Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
Truly a work of genius, this short film is a dead-on spoof of those boring 1950's health films you watched in high school. As the opening card states, however, this was no typical film - it was banned for its content, but now, "restored" years later, it gives you a glimpse into the forward-thinking and ahead-of-his-time Doctor Sigmund Winston's research into the subject of male masturbation. With the help of his sidekick, Billy, and a cast of self-loving teens, you, too, can learn more about fun, new ways to play jackin' the beanstalk, beating the bishop, and pounding the pud! Truly, a hilarious addition to the short film festival circuit, and winner of numerous awards for its creator, J.T. Tepnapa.
Take a mindless, murderous psycho, throw in copious amounts of
beautiful men, put them all in the West Hollywood Halloween festival,
and you've got "Hellbent" - truly a superb gay slasher flick! It was
great watching a formula slasher flick where the homoerotic subtext was
elevated to supertext, and seeing scantily-clad hunky men running for
their life instead of buxom babes in bras.
The story starts out - as all slasher flicks do! - with a couple having sex in a car the night before Halloween, who then get killed by a mysterious, beefy psycho (because we all know that sex kills in slasher flicks). Enter our hero, Eddie, with a heart of gold and a weakness for rough trade, and his friends Joey, Chaz and Tobey, who are planning their night out at the West Hollywood Halloween festival.
Parking at the very spot where the two guys were killed the night before, they encounter the psycho on their way to the festival, and unwittingly make themselves his obsessive targets. We follow them (while the killer follows them as well) as Joey searches for his jock crush, Tobey explains to everyone he doesn't usually dress in drag, Chaz parties very hard, and Eddie tries to connect with Jake, the bad boy he wants to get to know better. Of course one by one the killer gets them, in various creative and bloody ways, but you have to stay right to the end to find out who survives - and who gets the boy! Don't go in expecting a backstory on the killer, or why he's out stalking gay men, or too much depth overall - it is, after all, just a quintessential, formulaic slasher flick, just with a queer twist. It's also fun (without being campy), the acting is good, the boys are hot, and it's a suspenseful and thrilling film that takes itself seriously as a real slasher film. See it when it comes to your town!
"Drag Queen Heist" is another great short film from Sky Angel Studios, the same folks that brought you the classically funny "Masturbation: Putting The Fun Back Into Self-Loving," another hilarious film. Here we have Bobby and Jared, in love but hopelessly broke, and longing for a new life on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta. But Jared has the answer they've been looking for - knock over a bank! And what better disguises than doing it in drag? Bobby is reluctant at first, but realizes it's a sure-fire way to make their dreams come true. Plans go slightly awry, however, when Bobby, having more fashion sense, knows you can't rob a bank without the right nail color, but a stop on the way to the heist winds up putting the two in an entirely different situation entirely! Fun, campy, with solid production values, this one is sure to be another classic in the film festival circuit. A definite must-see for anyone with a good sense of gay humor!
Just rented the DVD with friends and found it to be a thoughtful,
insightful, delightful, and touching film.
Sometimes trite or cliche, perhaps, but Ryan (R. T. Lee) could very well be the current "gay everyman" - happy, but not happy; settled, but unsettled; content, but incontent. (OK, the whole "death is romantic" sub-theme was just a little creepy, but its' purpose was to help you realize that it really *was* hard for Joel to understand Ryan, and that possibly only Leo could; I still would have gone with something a little less "visceral," to use the movie's favorite - and overused - adjective.) And the "what if" scenario of three different possibilities was a great way to flesh out what we all wish we could do - see the reaction to our actions and figure out if it's what we really want or not.
Some wonderful acting in this film - Lee is certainly comfortable in his role (although sometimes I felt the dialogue was a little rushed); Greyson Dayne as his boyfriend, Joel, also had some great scenes (particularly when Leo tries to bed him); Jonathan Roessler seemed a natural as the geeky Leo, and had a very natural flow of dialogue; and big kudos to Kudos to T. Jerram Young as Dane for the *great* pick-up scene in the bar - we all laughed out loud!
I think the reason this film will stay with me is because I did see a lot of myself in Ryan - searching to be understood, leaving a relationship because of it, not really knowing what will make him happy (until, perhaps - at least in one ending - it's too late). I plan on buying the DVD and adding it to my movie library.
Not every gay film *has* to be politically correct, the characters don't *have* to be non-stereotypical, and it doesn't *have* to "send the right message about the gay community," and it can *still* be fun, funny, and a treat to watch. Part of the reason that the characters were so outrageously stereotypical is because the real people on which they were based were themselves screaming queens - and, last I checked, there's nothing wrong with that. These were people who celebrated who they were - everyone else's opinions of them be damned. Moreover, their differences were what brought them together to win the championship, defy the odds, and defy perceptions of what they *should* be like. It puzzles me that other readers focus on the "negativity" of their behavior, when the story is about acceptance, fighting ignorance, and celebrating the differences in us all.
Originally aired on Showtime, then syndicated, it ran for 8 (?) seasons, and was ground-breaking for having the first openly gay *proud* character (Cliff) from the premiere episode, albeit not the main character (Joe). Played with sensitivity and great humor, Cliff was a real gay man - not a stereotype, not hung up about being gay, and never "redeemed" by seeming to be straight. His foils were his construction worker brother, Lou (not too bright, but deep down loved his baby brother) and his best friend, Donald Maltby, who *verged* on stereotype, but because of extraordinary acting always managed to turn the character on its ear and show you something more than just a caricature (notably his brilliant speech about blame and AIDS in one episode, which was very knowledgeable and forthright anyway, despite it being so very early in the epidemic). I'm sure the show will never air again, and it might not even ever be available as a Columbia House collectible series, but if you ever get the chance, watch those old episodes! (And, being from Philadelphia, where the show is supposedly set, maybe someone will be able to explain to me how very good-looking Cliff ever went for 8 years with only two boyfriends for four episodes!)
This was everything I dreamed of and more. Having just visited Disneyland
the weekend before going to Las Vegas, I was primed by the quality that
Disney puts into all of its attractions, and I was not
The first part of the experience is a long pathway you follow. On your left is the Star Trek universe timeline, from around the beginning of spaceflight through to the events of "Insurrection," giving important dates involving characters, episodes, etc. On your right is a display of series and movie replicas, from the original uniforms, to Khan's necklace, to the Voyager comm badges. Following this are displays on several different races, including Klingon, Bajoran and Borg. All along you are treated to video clips and montages from all incarnations of the ST universe.
Finally, you board the ride. When we first entered, the impression is that it will be a "Back to the Future" or "Star Tours"-type ride (as in you "ride" in a room full of seats with a movie screen projecting the action in front of you).
Then it all changed...
I won't tell you how they do it (as I couldn't figure it out anyway), but you get transported aboard the Enterprise-D, go to the bridge, take a turbolift ride, and end up riding a shuttlecraft (which actually is the ride part of the experience), all the while being guided by Starfleet personnel and some of the bridge crew. (See the IMDB summary for the plot of why, exactly, you're there.)
I was most taken with the detail - the transporter effect, the control panels, and especially the staff. I could believe they were actually serving on a ship, right down to seeing a few loading and unloading cargo in the shuttlebay as we stepped onboard - we went by them so fast, they could easily have done without them, but the point is, they didn't, and it added a sense of realism for me.
Finally, once you leave the shuttlecraft, you're let out onto a replica of the Promenade from DS9, including gift shops and Quark's Bar and restaurant.
All in all, I spent about 4 hours there, including eating lunch, and the $15 was *well* worth it - I know I'll go back again and again any time I'm in Las Vegas.