Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*spoiler alert, (I guess, but who even cares)* There's too much wrong
with this movie to bother naming all the lousy points. But here are a
Cal is uber-masculine, and we're lead to believe in the first part of the movie that he's attracted to other masculine guys. Yet we're tilting our heads in confusion when he is suddenly attracted to this flowery French guy whose wardrobe consists of mostly pink. Not believable.
Seemingly minutes after Cal gets all lovey-dovey with Frenchie Flowers and starts shacking up with him, Cal is not only able to have loving, passionate gay sex (whereas earlier it is shown that the only gay sex he could engage in was sometimes violent, always impersonal and anonymous, which would then make him throw up), but is also wearing Twinky McStereotype's pink clothes. Yeah, I don't think so. Not believable.
The coincidences of how everyone is interwoven and connected is so over-the-top, it'd be almost funny if it wasn't pathetic. The text message sent at the end is great; "Sorry -Cal." Which is to say this:"sorry that this all sucks and my boyfriend, who happens to be your student, who happens to have been beaten up by my gang who also beat up your boyfriend in a non-related incident while you and I also just happened to have hooked up randomly online once, after which I bashed you in the face. But we're going to get on a train together, all smiles, in our pink outfits and be on our merry way while you cry over your comatose lover." That sentence made as much sense as did this movie. Not believable.
And, really, I can forgive some goofy plot themes and unbelievability to a point. Because there are some watchable scenes, and some not-so-bad acting, even (NOT including Pepe Le Pew (Frenchie) - he was awkward and painful to watch 'act'). But it was the pre-wrap up confrontation scene which took this from the edge of ridiculous to a you've-got-to-be-kidding-me joke of a movie.
Jonno, the best friend from his "gang" (pfft, some gang, by the way), RAPES Cal. In front of the rest of the gang, even. While sobbing. Now, I'm not saying gay rape doesn't happen. I'm saying it doesn't happen LIKE THAT. No way in hell. Everyone's going on about how shocking this scene is. And it is, but only because it's SO OUT OF LEFT FIELD and ridiculously not believable.
A lot of this movie, as is the case with much of gay cinema, is used as an excuse to show cute young guys naked. And sure, some of them are totally adorable. But unless that's enough to keep your attention through some idiotic choices which made a movie with some potential really very bad, then you may want to skip this one.
There isn't enough money in the world to pay back the men and women who
were (and were not) featured in this film as the victims of false
accusations and imprisonment.
That being said, I do wish the documentary had at least asked some obvious questions. The DA's motive for arrests and convictions was clearly enough stated; get convictions seeming to clear the county of "bad guys" thereby furthering political careers.
But who was doing the arresting? Who was handing down orders to do so? Who decided which people would get arrested and charged? Who was coming up with the elaborate details of these false charges? These questions leave a lot to wonder about. And in a film where you (or at least I) believe what is being put forth, which is the truth of the accused, you want there to be no stone unturned. You don't want there to be any question for the doubter that if the "right" people had been asked the "right" questions, we might have a different result.
Ask the damn questions. Get answers from the people who still may even profit from the long ago verdicts. And if you can't, say so. At least say something about having tried.
Make no mistake - I think this movie does a fantastic job on shedding light on a very dark side of humanity. And It left me wanting to give the most heartfelt hug to ALL the victims (both the charged and the then-children).
Still, other questions include; What of the neighbors and surrounding community? What about family? What about friends or former friends? Why weren't any of them interviewed? What did they think originally? What do they think now in lieu of the reversals of convictions? The first person approach is powerful and poignant. But those prone to the sort of hysteria which prompted this sort of thing to gain ground in the first place will ask, with sword in hand, "why?"
Sure, it's hard being gay, especially in the south. We get it. Over...
and over again.
What stood out was that the film makers focused almost wholly on the more "extreme" characters in these small town gay bars; the drag queens, the seedy sleaze of a bar long-closed, and on a guy who was brutally murdered for being gay, yet had nothing to do with either of the bars which were the focus of this film.
There were snippets of interviews from other people, people viewers would, perhaps, be better able to relate to. But they were glossed over, practically skipped, maybe shown in a glimpse in the background.
It would have been more interesting, to me at least, to hear the experiences of the more common gay men and women who were either enriched or otherwise by the experiences of a small town gay bar and/or the absence of that community.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Seriously, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. And I've
loved some of Mamet's other films.
There isn't one minute of this movie that doesn't completely suck. The dialog is so unlike the way people ever really speak, it makes you wonder if Mamet has ever met a real person. The characters uniformly use terms and phrases that are obviously supposed to sound quippy, clever, smart and cool. But it all comes off as the most unrealistic pile of convoluted nonsense you've ever heard.
After a few minutes of watching this movie, it started becoming one of those films where it was so bad that I started to enjoy making fun of it. Almost all the characters were exactly the same person with different crappy lines. They all used precisely the same type of repetitive language, constantly calling each other "baby" and being coldly snide.
"Where's the girl?" was repeated so many times that it quickly became a joke to my boyfriend and I. And that wasn't the only thing repeated in the movie. Everything anyone said was annoyingly said twice.
There was nothing engaging about the plot, either. It's pathetically Hollywood in the most cliché' sense. Government conspiracy, secret ops, kidnapped girl, mean Arabs, etc. And all tied together with the efficiency of a monkey on acid.
The acting, too, was completely, terribly wooden. But given the HORRIBLE script, you can't blame much of it on the actors.
I kind of want to meet David Mamet so I can kidnap him and force him to apologize for making Spartan.