Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

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.

Transparent: Season 1 (take 2)

July 19, 2017

Took a trip down recent memory lane and watched season one of Amazon Prime’s colossal hit television series, Transparent for the second time. Bravo to Jill Soloway and crew. Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

A 78-Year-Old Gay Man Shares Sobering Truths With A 13-Year-Old Gay Boy (Logo)

July 11, 2017

May the generations reach out to each other in unique and creative ways. From Logo,

Commemorating 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in the U.K., a new video sits a 78-year-old gay man across from a gay boy 65 years his junior.

The heartwarming video, produced by YouTubers duo Trent & Luke in collaboration with London Pride, gives the two British blokes the rare opportunity to compare their experiences coming out and living as gay in two very different times.

 At 13, Louis already has a boyfriend and is overwhelmingly supported by his peers and family. “I think you’re so lucky the world has changed and you can just be yourself,” Percy tells him.
Watch the 11-minute short interview on YouTube.

Maggie Smith Interview with British Film Institute (YouTube)

June 27, 2017

Maggie Smith: “I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey”

Nearly 16 minutes of shear bliss with British acting legend Maggie Smith at the British Film Institute. From YouTube,

Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham in ITV’s costume drama, talks to Mark Lawson about why her character should be killed off, forgetting which film she’s shooting on and why she was considered “too common” to appear in plays at school. This event, which was called Dame Maggie Smith in Conversation, was held as part of the BFI + Radio Times TV festival, which took place in April.

Watch Maggie Smith on Youtube.

Strike a Pose

May 28, 2017

An honest and raw examination surrounding the aftermath of fame. Strike a Pose follows former back-up dancers to Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition Tour who were also in her film, Truth or Dare. Fame is a tricky experience to deal with, at least from my distant observation. Fame can empower you, fame can indulge you, fame can consume you. And fame can give you the worst crash of your life. So we hear stories of the seven male dancers who became symbols of freedom and self-expression at a very early age. Something none of them signed up for. What they did sign up for was to dance and dance they did. But the film of the tour, Truth or Dare exposed their personal lives. Most of the dancers were fine with that, a few were not. After the tour, three of the dancers sued Madonna. One of them died from AIDS. Two of them are long-term HIV survivors. All of them have struggled with how to live in the world after riding that magic carpet with her Madgesty. For those who hunger for more than superficial glamour, Strike a Pose provides a truthful glimpse into the lives of these talented men. 4 out of 5.

Grace and Frankie: Season 3

March 27, 2017

We continue on the roller coaster ride that is Grace and Frankie. Watching Season 1, I found the series dull and too standard fare ala Marta Kauffman (Friends). Season 2 appeared as a revelation unmasking flesh and blood characters underneath the facade of those caricatures.  Season 3 has me back where I began wondering if this series truly knows what it is. This time around, the action is doled out among all the characters so instead of having the primary title characters and a group of supporting characters, we now have a set of characters off on an adventure without Grace and Frankie. We have the gay ex-husbands who really do prove the far right has nothing to fear from gay people – they’re just as boring as the rest of the world. Honestly what’s going on with Sheen and Waterson’s characters? They have moments of depth but mostly fumble through their scenes. Surely this is about shoddy direction and a weak script. Then there are the kids. The girls have their scenes and the boys have theirs. Each character could dig so deeper but no one’s given these actors a shovel. So where does that leave Grace and Frankie? Confused about where their business is heading and even where their lives are heading. I didn’t hate the series. But I never laughed out loud not even once. I think this should be a drama with some comedy, not a comedy with too many caricatures and not enough oomph. After Season 2 I was hoping for so much better. 3 out of 5.


March 27, 2017

Ah to live in a world where we get to see a brand-new Almodovar. How lucky are we? Yes, there are disasters every moment. But there is also the beauty of Almodovar to see us through these troubling times. Julieta once more proves Almodovar’s genius. A gorgeous mystery full of twists and turns. The film begins with Emma Suárez’s Julieta finding herself in crisis after spending a year planning to move from Madrid to Portugal with Lorenzo played by Darío Grandinetti. A simple tale of a mother estranged from her daughter turns into a powerful film on loss, grief, isolation, fear and the mistakes we make navigating through life. Neither splashy nor campy, Julieta is Almodovar at his simplest, striped bare for us to enjoy the beauty of his story and direction. Strong acting, meticulous detail to sets and location shots, Julieta stands beside the best of Almodovar. And the ending – the explanation of the disappearance unleashes the most subtle use of such a controversial topical issue in our culture. Bravo Pedro. 5 out of 5 for this Alice Munro adaptation.

Grr Argh

March 10, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Buffy the Vampire Slayer who turns 20 today.

My favorite episode is Hush. What’s yours?

Hat tip to NPR. Second hat tip to my dear friend Alex who continues to see this show as his all-time favorite.

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