By Jeff Walsh
"A Four Letter Word" is a new gay independent comedy playing select theaters (check their website for the release schedule) and, while I didn't hate it, it certainly seemed like it lacked the cohesion that could have made it a better, more enjoyable movie.
But, let's start with the basics. Luke is a sex-friendly, quick-witted hottie who wakes up after a night of bar-hopping in a pile of naked strangers -- clearly not the first time this has happened. He works at Gayborhood, a sex store in NYC's gay Chelsea district with his co-worker Zeke. Luke is a free spirit who happens to meet Stephen, who challenges him to question whether he really could give up his life of random sex with strangers and settle down. There is also a cute young interracial couple, Peter and Derek, who are making the big transition of moving in together. On top of that, Peter's boss, Marilyn, is engaged and maniacally planning her wedding.
Those are the stories in a nutshell. If you don't quite see the relationships linking the first three characters to the latter three, I didn't either and I saw the movie twice. There are some scenes where you see them all interact, but even then they never gel as being all one large group of friends. They're just funny lesser stories to cut to in between telling Luke's story.
By Jeff Walsh
"Boys Love" is a Japanese movie that doesn't need much translation. A lot of foreign movies require you to make assumptions about what life is like there in addition to the story that's actually being told, but Boys Love is a very modern film set in Japan, but with a universal, relatable story.
Mamiya is a young shy editor at a magazine whose first assignment as a writer is to interview teen model, Noel. Over the course of the interview, Noel makes a sexual play for Mamiya. Again, what could have turned into an angsty quest to determine his sexuality is avoided, and we only know Mamiya is drawn to Noel. Sexuality is a huge element to the film, but a largely unspoken one.
Noel (Takumi Saitoh) handles his role well, since it seems like it would be easy to find fault in the role of someone in the spotlight that exudes charisma. It would be easy not to buy into the conceit that this person would not draw such attention in real life (then again, I still think that about Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, I don't get what the fuss is about). Whereas Mamiya (Yoshikazu Kotani) seems like it would be the easier role, playing the shy, non-famous journalist.
Second installment. Just keeping my ideas out there, and possible movies for people to watch.
In this movie, many scenery shots were done of the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. There was a pretty slow progression of events.
I am a movie buff, going to school and learning about making movies. Hopefully going to a film school when I'm done with high school. So, you can see where I place movies in my life. Towards the top. :)
So... movies I have watched recently on the wonderful invention of Youtube.
Alright, this is from actual weeks upon weeks ago, but it’s worth getting out there and recounting some more of it made me feel very happy so hurrah:
By Jeff Walsh
"Shelter" is a sweet story of a young artist/surfer in southern California. Zach (played by Trevor Wright) works low-paying jobs, juggles his schedule with his sister to take care of her 5-year-old son, and when he's not doing those things he either works on his art of goes surfing. The movie opens in limited release, including San Francisco and Berkeley, this weekend and will debut on the here! Network next month.
Zach and his girlfriend have been in an on-again, off-again relationship. He doesn't see any way out of his entire situation, despite his dream of going to art school, which his sister dismisses as more trouble than its worth. Things change when he runs into his best friend's older brother Shaun (Brad Rowe, who you might remember from Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss), who is staying at his family's beach house for a while.
The two have chemistry together and, after a few beers, kiss one night. Things progress on a subsequent meeting. Eventually, Zach's sister has a problem with her son being around Shaun because he's gay, and this is before she even knows that he and Zach are dating.
Having watched many gay-related movies, Keillers Park felt as though I had already seen it. We have a closeted gay man, Peter, who's engaged to a woman, and ends up being propositioned by a gay man, Nassim, in a park, they have sex and fall in love. Peter's fiance "discovers" that he's gay when he tries to penetrate her from the behind, because that is, apparently, a sure giveaway. Straight men NEVER have anal sex with women! Of course not...
It seems as though you're supposed to feel bad for the Peter, but he comes off as a bit of a jerk. The only thing that makes you feel bad for him is the fact that his family disowns him for being gay. Other than that, he isn't exactly likable. Though, as far as the story goes, it's hard to tell if it's an intended distaste or poor character writing.
I wouldn't call this movie entirely unoriginal, however. On top of this story line there is a shred of originality. The overlying theme is a murder mystery, and you're plagued with the question of whether or not Peter murdered his lover.
When I chose to review Lesbian Sex and Sexuality, I had no clue what it was about other then the obvious -- lesbian sex and sexuality -- but what that really entailed and meant I hadn't the foggiest idea. This two-DVD set is a documentary of six different episodes that address different areas and subjects of lesbian sex and sexuality:
Porn Today: Pushing the Limits which is all about the lesbian porn industry and how it has and is continuing to evolve. In it they talk to a couple of the major porn directors.
For Your Pleasure: Erotic Dancers follows 3 erotic dancers through their daily lives and looks into the lesbian club and bar scene.
The Evolution of Erotica is a history lesson on the printed and video lesbian industry. It goes back to the roots of lesbian porn and was very interesting.
So I went and saw 10,000 B.C. at Edwards Theater in Brea. I liked hanging w/Johnny(from Myspace) and the other LAMBDA members. The only 'bad' thing was when guy Alex kinda stole my seat but I was able to move right next to me so it kinda didn't matter but still.
Like the title would suggest, what do you consider to be the worst movie of all time? What movie gets under your skin like no one's business?
A) Title of movie
B) Brief explanation of movie if it isn't well known
C) What made this movie SO terrible
Yeah so here's mine
You know the drill. Some movie comes on the tv while you're friends are over and you bash the living hell out of it. And then, when it comes on in the middle of the night, you snuggle up and enjoy.
George of the Jungle. The live-action one they made in the mid-nineties. Yes, it is so very nineties. But the humor's cheesy and quirky at the same time and it's fun and mindless.
So the new year is upon us and with it, another year of blockbusters that are sure to be creating a bit of anticipation.
Are there any
A) movies you've recently seen and your review of them
B) movies that are due to come out this year and why you are anticipating it
By Jeff Walsh
Nina's Heavenly Delights is a Scottish Asian story about an Indian cooking competition, but the universal themes will satisfy the most discerning film lover's palette.
Over the opening credits, we see a very young Nina and her father cooking together, and witness the passion he brings to cooking. The movie begins as Nina returns home to Glasgow upon learning of her father's death. Her childhood friend Bobbi, who dreams of performing in drag in a Bollywood movie, picks her up at the airport.
Nina Shah moved to London after some family altercation, and there is obvious tension between her and the family she left behind. The Shahs have an award-winning Indian restaurant called The New Taj, of which a young woman named Lisa now owns half after Nina's father had lost half of the business as part of a bet.
As the story moves on, we find out that every member of the Shah family has a secret involving a hidden love, and each of them keep it hidden because of family obligation.
By Jeff Walsh
"Kurt Cobain: About A Son" (now playing in select theaters) is sort of an oral autobiography played over a Pacific Northwest travelogue. While Kurt narrates his growing up, interest in music, and reaction to fame, we see scenes of the cities he talks about. It is definitely an interesting presentation, in that there is no title up front mentioning Cobain, barely any photos of him during the entire film, save for some live concerts where he's hard to make out, and only a handful of portraits at the very end. Theater-hoppers who show up to this movie late won't know what the hell's going on, with a disembodied voice talking about growing up, while visuals of a lumber yard and other assorted segments show underneath.
I'll come right out and state upfront that I am a huge Nirvana fan. I heard Nevermind when it debuted on the local college radio station, rushed out to buy it the next day, and bought the only copy the store had in stock, a month or so before it would start getting airplay. I got to see them live two nights in one week on their In Utero tour, the week before they recorded their famous Unplugged set. I even have a Kurt Cobain "action figure" on my Amazon wishlist. So, when I heard this movie was edited from more than 25 hours of audio interviews Cobain did with Michael Azerrad for his book "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana," I was more interested in when an audiobook of those interviews would be made available than in the 90-minute movie.
By Jeff Walsh
Naked Boys Singing is coming out on DVD just in time for the holidays, so if you weren't aware you still have time to adjust your gift lists. Alternatively, it makes for a good item to put on your own list if you want that extra shove to make your Mom ask you directly.
Now, I just reviewed this movie back in September, so little has changed since that time. The bulk of the review is there.
However, the DVD also includes a documentary on the making of the movie that plays almost as long as the movie itself. It was actually an interesting watch, just to see the insanity they put themselves through to make it. You learn that the movie was shot in less than four days, that some cast members didn't know they planned to film in front of a live audience, and also cast members freaking out about doing the nudity (which you'd never suspect from seeing the finished product).
By Jeff Walsh
Alan Cumming does it all well: actor, screenwriter, director, novelist, singer... hell, he even has his own fragrance. I got the chance to sit down with Cumming (that's my hand on his shoulder) when he was in town for the showing of Suffering Man's Charity at the San Francisco gay film festival back in June.
As these things often work, the interview is done in the afternoon on the day the movie is screening, so you basically interview him about a movie you haven't seen, and then once you see it, he's out of town. I was holding the interview to time it with the long-passed DVD release of "Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World," which never seems to show up in my mailbox. So, I figure, we'll just run the interview on Thanksgiving, since Alan is someone for whom the community is thankful.
In Rick & Steve, Cumming plays the elderly, HIV-positive Chuck, who adds a lot of un-PC color to the amazingly funny proceedings. Back when I reviewed that, a few of you did the math regarding his four-year relationship with his 19-year-old boyfriend, and were rightfully appalled. Hopefully LOGO goes for another season of Rick & Steve, which is just amazing work from queer cinema wunderkind Q. Allan Brocka.
Of course, like a true theater queen, I start the interview with the Cumming that I know best, the one who injected an amazing amount of fresh energy into Cabaret for its restaging on Broadway a decade ago. His Tony-winning role as the emcee ratcheted up the role's sex appeal and the good news (possibly an Oasis exclusive?) ... he might be hitting the boards again for the show's anniversary:
by Jeff Walsh
Wow, I was completely surprised by the Filipino movie "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros," which stars a 12-year-old as a very feminine gay boy (trans girl?). It is such a charming movie, although the sexuality/gender identity of Maxi is really one element of this multi-faceted story.
Maxi is pretty much running the now-motherless household that also includes his father and two older brothers. He cooks, cleans, patches up their clothing, but more like a spunky housewife than Cinderella. His sexuality is just part of who he is, although his brutish family do refer to him jokingly as female, although given his outfits, hair accessories, and demeanor, he definitely seems more like a girl than a feminine boy.
Maxi lives in a poor part of Manila, where his father sells stolen cell phones in their stand on the street as well as running betting pools and other illicit things.
See, a few days ago my mom asked me if I could help out at the book fair at my siblings' elementary school. (My school has a year-round calendar, and I'm on break right now, so I'm available.) She looked really flustered and stressed. Apparently, they need someone to dress in a giant Curious George suit on Tuesday (AKA tomorrow). Why? Beats me. Entertainment for the little munchkins, maybe?
by Jeff Walsh
In "Times Have Been Better," Jeremy is a 33-year-old, successful banker who is moving into a new loft with his boyfriend. To mark the occasion, he decides to finally tell his parents that he's gay.
Unlike most movies where the gay character and his journey would be the main focus of the movie, Times Have Been Better shows how Jeremy's revelation rattles the very foundation upon which the family relationships have been built. Once the family members get a taste of honesty, they start questioning their own lives and the relationships they maintain out of convenience.
His mother and father almost stop talking to one another. His mother befriends her bitter queen of a co-worker and rejects the friendships she's maintained for years. His father cringes at every question about his son's sexuality, and at the homophobic comments his friends make that never bothered him before. And his brother finally gets undesired attention now that the successful, older brother in whom the family had rested their hopes isn't seen as impervious anymore.
by Jeff Walsh
When Brad Pitt and Geena Davis won their top acting awards, one of the people they were sure to thank was their acting coach, Roy London. London, who died of AIDS in 1993, had been a successful Broadway actor, playwright, and character actor, but he really found his passion in life teaching other actors.
This DVD is an oral biography, told through the people who knew London best: his students, lovers, and friends. He never allowed his acting classes to be recorded, never wrote down his acting methodology, and, save for two brief interviews shown within the documentary, his legacy only lives on in the hearts and minds of his students... and now this DVD.
It is telling that when describing London, the interviewees (featuring Patrick Swayze, Geena Davis, Sherilyn Fenn, and Garry Shandling) can barely come up with similar basic information about London, such as his height or weight. It becomes clear during the film that his method was about being the teacher each student needed him to be and gladly inhabiting that role to watch them grow as people and actors.