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Showing posts from January, 2008

Pusong Mamon (Filipino) [Soft Hearts]

A refreshingly funny and heartwarming story about a gay couple and how their life changes after one incident forms the crux of the story. Its not entirely comical but the situations have been handled in alight way so thaw the viewer doesn't feel too pressured. One night at a party Annie gets Ron high on drinks and makes out with him. Next day Ron asks her to forget that anything ever happened. But soon Annie becomes pregnant and asks Ron to marry him. He says he cannot since ha has a partner Nick. She doesn't believe even after Ron introduces Nick to Annie. Few days later she unabashedly walks in their house saying that she cannot take charge of baby alone and Ron needs to support (all this while she thinks she can have Ron). Both don't like the idea but they have to give in. Here starts all kinds of funny situations in the family with both Nick and Annie trying to get Ron's attention. How Nick's insecurities come in his way. Annie and Nick who initially don't g

Hate Crime

Wonderful was the word that came out of my mouth when I was thirty minutes into the movie. It did not turn as marvelous as I expected when it started but nonetheless it was still a very gripping movie on a very burning topic relevant for all of us. Robbie and Trey are a couple living together and are planning their commitment ceremony. Chris Boyd, a pastor's son movies into their neighborhood. He preaches against homosexuality and despises the couple to the extent of even threatening them of God's punishment. Chris Boyd is son of a very popular pastor. Trey's mother really loves the couple and is close to them. One night when Trey is walking their dog, he is attacked by someone and is hospitalized. The case starts by Detective Fisher trying to figure out what's going on. Robbie tells her that he suspects Chris Boyd might be involved in this but after initial investigations they are told that the whole night Chris was with his parents. Struggling with life, Trey finally

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

I still cannot stop laughing just thinking about this movie. A couple of my friends had wanted me to see this movie for a while and am I glad or what that I saw this with my close friends. It was so funny in all different aspects that no gay can ever not like this movie. Vida and Noxeema are winners of drag queen beauty contest and have to travel to LA for the nationwide drag queen contest. They take with them the wanna-be drag Latin princess Chi-Chi. The riot starts right here. After a few days into their journey , they end up in a small town in middle of nowhere. The film from thereon just focuses on how these 3 queens end up changing things in the small town with their wits, positive energy, color and humor and make everyone's life beautiful. I know story wise it doesn't seem to much exciting but you have to see the movie to believe it. Its hilarious. The 3 actors have acted so wonderful. My favorite was Noxeema. Dialogues like "Did you just take a U-ie", "Lit

Saturday Night at the Baths

As interesting as the title sounds, how I wished the movie was half as interesting. It had a weak plot, strictly okay performances and uninteresting going on. Set in 70s the movie starts with a musician Michael who has just moved to NY with his girlfriend Tracy from Montana. After seeing various ads in he newspaper and after his initial inhibitions he decided to interview in a bathhouse for playing piano. He gets the job but makes very clear to his manager Scotti that he is straight and he is fine with it. Michael is shown overwhelmed with the whole bath house environment. He comes back home and tells Tracy how Scotti tried to hit on him. Tracy did not find anything odd. In fact they both later in the day go to party where Scotti had invited them. She likes him and they hit off instantly. The friendship of all 3 starts growing but Michael is somewhere just uncomfortable with the whole thing. Maybe because he is closeted. Who knows!! Anyways, finally its time for Michael's first per

Go West (Bosnia Herzegovina - Serbo Croatian)

This is a powerful story about both love and hate reaching across ethnic and religious boundaries. This portrayal of the oppression and discrimination that existed in Bosnia-Herz. And thats what this movie tells us about, the love that Milan and Kenan have for each other. Kenan, a Muslim and Milan an Serb are same sex couple. Because of all the war and everything, both their public and intimate life is in danger. Kenan is an artist who plays violin. They decide to move to Milan's village but Kenan's life would be in danger because he is a Muslim. In order to pass through the Christian Serb area, Kenan poses as a girl and Milan's wife. The trick works but they have to continue with the trick till they reach the village because its the same story in the village for a Muslim guy plus the fact that they are a same sex couple. Once in the village, Milan's father Ljubo tries to gather papers etc for them to flee to Netherlands. Soon Ranka, a woman who works for Ljubo discover

Huhwihaji anha (Korean) [No Regret]

One of the very good films I have seen in recent times. I had no idea Korean cinema could be this good and effective yet soulful. The way the situation, history and interactions between the two individuals is shown is brilliant. It seems so natural and human unlike most other films where human emotions seem more superficial. Su-min is orphan and gay. He wants to make lots of money and go to college. He lives with his friend who works with him. Su-min works in a factory during the day and works as a call in driver during evenings. One such evening he is called by Jae-min to be dropped off to his building. Jae-min invites Su-min to come inside his apartment but Su-min refuses and asks him to not call for him again. Meanwhile lay offs start in the factory and Su-min also gets laid off. He realizes that Jae-min is the owner of the factory and he might have been responsible for this. But Jae-min tries and gets him back but Su-min refuses. Desperate for money and with no job, Su-min start

In The Gloaming

Finally a good heart warming film after a series of inconsequential films. This film was so beautiful yet simple, so effective yet not melodramatic, slow yet surreal that you feel for the characters. The film mostly revolves around Danny and his mother but thats not it. The movie starts with Danny coming back after few years in the beautiful locales of New England. Its not very clear why is he back home to the viewer but everyone in the home seems to know. We find out soon. He has AIDS and wants to spend his last few months with his folks. His dad, mother and sister live independent lives until Danny comes in. Hence starts the process of mother trying to know everything about his son and him trying to know about his mother. The film primarily focuses on this aspect but it is so heart wrenching. This is pretty much what the story is about. But just the whole screenplay if this beautiful short story is marvelous. There are few scenes I would like to mention. The scene where the nurse tri

Pianese Nunzio (Italian) [Sacred Silence]

It is not even worth reviewing this film simply for the fact that 10 minutes into the movie and I Was so bored that I ended up fast forwarding the movie and finished it in about 30 minutes. I am just going to put up the brief story of the movie and the whole idea is for me to remember that I did the mistake of seeing the film. In Naples a priest begins a campaign against the Camorra. He's particularly vulnerable in that he has a "relationship" with 13-year-old Nunzio an alter boy, semi orphan and talented singer. The priest in this film is both a hero in his fight against the Camorro and a villain in his abuse or molestation of Nunzio. Lest the priest be too sympathetic a character there is Gigi an older boy who apparently was the priest's last protégé who appears at the beginning of the film and complains that the priest doesn't seem to have time for him anymore. `Things change' he's told. The audience is left to judge for themselves as the priest seems t

When Love Comes (New Zealand)

This story is told to us by 2 girls Fig and Sally, members of a wanna be band , a drummer and a singer and they are a couple. Based in New Zealand, this is a movie driven by characters rather than story. The story is about this zombie guy Mark, who writes songs and hangs out with Fig and Sally. Stephen a modest guy in his 30s i looking for love and meaning in life and sees that in Mark but he doesn't reciprocate except in form of hanging out or occasional sex. Mark believes that he just cannot love anyone and does not believe that Stephen loves him. Fig and sally sing Mark's songs in between having casual sex with just about anyone. Steven's best friend is Katie, who was once a very popular singer. She has accepted a big TV project but has no inspiration to sing and hence returns back to New Zealand from US. Viewer is ridden through the emotional turmoil that Katie is going through because of her age and her drowning career and the guy Eddie that she is seeing. After twists

Whole New Thing (Canada)

This one is one of those coming of age movies. May be its not entirely gay coming of age ( I was not clear on that) but maybe bisexual. Some people might be put off by the whole idea of a story where a 13 year old boy tries to hit on his 40 year old teacher but believe me, the subject has been handled with maturity and sensitivity. Emerson is a 13 year old boy who has always studies at home ( a beautiful home in some suburbs of snow filled Canada). His mom Kaya feels that its time he goes to school, even though his dad Rog feels otherwise. It is his dad's creative instincts that Emerson like to write and is in fact pretty good at it.Kaya and Rog are in a stale marriage: each has needs the other can't appreciate. Emerson enjoys his isolation and is not eager to move into the 'mainstream' by attending school. Kaya visits the middle school and meets teacher Don Grant (Daniel MacIvor) whom she invites to her home to meet and impress Emerson. Don is a bright, lovable teacher

20 centímetros (Spanish / French)

First time I heard about this movie was from a friend, so my expectations were high. This movie turned out to be good but not great shakes by any means. I have definitely seen better movies. Plus I guess this is not what my cup of tea is. Marieta is a transvestite who is beautiful, dresses as a woman, has breast implants, is on painful steroid injections, but still retains the 20 centimeter penis that prevents her from becoming the totally feminine woman she desires. She works as a hooker on street but she has a heart of gold. She suffers from narcolepsy because of which she ends up sleeping just about anywhere. It is during these times that she dreams of these elaborate musicals where she is the start colorfully dressed singing and dancing with hundreds of other people. She is trying to save all the money that she can for her surgery to get her 20 centimeter removed. She shares an apartment with a dwarf Tomás, cares a lot for her friend and neighbor Berta and her son. Marieta yearns f

Love Life

Another one of those movies, which have a good script but then probably they are not the best to adapt in a full length feature film. I would say that the subject would have been good for a short feature or even a play but here was nothing much to show in terms of a full length film. Though I would repeat that premise and story had potential in it. Joe, a former professional baseball player is married to Mary for convenience. Both are in denial of their sexuality plus both need this marriage. Joe for professional reasons and Mary, so that she does not have to bear the brunt of her mother. The home they live is shown very weird with everything covered with plastic. I still don't understand what was the whole idea behind it. Anyways, Mary's best friend Aura is visiting them who happens to be a lesbian and in college days Mary and Aura had a thing for each other. Meanwhile Joe gets involved in extra marital affair with Thomas, a guy whom he called for estimation of his backyard wo

My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

I had no idea what this was about before I started to watch it. It was funny in bits and pieces and as an overall impact, the film was strictly ok. It felt a more like an amateurish comedy where the characters tried hard to make you laugh. It sometimes fell flat specially when Jake keeps tripping all over the place in the entire movie. More on that later. Liberty shows up with her date Jake for her best friend's Cory sudden planned wedding. Incidentally the groom Cliff ( an actor by profession) is gay (we find out later) whose partner Wes has been forced to be the best man. Cliff is getting married because of professional reasons. Because of some misunderstanding, everyone thinks that Jake is gay and likes Wes whereas the truth is hidden by all. Here starts the comic moments in the film whereas one confusion leads to another and how to save Cliff and Wes being exposed, Jake helps them out because he himself needs to get out of the place for his interview but he cannot let Liberty k

Shock to the System

This movie is second in series of those mystery gay movies featuring the private investigator Donald Strachey and his partner Tim. Like I mentioned in the review of their first film that this movie portrays gay characters in such different form as compared to other movies, that it is heartwarming to see these films. The film starts with a guy called Paul asking for Donald's help in finding someone but the very next day he is found dead fearing that he committed suicide. Strachey feels tat he owes to Paul and he will find out out the real cause behind this. He finds from Paul' mother that he was the poster boy of Dr. Trevor who run an institute to turn gay people straight. Strachey smartly becomes a patient at the doctor's institute to find out what goes inside the institute. He is helped by few fellow men with respect to a certain cd where Paul has been planing to expose Dr Trevor. Ultimately after a series of murders, suspense and twists, the truth is revealed. Al this tim

Forgive and Forget (UK)

An interesting movie from the ENglish side of the world, I believe this movie was made for TV. A decent movie with some decent performances but same cannot be said about the regressive storyline and the way it was handled, is sure a watch. David and Theo have been best mates since 14 years and they like to hang out together most of the time. Things change when Theo falls in love with Hannah, a photographer. You can see David starting to feel jealous. Theo has no idea about David 's feelings but its hard for David to see Theo with Hannah. He tries his best to get their relationship strained which leads to one day Hannah walking out of Theo. Meanwhile in short references we are shown how David's family is homophobic and how they absolutely dislike gays. So when Theo is heartbroken after Hannah leaves him and asks David,"How can one tell the other person that you truly love them", David starts thinking. He invites Theo for this TV show called Forgive and forget which is