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Middle aged revelation
I don't care very much about reviews that seem to be a display of the writer's feeling of self importance. Brotherly is a SHORT. Negative expectations are too harsh. Many facets of life are depicted in this stark black and white film. 1950's style parental abuse, an older brother portrayed as a heroic figure yet leaves his younger brother without any preparation. A recorded interview takes place in some institutional setting. Everything else is purely speculative, as was meant to be. I was very touched by the interviewee's first admission of sexual intimacy. The brothers are very attractive. Their interaction makes the film worthy of one's time.
Go see/rent Stuber's Teenage Angst instead.
I love teenage boy's Boarding School/Coming of Age films. I guess this came about because of early exposure to the brilliant performances of Parker Stevenson and John Heyl in the 1972 version of John Knowles' novel, "A Separate Peace" directed by Larry Peerce. This is the gold standard of the boarding school-coming of age genre. Through the years there have been many excellent examples of the genre: 1991's Toy Soldiers, 1992's School Ties, Scent of a Woman, Dead Poet's Society, all the way back to 1939's Goodbye Mr. Chips. Unfortunately, the marketing of Dartworth (as typified by the IMDb's plot summary by Melissa Veerhuis)makes the film sound considerably more intriguing and substantive than it turns out to be.
While the cast is attractive, the chemistry between the principle actors is very lacking. One might chalk this up to the milder reputation of Australian film, if it wasn't for the fact that Fred Schepisi directed the powerhouse 1976 Australian film, The Devil's Playground.
Dartworth is neither shocking, powerful or homoerotic which are essential elements in this film's genre. If you are interested in a contemporary boarding school/coming of age film, I strongly urge you rent or purchase the 2008 drama, Teenage Angst, directed by Thomas Stuber. You will have to deal with subtitles, but it is well worth your attention, whereas Dartworth is only a slight appetizer.
2: Voodoo Academy (2012)
Decoteau insults fans of the original Voodoo Academy
I am incensed over the monstrosity David Decoteau has labeled "2:Voodoo Academy". I'll admit he is a marketing whiz, (placing a number at the beginning of the title makes it quicker to be seen in an alphabetized listing). As far as his DIY (Do It Yourself) film work is concerned, he has a keen visual eye. His scripts and special effects, however, have become progressively worse with the more profit he has made from deals with VOD distributors, RedBox, etc. Decoteau has gotten lazy with his dual citizenship and money and needs to leave the film work to a new generation of hungry film makers. If Decoteau invested a tenth of the finances or talent he has been given, he could have become a monumental artist in the line of Victor Salva whose original creature in "Jeepers Creepers I & II" has yet to be surpassed. The viewer should be directed towards Steven Vasquez (Vampire Boys), or Jason Davitt (Vampires: Brighter in Darkness). Even Andrew Christian, shows more planning and eroticism in his underwear commercial than most of Decoteau's work of the last decade. The Original "Voodoo Academy" was a fresh and original film which greatly aided Decoteau's rise as a gay horror film director."2:Voodoo Academy" is a disgrace, compared to the original. Anyone who became a fan of Decoteau's because of "Voodoo Academy" or the first three films in his "Brotherhood" series will be sadly disappointed to see how poor his work has become. Seek out gay friendly directors who don't tease their viewers or cheat the paying audiences with substandard work. It is amazing how much work he has received in the last five years considering the hostility he has engendered by his target audience. One only feels sorry for the novice Decoteau viewer who hasn't seen any reviews of his work and finds themselves attracted to a particular cover art or deceptive sales pitch. Many potential fans can not afford to indulge Decoteau any more, unless, by some miracle, he decides he would like to end his legacy with material more substantial than he is currently grinding out.
Jamie's Secret (1992)
Well done short drama about parental abuse.
This excellent short should be part of every school psychologist/ counselor's tool set of help materials. It addresses the problem of male child sexual abuse. Often one hears about girls being abused by family members. Rarely is sexual abuse on a boy portrayed in the media. (Recent Catholic Abuse cases not withstanding) NOT ONE word of this film rings false. Nicolas Read provides a superior performance. Paul Rudd is excellent as one who had similar experience and tries to be a friend. Every young person should see this film.
Promenons-nous dans les bois (2000)
Has all the elements of a sexy, suspenseful film for the sophisticated viewer.
I can't believe all the low ratings for the French film Deep in the Woods. There are incredible young actors, notably Clément Sibony, and an especially hot Vincent Lecoeur. There is explicit lesbianism. It includes a very tense, satisfying Old man/young hunk(Lecoeur) bedroom scene. There is pot smoking and a rather unusual party scene. While the nudity is minimum, this is a French retelling of a familiar childhood tale.
The film may seem overall simplistic but a deeper viewing will show it operates on several levels. I enjoyed listening to the french dialog while using the english subtitles. The film commentary was fair. The musical score is good. The budget on the film was small. This is incredible when there are many comments that the film is more style, than substance. (Perhaps I'd give more credence to Decoteau's constant poor mouthing if he created stylistic touches similar to Lionel Delplanque.)
The film is not fast paced. It can be considered slow, with a pace similar to The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I think it's a masterpiece... but perhaps I was just mesmerized by Lecoeur!
An American Vampire Story (1997)
Pure smelly cheese
Rarely have I ever had such a hard time watching a film. There could have been so much potential to make a truly enjoyable, cheap, campy vampire flick along the lines of David Decoteau. (see Voodoo Academy or The Brotherhood I & II) However, when our main star, Frankie (Trevor Lissauer) appears in bed with both shorts and briefs underneath - forget about it.
The male supporting cast was a pain to look at, especially Frankie's sidekick Bogie (Danny Hitt). The women were fine -when seen. Don't expect any real sexiness. It should be noted that the director, Luis Esteban's last credit was as a transportation office coordinator. It is amazing, however, that he was able to assemble a cast that included Carmen Electra, Adam West, and Sydney Lassick as Bruno. This film is a true example of marketing over substance. Insist on a credit should you rent it as a Blockbuster "favorite".
Sticks and Stones (1970)
A Campy Boy's in the Band or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Seeing IS believing!
Sticks and Stones distributed by Something Weird Video, is a real product of it's time: 1970. Unless you were older than 12 during the 70's, the fashion will be surreal.
The movie centers on the relationship of Peter and Buddy who are throwing a party on Fire Island during the 4th. of July. There are several recognizable stereotypical characters most viewers will recognize.
It is difficult to determine if the distributor is ridiculing or trying to make a point regarding gay life in the 70's. There are ads for some of the other 'odd' films they sell. For the contemporary viewer, Sticks and Stones should be viewed as a supreme example of high camp. Get into a mellow mood and enjoy this interesting snapshot of a time before AIDS.