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Showing posts from April, 2022

With Love (Thai Series)

Another Thai BL show in the ocean of many many many series that Thailand is constantly churning out non-stop. Although its from a couple of years back, but given my backlog of things, I am very slowly trying to catch up. IT doesn't help that only a few of these handful shows are actually good. Rest others are average or below at best. This show falls under the latter category. At 15 episodes of about 22-25 minutes each, there are too many characters in this and as audience, you never get to invest in any of them. This series is about four couples who live in the same house, With Love house. Prin & Nathee : Prin is rich boy who is at loggerheads with his father, while Nathee I a country boy who has recently moved for university. Because of some situation, they end up sharing a room and before you know they become a couple. For some reason, Prin instantly likes him and flirts non stop. Thann & Kavin :Thann is Nathee's cousin and lived abroad in Korea. He reunites with his

Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me (UK)

I had never heard of Frankie Howerd, a famous radio and film comedian. Sure, true stories make for interesting movies, but despite not knowing anything about the man, I very very much enjoyed this film. I can very confidently say that the leading actors do such an incredible job of portraying the famous guy, I can only imagine. The film mostly covers the times when Howerd was in his downfall and is shown through the eyes of his partner Dennis. The time is 1950's and Frankie Howerd is a successful comedian. He is closeted gay and he meets Dennis, a bartender who for some reason is very much into Frankie. Dennis is young and extremely good looking. After a few instances Dennis eventually manages to make a place for himself in Frankie's life. As time passes, Frankie gets more and more insecure about his looks, his body and he also wears a wig. Despite a very loving boyfriend, he looks for cheap thrills outside for self assurance. Dennis first becomes his driver and then his manage

¡Corten! (Spanish) [Cut!]

I am not sure how to review this film. A self-spoof of sorts, the film never takes itself seriously even for a second. The film is about a flop director making ridiculous films, who really doesn't care about what other people think and seeing that really unfold in front of you in precisely what the film is about is just meta film making to another level. Part of me feels that the director was smart enough to know exactly what he was making and make spoof on himself but is he dumb enough to actually do that? A unsuccessful filmmaker is hell bent on making his next film, a queer giallo. Giallo is when a series of murders happen. But while he is shooting for the film, a series of terrible murders start to happen around him. And somehow all the murders can be traced back to him. It starts with a waitress who the maker offers a part in the film, then actor who is supposed to be killed in the first scene in the film, then a famous drag queen who was supposedly the star attraction of the

Sebastian (Canada)

Ever since the success of the film 'Weekend', we have seen quite a few films which touch about similar concepts of meeting possibly your partner of life in a very short period leading to intimacy and companionship and love like never before. Here thankfully the leads get to spend almost a week with each other to realize their feelings and act upon it. Here, the director of the film also happens to be the lead actor. It is a light romantic gay film, apparently expanded from a short film by the same director. Alex is a struggling artist. One day his boyfriend introduces him to his cousin Sebastian, a medical student from Argentina spending a year in Canada and now visiting their city. The way the two look at each other, you know exactly where it is headed, you just wanna wait to see how. Thier chance meeting again the next day and a crazy sexual tension between them leads them to bed and sex , despite Sebastian constantly reminding himself and Alex that Latino men don't steal

Water Boyy (Thai Series)

I really need to start watching these Thai BL dramas as and when they come, otherwise in a situation like this, where this show came 5 years back is so not to watch. Th dramas have evolved, the way their stories are told have also evolved, so watching these shows form the past are a perfect recipe for rolling your eyes, wonder what is going on and so forth. Having said that this show is not that bad as I am making it sound. One of the very few dramas in which even though there is clearly one main couple, almost every single character has been given proper character arc, storyline and their moment to shine. We are introduced to a college swimming club where Waii is the undisputed champion. He has a difficult relationship with his father, who is also the swimming coach (we later find out that he is in a gay relationship with a former student who also used to be swimming champion). A new guy app joins the team, who also ends up being Waii's roommate, and a good part of the series also

Fall, Hot Rain

This film is clearly one of those independent films made on a shoe string budget. Apparently it was made under 5000 USD, and has an interesting storyline but somehow the execution is a lot to be desired. It was probably made but some inexperienced people which shows. However the story is something that if it was well scripted, it could have made a big difference. The whole issue of gay bashing needs to be told and the point reinforced. Roger is a struggling gay artist preparing fo this upcoming one-man show at a local gallery. His friends have noticed that of-late his paintings have become quite violent and his work is full of anger and rage.  Because of experiences in his later teens, he has become obsessed with the violence rained down upon gay men and the lack of concern society has shown. This fixation gets worse when his boyfriend goes through a similar experience and is now moving away to a different place. On a specific night, one of the neighbors is throwing a party and the ex-

Grosse Freiheit (German) [Great Freedom]

A soulful and a terrific drama, this film had me hooked right from the very first scene itself and man the film did not disappoint me one bit. Set in 40s, 50s and 60s prison, this period piece is masterful piece of cinema, a very intelligent and sensitive film and a unique and great love story in its own way. The ending of t he film breaks your heart but I think there couldn't have been a better finale to the love of Hans, our leading man here. The year is 1968 and the film starts with film images of men cruising in public toilets via hidden camera. This happens at the trial of one of the men seen on several occasions, Hans Hoffmann, who is sentenced to 24 months for “deviant practices” with no possibility of probation. His silent acceptance makes us believe there is more to it and as if he is used to it. In prison, his eyes lock with an older cellmate Viktor. Turns out they have a history. Back in 1945, they were cellmates. Since Hans is marked with charges with section 175, strai


I am not sure why would anyone wanna watch this gory, extremely extremely graphic, almost silent film. In my world, people who made this and people who actually ended up enjoying this should probably get a few sessions done with a psychiatrist or something. Apparently the film itself came out as “Too Extreme for Mainstream” brand of horror. Also I am not sure why this film from Italy had a couple of dialogues in English. Film begins with morning after a night of passionate sex between two men. Our lead soon starts exploring the apartment that he is in of the other guy (let's call him Clown). He stumbles upon a brutalized man being held captivate, he is knocked unconscious, only to wake to see his future fate as his now captor finishes his heinous work on the victim he will soon replace. There is forced rape, sex with blood and all kinds of shocking exploitation or the two people in captivation. This was sadism of another level. I think the only decent performance came from the lead

Pretty Handsome

Sometimes just a stellar cast is not enough to make a good film. This film tries to be political, without really taking a side or giving out a message. There are way too many subplots which take away from the most important subject that should have been handled: the whole idea of trans people and their struggles and maybe an acceptance. A very successful married doctor is struggling with his feelings. Of late, more and more he wants to wear female undergarments and even dreams of makeup and dresses. Bt given his profession(gynecologist) and him having two kids don't make things easy. His eldest son, almost 18, is dealing with a pregnant girlfriend unknown to his parents, younger 10 year old son is seeking sexual experiences online, and his wife is frustrated for having had sex and her son's friend openly flirts with her and make advances. When a trans male visits his office for medical checkup, it surprises the doctor because  of his boldness but also because it is probably the

Country Boy 2 (Thai Mini-Series)

I was hoping that after a disastrous attempt to lure either female followers or gay guys, the makers would have learned their lesson and focus more on the blossoming love between the two lead characters. But that is not the case. In fact the whole story, as the name suggests, focuses on the country boy, which to be honest, is nothing wrong with. Its a matter of wrong marketing of the subject as a gay/BL love story. Our village boy Keptawan leaves his village to temporarily work in Chiang Mai. He learns the ropes of working in his uncle's coffee shop, which is not easy as you can imagine. He calls Nabdao after their last parting and lets him know that he is in the city, but Nabdao is very busy with his studies. As you can imagine, our country boy is clumsy and nerdy and so it takes him forever to learn the tricks of trade but he still has a happy face. ON his last day, Nabdao finally comes to visit him and show him around the city. Of course, with his pure heart, Keptawan is happy a

Pushing Dead

This film is so much more than what the summary of the film suggests. I think the summary covers only about 15% of what this film is trying to be. I am not saying that its a good thing, but I have a problem, when the makers try to promote their film as something which its not. Being promoted as a film about a man who suddenly has his medical insurance suspended and has to struggle for his HOV meds is talked about at a ,maximum 20% of the film. There is so much more happening here. Dan, has been HIV positive for over 22 years, but still finds a stigma attached to it and is very uncomfortable talking about this to anyone at all. When he deposits a $100 birthday check from his mom, it pushes him out of his low income bracket and he is subsequently pushed out of his healthcare plan. His medicines are now going to cost him thousands of dollars. We meet Dan's roommate, a girl who is his best friend and has always been supportive of him in every step of the way. We also meetDan's boss

An Eye For An Eye And A Hole For A Hole (Japanese)

I am not sure how seriously I am supposed to tae this film. Probably made as a drama, the way the narrative flew and the amount of sex scenes involved, it felt more of a sex comedy spoof on sort of gangster films. I couldn't find much online to read some background on the film and what was the intention behind it, so I am just gonna put my thoughts. Once you stop taking the film seriously and think its more a silly comedy, the film suddenly wasn't that bad given its just about an hour long. Its about two rival gangs Kato and Sawaki. Sawaki gang leader has taken over a hospital as a front for casino. He has the backing of a local politician. Together they abuse young boys and fuck them. Sawaki's ball were cut by Kato's man Kenji who is just returning from jail after 10 years. Meanwhile, Sawaki had recruited a guy named Ikeyama to kill Kato, but Ikeyama used to be Kenji's lover in jail. When Kato gets killed, Sawaki doesn't't stop here and ends up killing the

Not Me (Thai Series)

Full marks to the makers for treating the audience with some thing unique and different from the usual BL stuff based in universities etc. But is that enough to keep people hooked, I don't know. I am very sure I will be in a very small minority who is unable to understand the huge hype and praises that this show is getting online. Everyone has been reaping praises, and I have to admit there are some really good and admirable high points about the show, but overall it juystfailed to keep my interest. At the end of episode, I never had the feeling that I wanna watch the next episode immediately. In fact at 14 episodes with average 45 minutes each, its quite a commitment. Black and White are twin brothers who are really connected, but when their parents separate Black stays with mom in Thailand whereas the father takes White with him to Russia. After they grow up, White moves back to Thailand with this father who is some big shot in government and White's job is also almost guaran


We have all heard that Berlin is a city where there are no walls when it comes to gender oppression, keeping yourself from yourself, all barriers down, flat on the ground. Weirdness for some on full display, the city provides a safe space for 'outsiders'. And so it only made sense to create a documentary drama film about a young political activist embarking on a journey of self-discovery while searching for love and anarchy within Berlin's colourful queer community. Angus is an Irish 20-something political fascist guy who spends his time spray painting his tag 'HipBeat' around town. When not strolling the streets with spray cans, he rolls around in bed and on ecstasy with his girlfriend Angie. At clubs, Angus is living the punk rock life of Riley, with lollipops in his mouth and butter in his a*s. However, he feels the draw of something deeper inside him. When he chats with a local drag queen, his eyes open up. They further open up when he chats with an old friend w

The Third Country (Mandarin)

This film would have been much better had it been a nice short film. The plot was nice but it just wasn't detailed enough to warn a full fledged feature film, also given how slow the film is. Granted, the scenery and filming locations are gorgeous, but its a paper thin plot with a tragic end. Thankfully its just about an hour long. A young boy Lin Qingyu arrives to a small town in mountains. We find that he is trying to avoid facing death of his father. He soon realizes that he left his wallet in the bus. Unexpectedly, he gets hired by A Ren, the local village lad for him to teach small students in his village. A Ren is also a lonely man an every much loved in the village. Two lonely hearts soon get attracted to one another. But Teacher Li eventually ants to move out of the village taking A Ren with him and the latter categorically refuses to leave the village. When the village people find out about this, Lin Qingyu is asked to leave the village, leaving almost no choice for A Ren

La ville dont le prince est un enfant (French) [The Fire That Burns]

At a glance, you may feel that this film is yet another film of unrequited love set in a Catholic boarding school. But actually the more you pay attention to the details, you realize the film is a lot about manipulation as well and how different people at different positions can use their power to get something. A story of passionate romantic relationship between two young pupils of a Catholic boarding school in France and the jealousy of a teacher, this film could have gone so wrong in the hands of a novice director, but here everything is handled with utmost sensitivity. Everyone thinks that they are doing for the best of everyone around them, but things and reasons are sometimes much more deeper than we think and sometimes even what a movie can express. 16 year old Servais, one of the brightest students in the school, a day boarder, has an unlikely friendship (romantic relationship) with 11 year old Souplier, who stays in the school, comes from a poor family and is always messing up

Summer Kiss

A made for TV film back in 1987, this filmy have created some noise at that time, but as of today, this film has not aged well and is a huge yawn and bore. Made probably by some hand held camera with minimal money and support, the production shows in every single scene, script that it has barely been held together. Thankfully the two leads do a decent job of whatever little is expected of them. Also the fact that the film is barely under 50 minutes was a saving grace. Issac, a young 20 year old boy is heading to Cape to spend summer with his family. He has just come out to them as gaya and is not looking forward to the conversations. On the boat on his trip he sees Beauford, a guy he knows from high school and they get to talking and decide that maybe they can hang out. Issac, in his own way is attracted to Beauford even though they don't have anything in common. Suddenly when Beauford leaves Cape, Issac realizes how much he misses him and is anxiously waiting for him. When he is b

Pornographer Playback (Japanese)

This is the sequel to Mood Indigo and Pornographer shows that were earlier reviewed here. The story is a continuation, but despite that the film merits on its own and one doesn't have to watch the shows to watch this one. Having said, a lot of earlier knowledge helps in understanding the characters psyche. In the series, we see at the end that the writer Kijima leaves Kuzumi and disappears. It turns out that even though Kijima now lives with his sisters family, he has. Maintained a cordial relationship with Kijima and they occasionally meet and spend time together in a hotel room. WIth Kuzumi now having a new job, things are getting hard for them as a long distance couple. One day Kijima gets into an accident and hurts his left arm, there by meeting a mother-son duo running a tavern. He lives with them and asks the son to write the novels for him, exactly how he used to do with Kuzumi. You can see the duo getting interested in each other but Kuzumi comes in time and there is a show

Blueming (Korean Series)

This series of 11 episodes was an easy watch given the episodes were just around 13 minutes each. I feel that this must hav been conceptualized asa film but somewhere for whatever reasons the makers decided to release it as a series. I guess there is more of an audience for that. Knowing that this was from the makers of 'Where Your Eyes Linger', one of the good Korean series, I was actually looking forward to watching this one. Si Won is a film school student who feels self-conscious about his appearance, fitness, and popularity. He was a chubby child and after their father left him, he worked really hard on his appearance. He still remains insecure and sometimes lies so that he sees more impressive in group settings. When another good looking student Da Un joins the class, initially Si-Won thinks that he is snubbing him. After clearing the misunderstanding, the duo end up working on multiple class assignments together. Even though Da-Un is friendly, Si-Won remains skeptical of


I have always been fascinated with stories about dysfunctional families. Something about messed up people is always interesting and fun to watch. This film could have been so much better, it had potential but eventually the makers were so much into their head of making an arthouse circuit film that a whole lot of things in this film just didn't land properly. Having said that , its from the director of Longhorns and Rock Haven, my expectations were not too high anyway. We will talk about all this in details in a bit. Tyler returns back home to visit when he hears the news of his brother having been diagnosed with cancer. It soon becomes obvious that Tyler has estranged relations with his mother and they do not see eye to eye, most likely because of Tyler being gay. There is always tension in the air. There he meets Noah, a god fearing, church going young man who helps his family in the ranch and son enough they find getting attracted to one another. But Tyler is dealing with his de

Even After (Filipino Series)

This series was such a snooze fest and over the top random drama that we as audience didn't need. Made during Covid-19 pandemic times when everyone  was using the remote format to tell stories (clearly inspired by Gameboys or Hello Stranger), this show has absolutely nothing going fo sit: a simple/basic story, bad actors and acting (ever the top), silly screenplay and to top it all extremely bad direction. All I did in this 10 episodic series was continuously roll my eyes in disbelief. Thankfully all episodes were 12-14 minutes duration except that last one which was almost 25 minutes long. Zag, who lives with his aunt is a blogger and feels lonely. He randomly picks a guy Sergio from dating apps and starts messaging him on Facebook. Turns out that Sergio is himself a loner whose parents are going through separation. So he doesn't mind Zag's distraction. Meanwhile Zag is so desperate to have a boyfriend, he shamelessly flirts with him and eventually Sergio warms up to him.

Sort Of: Season 1 (Canadian Series)

One thing that is clear these days at least in first world countries, is that everyone deserves to live a life true to their authentic self, be it gender, sexuality, non binary or whatever. But doing that is not enough. This 8 part show shows us that even if you may accept who you are, its the support, love and care of your near and dear ones that you crave the most. Sabi, the gender fluid protagonist of the show is first generation Pakistan immigration in Canada. Sabi uses they/them as pronoun, has long choppy curls and bangs and has a penchant for shiny clothes. Sabi works as a bartender and also as a nanny to half Asian kids, whose mother was the first person who actually saw through Sabi and who they really is. The husband Paul just decided to let Sabi go. Timing seems fine since Sab's best friend 7ven is moving to Berlin, so Sabi could move to. But when the mother of the kids Bessy gets into an accident leading to coma, Paul asks Sabi to stay on. Sabi is great with kids but th

Orpheus' Song (German)

The film is just unreal. A story where things just happen, there is no build up or no explanations. You think maybe some mystery or something interesting would happen, but nothing really ever happens, except for the sudden kiss/sex scene that also come out of nowhere at all. Its as a whole lot of things mixed into one film, where you just constantly keep questioning what was the whole point of the previous scene and then just like that, the film ends. Philipp and Enis are best friends who workout together. Philipp is obsessed with pitting on more muscle (and yes this has no relevance to story but somehow for 15-20 minutes we are forced to understand this fact). Somehow Philipp wins a free trip t Greece , so of course he takes his best friend with him. They spend their time exploring, partying and hiking. They visit an abandoned island where they meet a mystery man who gives them shelter at night but steals their money. Next morning the two guys take the pomegranate that was kept in the

Lockdown (Tagalog)

Lockdown is a relevant, brave, timely Filipino film that keenly tackles the journey of a young man that will do everything to survive in times of pandemic. Over the course of these trying times, he is pushed to his limits to continue to be the sole provider for his family. It is definitely not a feel good movie. In fact, it's a bleak portrait of a helpless man in an atmosphere of cruel oppression with people abusing their power positions. Danny has just returned from Dubai after losing his job because of pandemic. Instead of spending 14 days in quarantine facility, he runs away to his coastal community where he first spends the night with his girlfriend and then goes home to the shack of his own family. His father is very sick and his medical bills are piling up. Pandemic has reduced everyone's income. Despite numerous tries, when he fails to get a legit job, he reaches out to a an ex gay benefactor whom Danny used to sleep with occasionally for money. Through him, he in produc

The Pink Angels

I am really not sure who was the target audience for this film when it came out. I can see that both gay community and biker gangs taking offense to the horrible stereotyping. Of course, because I am mad enough to put my head through some really bad queer films, I can never explain to myself why do I sit through the endless takes and torturous plot of ridiculous films like this one. A gang of bikers who call themselves Pink Angels riding their motorcycles from northern California to Los Angeles to participate in the Cotillion Ball, which we are told is a big drag event. Along the way we see multiple encounters of them with police hassling them, their fights at a diner, and some other gangs. They meet another bike gang and both of them want to use same picnic spot. I am not sure what really happens, but suddenly some women show up and then the other bike gang members are happy. Th pink Angels put makeup on the straight bikers while they are asleep after party. And in this all, we eep se

Like Love 2 (Mandarin) [Nobody Knows But Me]

The second film in this series, it again took a long time to finish watching it. I am really not sure why this movie or mini series had to be almost 3.5 hours long. The message or the struggles that. They were trying to show could easily have been squeezed into shorter segments with much more impact. So sadly, this one negative from the prequel still exists in this second feature. The story is a logical progression from where the prequel ended at the two boys coming together. This time it's really all about dealing with being a couple and families who are vehemently opposed. The story here now moves from what happens after An Ziyan and Maiding are a couple. The duo go on a holiday where they meet another couple who pretty much share the sam dynamic as them. One of them is more serious whereas the other is more playful. Almost 40 minutes are spent in establishing their friendship and then its nowhere mentioned again. When they are back home, Ziyan's parents forcible take him bac