09 December 2016

Movie Review: Drown

Apparently in Australia, there is a thing called competitive open ocean lifeguarding. This movie is about Len, who is the champion of this competitive lifeguarding world. When the younger and better (and gay) Phil shows up, Len can only bully and intimidate him to repress his own homoerotic desire. Things seem to patch up. After another competition, they celebrate. Alcohol gets mixed into it and we look into the dark abyss of human nature. Be warned that like many Australian mancentric movies, its violent and because there are gays, the violence gets sadistic. Be warned.

07 December 2016

Movie Review: Helicopter Mom

Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame places Maggie Cooper, a helicopter mom. A helicopter mom is a mom who is overbearing and "drops in" like a helicopter on their child's life. When I think of helicopter, its more like Apocalypse Now. The parent thinks they are just dropping in, but actually most of the helicoptering is carpet bombing.  Maggie Cooper does this to her son Lloyd.Because he's sensitive and likes to write poetry, Maggie locks him as gay. She then helicopters by carpet bombing him psychologically until he outs him as gay to his classmates.

The most interesting aspect of the movie is Lloyd's relationship with his hippie father and his own processing of his sexuality. It's mostly light and could have been a made for TV movie.

05 December 2016

Movie Review: Grandma

Lily Tomlin stars as Elle, a lesbian poet who is still mourning the death of her long time partner. The movie begins where she has just ended a short relationship with a young graduate student admirer when her 18 year old granddaughter Sage shows up pregnant. The bulk of the story is grandmother and granddaughter driving through Grandma's long history as they look for a solution to the pregnancy. A light family comedy whisks you into something much more significant.

03 December 2016

Movie Review: To Be Takei

This movie is a documentary about George Takei's life. George Takei played Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek. Takei is a survivor of the mass deportation and incarceration of American citizens of Japanese descent. He spent a part of his childhood in a concentration camp in the mid-West and then in California. He returned to Los Angeles, graduated from high school and went onto graduate from UCLA in Theatre.

The documentary showcases Takei's life and all the different pieces that make him him -- the most notable being his gay rights advocacy.

01 December 2016

Movie Review: Before You Know It

In the world where same-sex marriage is coming to a country near you, it is easy to forget that the views of people within the same generation are not so easily colonized. Before You Know It tells the story of three gay men who are elderly. It is the story of Dennis, who is a widower and exploring his transgenderness, that is the most interesting to me. He struggles with loneliness while he explores aspects of his transgenderism. His story is in contrast to Ty and Robert -- the other two subjects of the documentary. Ty and Robert have a community while Dennis is looking for one. And the story of this documentary is the story of growing old and what that means in the context of one's history and one's present.

And it is the traces of their stories which come from the other side of the same-sex marriage curtain that will haunt all LGBTs who come of age on this side of the curtain.

30 November 2016

Movie Review: Me Him Her

Me Him Her is a great, light-hearted romantic comedy. The story is about up and coming Hollywood celebrity Brendan. Brendan "discovers" that he's gay and calls his childhood friend Cory to come out to Los Angeles to "help him." The question is, however, what is help. Cory sleeps with Gabbi on his first night and gets distracted by Gabbi from helping Brendan. Gabbi's a lesbian. It's lighthearted but has a good story.

28 November 2016

Movie Review: A Very Natural Thing

This is one of those movies that I had read about but didn't see long ago. It is interesting to watch now. It uses real footage of gay pride events in the early 1970s. The story is of David who withdraws his monastic vows and becomes a public school teacher. David learns about the gay world and ends up with Mark. David wants to settle down into a monogamous relationship like the heteronormative world while Mark wants to be free and open. Eventually David breaks up with Mark and eventually meets Jason, a divorced father. The movie is significant because it attempts to tell a story about homosexuality and heteronormativity and it is set in the backdrop of the early 1970s. We get a glimpse of the gay white male New York life of the 1970s from the perspective of the 1970s.