Movies

Gun Hill Road, Spork, Romeos, Tomboy, Out for the Long Run, and Au Pair, Kansas - Movie Reviews

By Jeff Walsh

So, I requested to be sent screeners of the "youth" movies being shown at Frameline, San Francisco's LGBT film festival, which is currently happening in San Francisco. I'm not certain if this is indicative of the larger programming this year, but the films I received nearly all focused on trans and gender identity issues, which will certainly appeal to a lot of people on the site here.

Keep in mind, these movies are just playing the festival circuit now, so you may have to hunt down when they are playing a festival near you, and the wait may be a bit longer for a DVD release.

Here's a breakdown of the films I received:

Violet Tendencies: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

Violet Tendencies is a fun fag hag movie, starring Mindy Cohn (Natalie from TV's Facts of Life) as the hag in the starring role.

The movie, which comes out on DVD May 24, opens on a wedding, as a fag hag is getting married surrounded by hot gay men. The bride notes that she was the last fag left, quickly adding, well... except for Violet.

Violet is so surrounded by gay men that she barely knows how to navigate the straight world, and when she does meet straight guys through an online phone dating service, her gay-tuned candor and humor sends them packing.

Violet's gay friends are all in some state of taking their lives from where they are at present to a next level, whether that is monogamy or adopting children. When Violet finally meets someone interested in her, a Mormon architect with whom she doesn't share much of anything in common, she abandons her gay life for a chance at happiness.

Anotherworld: DVD Review

By whateversexual_llama

I have a confession: I should've written this review at least a month ago. Unfortunately, I haven't finished watching “Anotherworld” by Fabiomassimo Lozzi. And every time I had a long afternoon with nothing to do, I told myself to watch it. I put in the DVD, watched another five minutes. But I couldn't finish it. Perhaps acknowledging the unwatchability of the film is effective in and of itself.

The movie starts out as a fantastic idea - it's an experimental piece containing a series of short (one to three minute) monologues on the subject of homosexuality and homophobia. It's an Italian film with English subtitles and the characters cover a broad range of ages, sizes, fetishes, and stories. A skinhead talks about homosexuality, a priest talks about meeting with a male prostitute, a S&M sub talks about his first sexual experience. There are prostitutes, men in married heterosexual relationships -- just about every trick in the gay book.

Patrik 1.5: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

I'll be honest. I almost skipped the press screening for Patrik, Age 1.5 (which is now playing in the Bay Area and select cities, details here).

The premise seemed too cute: a gay couple who think they're about to adopt a year-and-a-half old baby, only to find there was a typographical error and they get a 15 year old who is an anti-gay delinquent.

You just knew it was going to have some touching moment where they talked, found common ground, and ended with a warm hug that Patrik wouldn't pull back from. It is nearly a sitcom premise! I don't watch the Hallmark Channel at home, so why go out to the movies to see it?

But the fact that it won the audience award at the Frameline gay film festival here in San Francisco is what made me curious enough to attend. I just don't think a very special episode of Blossom is the kind of thing they would all vote for, especially for a Swedish film for which they all had to read subtitles.

As it turned out, this charming, beautiful movie took every expectation I had and defied it. Every character had their own engaging narrative, and nothing worked out as it might seem at first glance.

Stonewall Uprising: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

Stonewall Uprising is a new documentary that details the birth of the modern gay rights movement in New York City on June 28, 1969, when a group of patrons at the Stonewall Inn fought back during a regular police raid, leading to three days of riots and our first "pride parade."

Unlike today, where every song at a Lady Gaga concert is covered from every angle by 400 different cell phone and video cameras and uploaded to YouTube, there isn't much footage of the Stonewall Riots, but when this documentary finally gets to that famous night, hearing the oral narrative from the people who were there, combined with photos and talking heads, is still gripping.

Hearing about that night, you understood why this film (which opens in the Bay Area this weekend) was made. But, it did seem to take its time getting to that fateful night. Don't get me wrong, I think context is great, but seeing the old news footage of how homosexuality was treated back in the day seems to run a bit long. Every time we see a talking head, we know they are setting the stage for the riots, and then we drift into more backstory, teased again.

I think recently seeing an oral history so expertly told with We Were Here, made seeing one that just doesn't measure up as effectively more obvious. I saw the same talking heads throughout this film, but it seems they were used more to advance the history of a people. They were there to serve the story of Stonewall, when in fact, they are the story of Stonewall. I'd rather hear them contextualize the history, weave in their own personal narratives, and use that to advance the story.

We Were Here: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

A lot of times, when reviewing gay movies, I think that I am judging them far more critically than they may have been intended. Usually this frame of reference occurs when I think of the number of movies I have enjoyed in packed theaters of gay audiences, where every sassy comment and sexual remark was met with roaring laughter and people yelling back at the screen.

When I'm writing a critical review of a movie, I often wonder, would I have enjoyed this movie if I had watched it in that setting, as opposed to just popping in a DVD at home, myself, after work? It doesn't mean the movie would be any better, of course, but just shows how much the power of community can inform the experience.

On Sunday, I had the opposite experience watching an almost-completed print of "We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco." I knew it was going to be a heavy movie, given the subject matter, but I had no idea just how palpable the depths of sorrow flowing through the audience would be.

jetaime's picture

I haven't posted in 2 years

I saw this movie today:

It was good. I reccomend it.

The Big Gay Musical: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

When you watch a movie called "The Big Gay Musical," you know what you signed up for. The only question is, will it deliver? Thankfully, this movie gives you all the laughs, songs, hot guys, and camp that you expect going in.

The movie centers on two actors playing Adam and Steve in an Off-Broadway musical. It has a queeny God, hot muscular angels, and a lot of campy dialogue with double entendres, like this one from their time in the Garden of Eden:

Adam: Last night, you figured out how to pull the skin back! It's so much better that way.

Steve: I know! Now, I really like bananas!

So, yeah, that's the kind of show to expect.

Offstage, the guy who plays Adam is sorting out how he feels about dating, monogamy, and hookups, whereas the actor playing Steve isn't out to his highly-religious parents, who are coming to opening night. With a few other characters and the slutty angels in the show, it ends up being just campy enough, just sexy enough, and with just enough heart to make it fun to watch.

jackiemerry's picture

Ourage

fddddzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzghrf

Sykes's picture

WtWTA!!!

Yeah so the Where the Wild Things Are movie comes out today! HELLA YES!!!

I found out that my friend G who prefers to be called Kila (huge deathnote fan) decided to start the rumor. She just wanted to see how I'd react. She also found out the 2 girls I was talking about the homecoming thing: Attracta and Penelope. I love the name penelope, it looks so cool XD
Oh yeah, it was my friend Casey who helped me solve the turmoil :D

If you look back to the previous journal i mentioned, you'll see I listed the initials of the girls, so casey helped me clear that up.

The New Twenty: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"The New Twenty" is a movie about a group of college friends who live in New York City. When the movie starts, we see them posing for a picture on their graduation day from college. After that we jump ahead a few years and see how they are growing up and apart.

There are two gay guys in the group of friends. One is an overweight guy who continually gets rejected on Internet sex sites. And the other is an Asian guy who starts falling in love with someone HIV positive. Most of the story revolves around the one friend who is starting a business and how that affects things.

For me, the movie just never grabbed me and made me interested in any of the characters, plots, or subplots. So, it wasn't that the movie was bad, inasmuch as it was just… there.

Finding Me: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Finding Me" is an interesting movie to watch, because most of the time I watched it, my verbtaim thoughts were soon repeated back to me. The main character of the movie, Faybien, starts off as an aimless guy who has no academic interests or a good job. But, we see him phone a friend when he sees Lonnie, a hot guy that often appears at his bus stop. In the call, he is excited to see the guy there again and decides he needs to finally say hi.

It's only after that point that the character keeps going in circles, where he keep deciding what he wants in life. But that's where it got amusing, because when the character would frustrate me and I'd think 'What is this kid's problem?', one of the characters in the movie would say 'What's your problem?' Later, I'd think, he needs to do something already and stop thinking everything through so much. Then a character would say 'You need to just go for it.'

So, on one hand, I guess I really understood how taxing it is to be Faybien's friend, but I don't think that was the point of the movie, which is really about him getting over his homophobic father, his dead mother, and other issues, and finally decide how he wants to live his life. But since you sort of know it's the only clear path, and the one he's likely to take before the credits roll, it takes him a long time getting there.

A Jihad For Love: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

As it starts, "A Jihad For Love" has a familiar feeling for anyone who's ever seen movies about issues of sexuality and spirituality. We learn that the only reference to homosexuality in the Qur'an is about Sodom and Gomorrah. And that, though not part of the Qur'an, several Hadith (sayings attributed directly to Muhammad) directly condemn homosexuality. So, we're in familiar ground here, in a debate that continues about how to rectify sexuality and spirituality.

From the beginning, if you interchanged the words Qur'an and Bible, it would seem to make a lot of the same arguments with which many Americans are familiar. But as the film plays on, the familiarity washes away. People are imprisoned. Their backs bearing the marks of 100 bloody lashes. They leave their home and wait as refugees seeking asylum from a country they love, families they miss, and a religion that is still an important and meaningful part of their lives.

Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma isn't out to poke holes in Islam, or quote scripture back and forth with scholars (in fact, every scholar in the movie without fail just says homosexuality is wrong). But he is clearly interested in showing the depth of purpose that many gay Muslims feel, and the disconnect that causes with their culture. Sharma is also showing many sides of Islam, but none resembling the Al Qaeda caricature we usually see.

ash's picture

school/bt/movies

School's finally over:D..just got taking my last 2 Finals yesterday and should find out some of my grades over the weekend so that'll be cool hehe....the potluck-critique was good,good fruit ,OJ and muffins and stuff.....currently watching the Grey's Anatomy finale and it's the 'you're getting the surgery /it's also about my life/my life w/you' scene before I go see Wolverine at 1 on the stadium side hehe and maybe get some lunch too..

The Boys In The Band: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"The Boys in the Band" is an impressive movie if only for the fact that it exists. The play came out in 1968, the same year as the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which is considered the birth of the modern day gay rights movement. The movie followed two years later, using the off-Broadway cast, and is now celebrating its 40-year anniversary.

I have to say, this movie holds up really well, and there is good reason to watch this to see where we've made progress as a community and possibly where we haven't. But that's for viewers to decide. I'm more interested in the narrative itself.

The movie starts out with Michael preparing to host a birthday party for his friend Harold. While Michael is preparing for the party, his old college roommate Alan calls. Alan is in New York City on business and urgently needs to see Michael. Michael is caught between worlds, with a bunch of loud gay friends set to arrive, and his former roommate (who doesn't know he's gay) needing to talk. Michael also assumes that Alan is gay, and wonders if he's finally going to admit it. They make plans to quickly get together, but then switch to lunch the following day.

Ready? OK! : DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Ready? OK!" is about a 10-year-old boy named Joshua who, more than anything else, wants to be a cheerleader. He practices routines with the girls, talks to his family about how cheerleaders always work together (unlike the wrestling team the school makes him play on), and is raising money to go to a cheerleading camp.

Of course, Joshua's 10, so the movie isn't about him being gay or coming out, just being different. If anything he's the only character in the movie who's OK with who he is. His mother, who is the main character in the movie, is harried by a job she doesn't like, a brother who drifts around, a mother who enjoys taunting her, and has no time for herself. When her son is getting into trouble cheerleading, or showing up to school in a dress, she barely seems to register what is happening, just that she has one more thing on her plate to handle that day.

The movie was well-acted and looks good, but it doesn't seem to have much to say, really. Plus, it seemed to have a lot of "indie movie grab bag" going on. The gay neighbor who believes in the kid and tries to encourage him. The packrat homeless brother who can't get his life together. The stern nun who only follow the rules. The clueless, diva who does horrible stand-ups for the local TV station. You never get the sense that all of these things solidify into one movie.

jacjessen90's picture

movie wanted!!!

does anybody know where i can find a movie called 'IN & OUT'???

Pedro: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Pedro," which airs on MTV and LOGO tonight (April 1) is the story of Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American who found out he was HIV-positive at age 17, and took his desire to speak out to a huge audience as a member of MTV's The Real World. He died in 1994, several hours after the season finale ended.

The movie itself was a strange flashback for me, since his story was so urgent to me at the time and so many of the scenes from that season are burned into my memory. So, it was somewhat strange seeing actors portraying people I knew from a reality TV and recreating famous scenes. At first, it almost seemed like the movie could star Pedro himself, but then the story becomes bigger than his brief time on the show, and we learn about his life before The Real World.

Another Gay Sequel: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

I already reviewed this movie when it first premiered in San Francisco, and reading it again months later, it still sums up my thoughts on this movie. I wanted to like it as much as the first, but it just didn't happen.

My only addendum is that a gay movie that lampooned other gay movies, as the original did, seemed to give it more resonance than one with references to The Brady Bunch, beach movies, and other more traditional fare.

When I saw it, it didn't even have end credits, but now sports a Perez Hilton song and video called "The Clap." I also think there was a visual effect added whenever Jasper zapped the other Jasper's balls, but otherwise, it's the same movie I saw, so just read the original review for movie information. My review is of the uncut theatrical edition, but I can't imagine anyone would buy another else anyway.

Clandestinos: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Clandestinos" is a Spanish film that goes down a different path than a lot of gay films. Three boys break out of juvenile prison and flee to Madrid, where Xabi, the leader of the three, tries to make contact with the leader of a Basque terrorist cell. The other two boys don't know as much about the mission from the start, but one of the boys eventually helps him practice making bombs in an abandoned apartment, with the goal of doing something public and visible to bring the cell leader out of hiding.

To fund his terrorist exploits, Xabi robs johns that pick him up in a shopping mall. One of his johns, from whom he stole money and a gun, is a cop, who doesn't take being robbed easily and tries to track him down.

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