Deep Water

May 23, 2017

Australia’s 4-part mini series Deep Water based on the “real life hate murders of… up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (Bondi) beaches in the 1970s and ’80s” (Wikipedia)  might be a hard sell if the quality of production wasn’t so thoughtful. There was a documentary produced in addition to the mini-series. Starring Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Noah Taylor as the detectives who link a gruesome reality of homophobic hate crimes and murders that continued through the present. The current killings are linked to the past as Stone’s Tori Lustigman uncovers a vast ritual of gay bashings dating back 30-40 years ago. Tori’s interest in the case goes from professional to personal jeopardizing the investigation at several key points. Deep Water creates a quiet, steady police procedural eschewing theatrics for methodical detective work which pays off in the end and makes the series easy to watch. Actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor gives good eye candy as Tori’s friend Oscar who we find deeply connected to the past and puts himself into jeopardy to find answers. No denying the subject matter is difficult. The production respectfully honors the story with a steady, kind heart. 4 out of 5.

I watched Deep Water on DVD from the library. Netflix has it on DVD as well and it’s available streaming through Acorn TV.

I Love Dick: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

May 22, 2017

I was intrigued by the Amazon pilot I Love Dick, Jill Soloway’s (Transparent) new comedy on Amazon which aired earlier this year and got picked up for a full season. Soloway bills it as the first series which looks at the world from a female gaze. I’m paraphrasing there but that idea intrigued me enough to watch the next episode on Amazon.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the characters universal or relatable as in Transparent. To be honest, there was too much posing. The show feels too contrived skewering the hipster world of art and writing. Full disclosure, I read this rather confusing article last evening about Soloway which may have put a damper on my enjoyment of the show. Sometimes I learn too much about the creatives behind a project which colors my feelings. Based on the novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick explores a woman following her male partner to Marfa, TX where she explores the meaning of her art and life through an obsession with a self-absorbed male teacher named Dick. Though the premise and pilot intrigued me, I didn’t connect with the series after viewing episode 2. Again, I’m thrilled to not add another series to my list of must-see’s. I didn’t hate Dick, it just got on my nerves. Art hipster posing is not something I look forward to embracing on a rainy evening after dinner. 2.5 out of 5.

The Foster: Season 4

May 22, 2017

The Fosters continues its reign as Queen and Queen of family drama. That’s Queen Stef and Queen Lena, partners in love and life to five teenaged children – biological and adopted. Season 4 of this Freeform drama continues the chaotic lives of the Adams-Fosters family. I joked in a previous post that the show isn’t really performing unless at least three of the kids are having simultaneous disasters. But honestly, that’s the way it’s felt this season. And not in a stupid way. In a realistic way of what a household might be like with five hormonal teenagers. There are certainly moments I thank the Universe I never procreated and watching this show is one of them. Fun escapist drama as long as I don’t have to clean up their mess. Luckily they have two great Moms to do most of the cleaning up. Bravo to this beautiful and loving show for paving the way as it has for the past four seasons. Looking forward to Season Five premiering this summer on. 4 out of 5.

Of course any season with an appearance of Brandon Quinn as the twins biological Dad Gabe is always welcome, especially if he’s shirtless.

Director James Ivory (Merchant Ivory) at the NYC 30th Anniversary Screening of Maurice

May 21, 2017

What an honor to spend an evening watching the 4K remastered version of Merchant Ivory’s Maurice last night. For Maurice’s 30th Anniversary, the Quad Cinema in New York City hosted director James Ivory in a Q&A after the screening of the film. Truly a masterpiece, E.M. Forster’s adaptation felt just as fresh and necessary today as it did 30 years ago. And to think Forster and Ivory had the audacity to leave us with a hopeful ending. A sumptuous feast for romantics at heart. Always a 5 out of 5.

88 year-old James Ivory discussing the making of Merchant Ivory’s Maurice to a sold-out audience at the Quad Cinema in New York City. May 20, 2017.

King Charles III

May 20, 2017

I got so wrapped up in this weekend’s activities, I forgot to review the British production King Charles III (I keep trying to type Charlie III). Based on the play by the same name, King Charles III imagines the future king and all he would inherit. Tim Pigott-Smith plays Charles to perfection reprising his Olivier and Tony nominated role from the West End and Broadway. Unfortunately, Pigott-Smith died in April 2017. I loved the concept of imaging Charles reigning stronger than his quiet demeanor implies. I loved seeing his children act out of character as well. Who knows what is in store for the monarchy when Elizabeth passes. Written in blank verse, King Charles III has a decidedly Shakespearean quality to it. This is a well done production worthy of you time – especially if you are fascinated with royalty or anything British. 4 out of 5.

Merchant Ivory’s ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach (Variety)

May 19, 2017

The article, ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach published in Variety is a total geekfest for film lovers and those interested in film restoration. It’s also short enough to scan and marvel at the delicacy of older film and the painstaking process some companies take to bring these masterpieces back to life for new and future generations. At the top of this list (with Criterion) is Cohen Media Group who is overseeing 30 Merchant Ivory restorations.

Read the full article at Variety.

I’m Watching As Fast As I Can

May 18, 2017

I’m in the middle of watching several television shows simultaneously which makes it seem like I’m not keeping up with my reviews. Never fear. I’m working my way through and will have reviews on the following in the near future:

Deep Water – this Australian mini-series is “based on a true story on the real life hate murders of possibly up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches in the 1970s and ’80s.” (Wikipedia) I have this on DVD at home and as soon as I begin will undoubtedly watch it all the way through. It stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black).
The Fosters – working my way through the last half of Season 4. The kids have the worse timing making sure at least three of them are doing something really dumb simultaneously. Ah teenagers.
Sense8 – taking my time with Season 2 which goes off into different directions making you wonder where it will end. I have come to adore this show and look forward to reviewing the season in its entirety.
Twin Peaks – going through the classic show for the first time in 25 years in anticipation of the new season coming to Showtime this month. I’ll be waiting for other forms of streaming or a DVD release.

Stay tuned beloved followers.

30th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival: June 2 – 10, 2017

May 17, 2017

Congrats to the Connecticut LGBT Film Festival on their 30th Anniversary this year! The line-up for their June screenings is now available and looks fantastic. Take a peek here.

My first choice and must-see this year is the documentary, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin premiering in Connecticut on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

Explore the Connecticut LGBT Film Festival.

Maurice at The Quad (NYC)

May 16, 2017

NYC peeps!

Maurice
Opens Friday

New York Premiere of 30th Anniversary Restoration in 4K

A gay art cinema trailblazer about love and loss, Merchant-Ivory’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumously published novel follows a young man’s (James Wilby) struggle to come to terms with his sexual identity after his first love (Hugh Grant) abandons him for a respectable marriage.

With James Ivory in person following the 6:40pm screenings this Friday and Saturday
Reel Charlie’s got his tickets for Saturday night. See you there.
Purchase tickets.

The River Wild

May 15, 2017

Not sure why but I had a hankering to watch the 1994 Meryl Streep film, The River Wild. I saw it listed on Amazon Video and added it to my queue, but it’s not part of Prime so I would have had to rent it. Luckily we have a copy at the library. It was exactly what I needed. Good escapist fun with a dash of natural American outdoor beauty. And Streep’s the main character whose the skilled white water rafter. All the men play secondary to her. Unfortunately there’s only one interaction between Streep’s character and her mother. So definitely not a Bechdel Test film. Still it was fun and even Kevin Bacon is believable as one of the bad guys after a bit. I truly enjoyed my trip down The River Wild memory lane. 3.5 out of 5.


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