Saturday, December 31, 2011

Man From Earth




I hesitated to show the preview for this film--one of my faves from the last
ten years, and probably ever--specifically because it gives so much away
of the nuance and mystery of the story. But the trailer showcases the
incredible talent of the ensemble cast--one of the best I've ever seen
assembled!

This was the final work of Jerome Bixby, and it's a phenomenally
engaging piece that explores so many different sociological aspects and
theories in a captivating fashion. It's akin to a closed-room murder
mystery in that it's nearly a done-in-one production, and the riveting
nature of the plot does make the tension keeping everyone in the
room palpable and exciting.

Expertly written, acted, filmed, and edited, this is truly an example
of the best of what the industry can offer.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Parting Glances



One of the earliest and better 'positive gay films' as well as
one of the earliest and best screen representations of HIV/AIDS.

"Parting Glances" is the simple love story of 2 gay men in 1980s
New york City; their struggles, their friends, and the community
they live in. It's also, primarily, the story of friendship and
becoming mature in the face of loss and tragedy.
 It's a beautiful, moving story that
has warmth and vulnerability; sadly the only film made by
Bill Sherwood before his death from AIDS. A great
and lasting memory, to be sure.

This film has a tremendous cast, whose easy fit with the
naturalistic dialogue works well. Of special note are
Richard Ganoung (later of "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss",)
John Bolger (super sexy "One Life To Live" and film/TV star,)
Kathy Kinny (Mimi of "The Drew Carey Show",)
and a young Steve Buscemi (his first major film role!)


A wonderfully human film full of pathos and
real friendship. It plays like a fantasy, or a love story.
I guess the difference is whether you're jaded or not.




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Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Love To Hide


I'm a huge WWII movie buff, and this is one of the better ones.
Many think it too depressing to finish, but I thought the despair
and tragedy was a perfect representation of the reality of the
time. Also, the raw hatred and fear of gay people is only
moments away from escalating to this at any time in the present.

A beautifully written, acted, and filmed movie, it is a grand love story,
and a story about the perils of life. It's a stirring and riveting story.

The ending; a showing of the one place on the planet that gives
honor and remembrance to the gay and lesbian victims and heroes
of the Holocaust, was worth the watch alone.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prelude To A Kiss (1992)



From early in Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan's film careers is the cinematic
gem (from playwright and screenwriter Craig Lucas) "Prelude to a Kiss".

An exploration of the limits of human sexuality and male homophobia,
the film is a fresh take on an old conundrum. The supernatural element
involved is actually not that outlandish thanks to superb performances
from all involved.

It's a sweet and moving story highlighted by glimpses of frailty and
awkwardness. A great blast from the past, highly recommended for
fans of either actor, romantic interest, or taboo love!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

"Clue (1985)"



Lots of campy, cheesy, witty, punny stuff from the 1980s
with this comedian-laden gem, "Clue" (one of the few--
or perhaps only--good movie versions of a board game!)

Incredible performances from Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan,
Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd and
more make this one well worth the effort!

Fast-paced and extremely well written (and performed,)
'Clue' is a great night of laughs!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Community - Season 3 - Promo/Sneak Peek #1



So, this season of 'Community' is even more outrageous, more trippy,
more deliciously inappropriate and Un-P.C. than Evah!

If you haven't been watching, it's best to start at the beginning, or at
least Season 2 to get an idea of the characters. You definitely need
some background for all the insanity to deliver as well as it does.

But if you love caustic, weird, biting, cynical humor, this show is IT!
Not for the easily offended....this is live-action South Park, baby!
Feel the burn!

(Thursdays at 8 on NBC, or any time on www.hulu.com)

For a brief intro to the ludicrous (the already infamous "Pocketful
of Hawthornes" piece,) click below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi3NLojzWxE&feature=related



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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BAGDAD CAFE




A great 1987 character piece with strangeness and wonder, starring
CCH Pounder, Jack Palance, and Marianne Sagebrecht.

Features an incredible soundtrack, perhaps most famously known for
the haunting Jevetta Steele's "Calling You."

An oddball comedy-drama with great performances and a strong
story of friendship, hope, new beginnings, and inspiration.

We can't ever have too many of those, can we?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095801/


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Black Book (Zwartboek)



This 2006 Dutch film (Netherlands) was directed by Paul Verhoeven
(Basic Instinct) and tells the story of an Jewish woman who has survived
countless German attacks going undercover to exact revenge.
Full of spirit and courage and tenacity, it is a tremendous underdog tale.
Puts  Valkyrie and others to shame.

I included a non-English trailer because the US trailer was frankly boring
and didn't encapsulate the explosiveness of this film. "Black Book" is
filled with sex, violence, depravity, language, music, and all the things
that movies were made to show. It's raw and real and frightening and
inspirational. (It is of course available with English subtitles, however the
performances are so powerful that translation is almost moot.)

The leads by Carice van Houten and Sebastian Koch have smoking
hot chemistry and gave me extremely conflicting emotions. More
twists and turns than an episode of Law & Order make this a must-see film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0389557/


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All Over the Guy



Quite possibly my favorite relationship movie of all time!

No matter who you're attracted to, you'll find yourself
or someone you know in this hilarious and moving
romantic comedy starring Richard Ruccolo, Dan Bucatinsky,
Sasha Alexander, and Adam Goldberg.

Biting and witty dialogue, fast-paced scenes, believable
characters all make for a treasure. There is not a single
moment of wasted space or speech in this film. Julie
Davis does a phenomenal job directing, and there are a
host of incredible cast scene-steals from Andrea Martin,
Doris Roberts, Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow.



The best part of this movie, besides being genuinely funny
and uniquely honest, is that there is no sugar coating the
relationships in this flick. Everybody is unavoidably,
absolutely messed up beyond compare. Sometimes
tragically so, sometimes endearingly so, but it's real.
Watch it alone with a bucket of ice cream, watch it
with a new date, watch it with friends, or watch it with
a spouse. If you've ever had a broken heart or a bad
experience dating, you'll laugh your ass off!




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Saturday, August 6, 2011

RENT, the movie


("Seasons Of Love" from the opening credits)

RENT can be described any number of ways, but for me it
is the timeless tale of disaffected artists struggling against
the world at large. It is the story that any underdog can find
a voice in.

Based on the wildly successful Broadway musical of the
same name (returning soon!), RENT looks in on the lives
of a band of mostly homeless artists during  the Christmas
season.

The cast features a variety of people from stage,
screen, and both fields; Tracie Thoms and Idina Menzel in
particular are phenomenal as Joanne and Maureen, but
the entire cast explodes with talent. (Another fave is
Rosario Dawson, and I was oh-so pleasantly surprised
to discover that Jesse L. Martin had a singing voice!)

Great musical,  great story, great acting. Hopeful and
inspiring while looking at a bleak subject matter which
will probably become more of a reality for many of us
as the months wear on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_(musical)


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Once




'Once' is the simple and spell-binding story of how fragile and
exhilarating new friendship, romance, and creativity is.

This is the story of A Guy, A Girl, their lives, and their music.
It's deceptively simple, yet rich and complex. There's a depth
of pain and need in the characters...a hopefulness that seems
to thrive in spite of circumstance. These are real people, not
one-dimensional movie characters.

This could have been just another "Will they or won't they?"
Moonlighting entanglement, but it blossoms into so much more.

The music laced throughout the film (by real life musicians
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) is genuine and absolutely
riveting. There is soulfulness and truth in these Irish original
songs that will haunt and move you.

The tale is not a traditional Hollywood romantic fare, but
it is an honest and compelling examination of love and  life,
and the unpredictable nature of both.

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/once/ for the mini-site

and

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0907657/ for imdb info

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Trip


 
Miles Swain's 2002 epic about a friendship
and love affair between two men over the course of several
turbulent years and life changes is a captivating story.

"The Trip" blends comedy, drama, romance, and politics effortlessly
and keeps audiences wrapped up in the realistic view
of real love; messy, imperfect, sad, and ultimately rewarding.
It's a bittersweet love story with great dialogue and
standout performances from leads Larry Sullivan and Steve Braun.

The cast is rounded out by several quirky and fun
performances including Jill St. John, Ray Baker, Sirena
Irwin, and Alexis Arquette. A truly great ensemble
that pulls off a difficult and poignant film.

If you like 'period pieces' (1970s and 1980s,)
unrequited love, realistic romances, bold humor,
and great stories, do yourself a favor and check out
"The Trip."

I sort of imagine fans of "The Notebook" would
love this, even though "The Trip" is far superior, IMHO.
It has all those elements of missed opportunities and
dashed hopes..the makings of real life love.


(If ordering it, be sure it's the 2002 film; there are
several with this name.)