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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Cute with the typical amateurish qualities that make gay films of this nature either charming or painful, depending upon your sensibilities. The acting is earnest but decidedly nonprofessional. The only standout is Gregory Gunter, whose character (Michael) is utterly compelling and which Gunter plays with pathos and humor but not self-pity. Gerald McCulloch as Roger is large unwatchable, though it's hard to tell whether it's because his character is such a d***head or because the actor's own ego kept popping through. (If you watch his endless interview after in the DVD highlights, you'll see what I mean.) It's tough to make a film centered around bar culture without making it seem petty, vulgar, soul-crushing, and at least occasionally self-destructive; and it's an open question whether the directors nudged a bit to highlight those aspects or whether they were simply recording cinéma vérité. With all the sweetness that comes through in the struggles of the film's couples (complete with serious and often over-the-top drama), the film's central mystery remains what Tyler (Joe Conti) could possibly see in Roger, a smarmy, shallow, ego-bloated scene queen who not once but half a dozen times snubs Tyler to his face because Tyler isn't bear enough or muscley enough (or something enough) for the superficial, middle-class-white-boys-with-gym-memberships crowd by which Roger judges himself and his actions. Or, to put it another way, you may never understand why Tyler falls for and pursues Roger (to the extent of giving himself a makeover a move that likely guarantees the doom of any relationship) and you'll certainly find yourself asking whether he has a shred of self-esteem in his body. The fact that Roger isn't what anyone could reasonably call a bear only adds to the confusion. Personally, I'd have gone for a little less Jennifer Anniston-esque comedy and paid a little more attention to the serious and genuinely dramatic (as opposed to simply flamboyant) issues that the film skates over like thin ice before turning safely back to shore: self-esteem issues among big men and the difficulty of cultivating and maintaining a positive body image in a gay "culture" ruled by gym Nazis and diet maniacs; the painful issue that's raised in the Michael-Carlos couple when Michael considers getting lap-band surgery (is he going to wind up so thin that Carlos won't be attracted to him anymore?); the double "coming out" required of non-bears who are attracted to men who are hairy and/or fat and/or older than they are and who face ridicule for their desires; and the uneasy co-existence of working-class bears and their middle- to upper-class counterparts who wear similar drag and occupy the same physical spaces in which "bear culture" is practiced but who, arguably, are essentially antagonists. _Bear City_ seems to intend to be a coup against the slavish cultural propaganda promulgated by so many "gay" indie films, but it's more of a bitch slap than the good hard sock in the jaw that's needed. Still, the film deserves credit for its beau geste and for starting a conversation within a medium that tends to pretend it doesn't understand the question.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The two main characters are a "twink" and a "silver daddy". Neither is
a bear. Almost all their FRIENDS are various types of bears, but they
aren't. And the romance isn't that good, is basically about one
character getting over his worry that his friends won't like his new
boyfriend if they get together. And of course, in the end, they don't
care at all.
The supporting characters have the best lines and situations. I wish the MAIN STORY were as interesting.
This is reminding me of "Bear Nation", which is essentially a collection of interviews of bear CHASERS.
Is there some reason that "bear" movies can't have bears at their lead characters?
I can't believe some of the reviews I read above... This is a
C-O-M-E-D-Y so of course you will have stereotypes, because they ARE
funny. I think the script is funny, the actors are fantastic, in a
simple and cute plot. Just enjoy a simple comedy, don't go looking for
the ultimate masterpiece of human drama. For those of you who complain
about this "stereotype" film, I am sorry to break it to you but this is
very much how it is: muscle bears, far bears, cubs, crazy sex, drugs,
fun, fantastic queen bears, older with younger, handsome with ugly,
sexy and sexier.
Stop the denial.
I honestly wish I could say that "Bear City" is not your typical indie gay comedyand indeed some elements of the film differentiate it from most of the other gay indie comedies that seem to sprout up like toadstools these days. But those very elements that distinguish this filmthe focus on bear culture, the bashful twink who "comes out" as a bear-lover, and the depiction of love and sex among gay men who do not resemble Abercrombie & Fitch modelsare so thoroughly transformed into standardized gay tropes that the movie is ultimately stripped of its originality and settles into a formulaic, plot-less pattern of mildly amusing vignettes with no real focus or story structure. We are ultimately left with vapid platitudes assuring us that bears don't need to conform to queer norms of beauty in order to find love and happiness. And it takes them only 90 minutes to deliver this profound and provocative message (YAWN).
This movie is a fine example of a project, made for a specific
subgroup. Considering how much fun everybody's having and how
unbelievably relaxed all the actors are, it could easily be a project
among friends. And a well-done one.
The story is simple: young Tyler finally comes out of the closet for the second time when he admits he likes bears, and starts exploring the bear scene with all its positive and negative sides. And, of course, falls in love on the way.
The movie is full of inside jokes (by not being on the bear scene, I probably missed quite a few), but that's great, considering it was made for that specific group and not so much for the general public. It's a movie for bears and bear lovers to feel better in their own skin (and for open-minded others).
My only negative remark would be about the script (the text) - it often tends to be really forced, it doesn't flow and seems unnatural. However, this doesn't go for the role of Brent. According to IMDb, the actor Stephen Guarino is a professional comedian and this is really obvious from the movie. It seems like the writers didn't write the words for him because they assumed he will be much better improvising everything on the spot anyway. He is definitely the most hilarious character in the movie.
Conclusion: a really really funny movie. Apparently #2 is coming out this year and I'm hoping it will be at least as funny as the first part.
A movie is good when a script is plausible, the directing taking risks
while making smart, wise choices, the actors loose themselves and find
an inner voice, and the music, wardrobe, location and atmosphere
comprehensively transport me from my personal reality to the reality of
the "living" movie. It is under this simplified rendition of how I
watch movies, that judge whether a movie is good.
I do not project my past onto the art of the movie makers.
I go to movies to escape from my here and now and to go on the creative journeys others provide. The only question is: Is the movie a complete trip, as described above, to sustain my journey, my escape.
So, did BearCity take me on a journey? Yes! All the necessary pieces were in place. There was humor and anger, laughter and louder laughter, and with each scene, the plot and tension pulled me in deeper and deeper. There were no serious or minor missteps that made me remember I was escaping.
At movie's end, I - like 80 percent of the audience who journeyed with me - stood and applauded. So, while my life and the lives of the character's may not be trace the same biographical story, the movie itself provided me with a journey into another life, another world where I could wholly believe in life. 9 out of 10.
It's nice to see a movie about Bears. There are not that many out there. The scene stealers were Brian Keane and Stephen Guarino. If the movie was just about them, it would've gotten a ten. They were extremely funny and very cute together. They had the best scenes. I love the shower/threesome scene; that had my husbear and I reeling with laughter. I didn't quite understand the whole attraction with Roger's character. Tyler would've been better off not having anything to do with Roger. Also, it was a little too sickly sweet with Carlos and Michael, but I still liked it. All in all, an extremely enjoyable film. I am looking forward to the sequel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is awful, the script is dreadful, the characters aren't
believable in any way apart from the couple affectionately known as
"Bert & Ernie".
The main character of Roger would not be interested in Tyler, Roger likes MEN, he's into gym bears and no way would fall for Tyler (watch the film and see why, borrow a copy, don't waste your money buying it) plus he's to much in love with himself to be in love with anyone else!
this could have been a good film, the trailer is actually better than the film but to may things let it down, how they managed to get the funding for a 2nd film is beyond me!
Not totally awful since there are a few hot guys scattered throughout the film. But a weak script with even weaker acting and very sluggish direction do not make much of a film. Yes, In know it is an indie, but let us stop making excuses for indie films. The film revolves around the Tyler character and his coming out in the bear scene. Everyone in the film is so crazy over this Tyler guy but he just is not all that. Highpoint of he film, if that is what you want to call it, is a hilariously bad scene of Tyler learning how to bowl. The marketing department promotes this film as channeling the Sex in the City series. Not even close. Another subplot has to to with a character who wants to get his stomach stapled. And yet another subplot is about a bear couple trying to decide if they want to "open up their relationship." All in all, the is movie that goes nowhere and is deadly boring along the way. My advice: go rent anything but this film
This lovely movie explores bear and gay culture marbled with both
reality and surreality, and sentimentality with catty jokes, all on a
non-political island of sexy bearish joy.
The appeal of this independent movie was evident as it circled the globe in LGBT film festivals, getting awards, and sending huge theaters full of bears into knowing smiles, giggles, and LOLs -- I heard even more jokes watching the DVD because laughter from live audiences drowned many of them out! BearCity's charm comes from Doug Langway's cobbling together of strong professional talent with very real and yummy non-professional bears.
Gay bears are a new subject for romantic comedy feature films. In many ways fictional stories can be more realistic than documentaries; BearCity was inspired by real events and people.
"The Bear Movement" is to me more a "re-emergence" against social pressure to shave, look civilized, and young -- a re-emergence driven by the just plain hotness of masculine hairy men -- that attraction just can't be kept under control for more than a few decades in a row. Judging from how similar California bears are to Brazilian bears are to Turkish bears are to English bears, it has enormous and wide-spread gay appeal and genetic talent that many ladies seem to enjoy too.
Bear appreciation is, as are most things, based on personal taste. If you see a table full of bears in a restaurant and need to ask what a bear is, you'll never understand. Weight, masculinity, body hair, whiskers, muscle, shaved heads, flattops, etc. are all part of the list of bear features each bear and chaser puts in their own order of "woofiness". Why do bears woof? Because they like to, and they also like to growl. Grouch Marx woofs wolfishly at a woman in one of his movies. Again, can't be explained. Why do bears make so many bear puns? A bear is a visual pun at its core, and human bears have a spiritual parallel to ursine bears as well.
And if you watch the trailer on YouTube with a cold heart and loins, no worries, bears just aren't your sexual taste. Most entertainment is aimed at non-fans -- this is only the first feature-length fiction about bears. If BearCity touches you in one or more places, no amount of ursine puns or situational silliness will spoil your enjoyment of it. Bears like a good laugh, drink, meal, cruise, seduction, romance, dance, drive, swim, nap, etc., and have given up trying to make non-fans comfortable with them!
The DVD's commentary, documentary, and photo gallery add to your appreciation of what went into making BearCity.
I can't wait for the sequel!
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