions wanting to make the "gayest movie ever," and succeeds, but it is way, way over the top. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.

The movie is about four friends, all high school graduates about to enter college after summer vacation. The foursome are also, to use their term, "booty virgins." So, they all make a pact to have anal sex before the end of summer. The movie is patterned off of both the American Pie and Scary Movie series, so there is nudity, gross-out humor, and parodies of other gay movies throughout.

DVD Review: "Fixing Frank"

By Jeff Walsh

"Fixing Frank" is an engrossing movie that tackles the subject of conversion therapy. When the movie starts, Frank is in a session with Dr. Apsey, saying things that clearly show him to be a self-hating homosexual. We quickly learn that Frank doesn't really hate himself, but is working with his therapist boyfriend Jonathan on an article to discredit Apsey's practice of helping homosexuals become happy heterosexuals.

The movie is a claustrophobic puzzle that gives each character a positive portrayal. It would have been so easy to make Apsey into a villain, make him a former homosexual himself, or stack the deck against him in many other ways, but Ken Hanes (adapting his stage play to the screen) never takes the easy path. Apsey is compelling and caring, and seems well intentioned.

Little Miss Sunshine: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

Little Miss Sunshine walks a fine line for the duration of the movie. It always seems in danger of being too self-conscious, too precious, or too cutesy, but never crosses the line where you stop being pulled into its world.

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