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The Talent Given Us (2004)
Loved the DAD
Just viewed this film and I enjoyed it primarily because of the fact that Wagner did something no one had ever done before. Everybody does pieces about their families, but I don't remember anyone ever actually getting their entire family to do a semi biographical piece about themselves, where they all acted together.
I really liked the Dad. I think men of that generation, that provided for their families and did absolutely everything they were supposed to do, whether they liked it or not, are very undervalued.
One thing that left me chuckling; I've been having a terrible time at lately with fabulous new releases and poor sound;scores swelling over dialogue when I'm trying to watch with the volume on low in my apartment. It's been a while since I heard every word in a film without an over posh score drowning out the mumbling actors.
I guess being heard has never been a problem for this family.
Still enjoyed it as much as when I was eight years old
This was the first Planet of the Apes movie I saw in the theater and I enjoyed watching it over again. It reminded me of other films of the period that reflected the politics of the seventies, like Billy Jack. You kind of have to understand films like this in context to what was going on in the world at the time. There is that message of individualism that was so prevalent then, right after the Vietnam war. There was also that sort of Orwellian feeling that those who are different will be persecuted. The real revelation as an adult though, was how good Kim Hunter is. Her mastery of the movement and the heavy make up is reminiscent of the great physical theatrical schools of the world, Kabuki, Balinese mask work, or Lecoq. No other actor really played through the ape make up as well as Hunter, who seemed to realize that playing through the eyes and with the body was mandatory, as the mouths on those ape prosthetics, really don't move. This is definitely the best of the sequels.
Gay Sex in the 70s (2005)
Should be called, "18 New Yorkers in the 70's"
This is a film that suffers from the same malady that so many gay films suffer from. It's all about New Yorkers, and only eighteen of them. (Count the cast yourself.)
Like Longtime Companion, and even Angels in America, it assumes that homosexuals only live and love in NYC.
Considering the title I guess I expected a broader more enlightening documentary.
In the opening segment it promises to cover 69-81, Stonewall till AIDS. Then it goes on to cover AIDS anyway, in a tact-on perfunctory manner. "See how the consequences played out?" it seems to say.
The film is not particularly enlightening in any way and nothing that hasn't' been said before.
It would certainly be nice to see a film someday that could encompass the gay experience of all of America instead of a tiny group of New Yorkers.
The fact that San Francisco is not even mentioned should tell you that this film does not live up to it's title.
If you want to see a film about gay sexuality, you would be better off looking up "SEX IS," or even renting some classic gay porn.
If LA was really this racist we'd all be dead by now.
I couldn't' help but notice that a number of intelligent friends were split on whether or not they liked this movie, though the consensus tilted towards a thumbs down. It was one of those movies I kept watching to see just how bad it was actually going to get. What is meant to be synchronicity is simply ludicrous. What is meant to be a look at racism in LA, (presumably a microcosm of the US) comes off like exploitation. The saddest part is that it seems as if the film maker was actually sincere. The top caliber acting by movie stars (that all must have only read the portion of the script they were in) doesn't' save it. Sandra Bullock comes off the best playing a pathologically angry woman, a departure for her. Having lived in LA for ten years, I also found it to be simply untrue. Over and over I am more often struck by how well so many cultures co habitate here; than by how much anyone hates each other. The entire time I've lived here I can count on one hand the amount of times I've heard a racial epithet cross another persons lips. Real racism tends to play out by omission, by the unsaid, by the slight and by avoidance. If LA was as rife with people making blatant racial statements as this movie depicts we'd all have shot each other by now. Crash is of note only because it is a film about racism and no one makes them anymore.
Head in the Clouds (2004)
visually stylish/ Theron is Denueve like
This is a visually stylish melodrama about a menage of friends and lovers pre-Spanish civil war through D-day. Charlize Theron is Denueve- like in appearance as she plays her role full tilt in maximum glamor mode. This kind of style only works when the actress behind the clothes is fully realized and Charlize pulls it off as fully as Rita Hayworth as Gilda for whom her character is named. Stuart Townsend shows a broader range than seen before and the chemistry between the two actors, particularly considering they are husband and wife, is provocative and electric. Penelope Cruz, usually relegated to window dressing, has a chance to show her chops as well. It is however, a melodrama and these kinds of world war two french resistance stories are old to those of us with long experience in film; but it is enjoyable nonetheless, reminiscent somehow of the Last Metro. Specifically reminded me of the film within the film in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" as well as Cabaret.
Out There (1993)
First gay comedy special
Before Will and Grace and before Ellen, some executives at comedy central decided to do something that had never been done before; produce a stand up show of all gay comics. It was 1993 and at the time there were no gay characters on sitcoms, so this was actually a very bold programming step. Out There was Comedy Centrals top rated special that year; with cameos by Bea Arthur and Patrick Stewart the show introduced American Audiences to gay humor by showcasing the top working gay comedians then working in the US. Both by quality and by ratings, the show paved the way for the Industry as gay comedy did what they wanted; it made money. There were two sequels; Out there two and three came out in subsequent years, hosted by Amanda Bearse, from Married with Children and Scott Thomspon from Kids in the Hall, respectively. The shows might seem slightly dated now, (in general stand up comedy doesn't age well, due to the topical nature of the form,) but its' important to note that when you see that gay character on a TV show that is no longer a big deal; these shows and the comedians performing in them pioneered the field.