Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

Grace and Frankie: Season 4

January 28, 2018

Grace And Frankie

Grace and Frankie continues to be a mixed bag for me. Just when I’m ready to give up, something clicks and the stories feel real and I feel a part of the show. Season 4 took its good old-time getting me to that place. Lots of silliness mixed with awkwardness. At the very least, the balance between the girls, the kids, and the ex-husbands seems to flow better each season. There’s even room for additional characters – boyfriends, thrupple potential, kids’ partners, along with oddballs and girlfriends. All in all, I enjoy the show. It just never seems to bowl me over like it finally did in Season 2. I gave the show a 4 out of 5. Seasons 1 & 3 each got a 3 out of 5. Same for this season. Wondering where they might head next.


Bruce Gray: 1936 -2017

December 16, 2017

Bruce Gray and Peter Paige in Queer as Folk (2002)

One of the best things about the American Queer as Folk television series was Emmett Honeycutt played to perfection by Peter Paige. And one of Emmett’s best stories centered around a love affair with an older man, pickle king George Schickel played by Canadian actor Bruce Gray. Emmett’s embrace of an intergenerational relationship was not only a first for television, show producers handled the story with grace, joy, and sexiness. Out of all of Emmett’s relationships, I think warm thoughts when I remember Emmett and George together. Actor Bruce Gray died this week at the age of 81. That made him 66 when he played George on QAF. Peter Paige was 33 at the time. So yes, there was an actual age difference. But what a lesson for all of us in the power of love at any age. Queer as Folk continues to be one of my all-time favorite television shows full of ground-breaking stories for the LGBTQ community. When I reviewed Season 2 on Reel Charlie, “And my favorite plot line of the entire series… Emmett meets George.  Short but oh so sweet is their love story.” Emmett and George’s love will live on forever. Thanks Bruce Gray.

Barbra: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic

November 28, 2017

I loved Barbra Streisand when I was young. Then I went through a period of my life where I didn’t listen to her music for a long time. When Spotify rolled around a few years ago, I rediscovered the magic and fell back in love again with her exquisite voice. So for me personally, the new Netflix concert tour, Barbra: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic doesn’t quite live up to the original recordings. I’m certainly not criticizing Barbra for performing. I think she sounds amazing at her age. I would simply prefer to listen to the originals when her voice was truly a powerhouse. The concert felt a bit tepid to me. Substantial but tepid. And her face work. I wonder if it was temporary work and not permanent? I hope so. I’d like to see these performers with some wrinkles to prove they’ve paid their dues. Meanwhile, I will love Barbra Streisand’s recordings and say I only got through half of this concert. Still it’s Streisand, so 3 out of 5.

Transparent: Season 4

October 1, 2017

“Sleep and I shall soothe you, calm you and anoint you…”

Who knew the Pfeffermans were as obsessed with Jesus Christ Superstar as I was when I was a little boy. And they remember the words to the songs after all these years. Even Maura’s sister! Such a magnificent and glorious television series Transparent continues to be. Is this the most loving, dysfunctional family you’ve ever met? Does yours rival them? Mine sure doesn’t. Which is probably why I love watching them tick. This season the family connects with their spiritual and social roots on a trip to Israel. Every one comes together and then proceeds to find their own corner and take some time out to contemplate life: Josh at meetings, Sarah with Len, Ali at the farm, and Maura and Shelly meditating in the midst of the chaos. The only logical family member of Maura’s who gets any back story time this season is the luminous Davina, my favorite non-Pfefferman. We dig deeper into Davina’s past to find her vulnerabilities. I love Davina even more after this season. She is the heart, soul, and calm of the show. Alexandra Billings brings nuance and wisdom to the role. Can’t say enough how much I adore Transparent. 5 out of 5 for this family ensemble.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami – Official Trailer

September 16, 2017

From Trafalgar Releasing,

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami takes the viewer on an intimate and electrifying journey that moves between four cinematic layers – performance, family, artist and gypsy – to explore the fascinating world of this pop cultural phenomenon. Here we see her behind the mask as a daughter, mother, sister and grandmother, alongside taking to the stage for a specially commissioned performance, with legendary hits including Pull Up to the Bumper and Slave to the Rhythm showcased in full. Larger than life, bordering on cartoon, wild, scary and androgynous – Grace Jones plays all these parts.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Happy 70th Birthday Sylvester

September 6, 2017

The Queen of Disco would have turned 70 today. Your music still lives on Sylvester. XOXO.

Listen to Reel Charlie favorite Menergy from Patrick Cowley featuring Sylvester.


September 3, 2017

So disappointed I didn’t love Netflix’s Disjointed. Love Kathy Bates. And a show about a pot dispensary in California is certainly ripe for the present moment. Too bad the creators relied too much on dull traditional network sit-com formulas – audience laugh amplified, one-dimensional characters. They even stole several ideas from Grace and Frankie – Lily Tomlin’s hair extensions for Kathy Bates character, worn out pot jokes, aging hippie women, and a dorky African-American son. Too bad. Like I said the premise felt fresh. In the end, we were left with seeds and stems. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ve been waiting years to use that line. 2 out of 5 for Disjointed. Next.

Wild Oats

August 5, 2017

Another contemporary Shirley MacLaine vehicle Wild Oats falls flat. Not sure what’s going on. Perhaps there’s not enough good scripts out there to choose from. Or does Shirley suffer from the Diane Keaton syndrome: hasn’t made a good film in years. What’s up with that? Wild Oats is dull, obvious and a waste of MacLaine’s colossal talent. Jessica Lange and Demi Moore also seem lost in the film. 2 out of 5. Next.

Transparent: Season 4 trailer

July 31, 2017

“It’s like an Orthodox, Jewish, Disneyland” – Sarah Pfefferman.

The song playing in the background is “Everything’s Alright” from the hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Love how they fuck with everything and everyone.

Watch the trailer for Season 4 of Transparent here.

Discover all the Reel Charlie posts on Transparent.


13 Essential LGBT Indies From the Post-‘Brokeback Mountain’ Era (Indiewire)

July 22, 2017

Good mainstream list of LGBT indies (I’d question a few of these titles being called “indies”) released after the success of Brokeback Mountain in 2005. Reel Charlie agrees with the following films from Indiewire’s list,

A Single Man
I Killed My Mother
Laurence Anyways
Stranger by the Lake
The Kids are All Right

Missing from the list in order of release date 2006 –
Ha-Buah (The Bubble)
Avant que j’oublie (Before I Forget)

Clapham Junction
Itty Bitty Titty Committee
Were the World Mine
Hollywood je t’aime
Contracorriente (Undertow)
Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats)
Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons)
I Do
Mommy is Coming
Freier Fall (Free Fall)
Interior.Leather Bar.
Reaching for the Moon
The Way He Looks
Holding the Man
Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo

Remember these are indie films, so Milk doesn’t qualify for this list.
Does not include documentaries.
Culled from Wikipedia lists.

Read the full article on Indiewire.

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