Archive for the ‘Decade: 2000's’ Category

Third Man Out

May 13, 2017

Sometimes it can be painful writing reviews. There are certain films I simply don’t want to bash or dismiss. Third Man Out is one of them. In the mid-2000’s, HereTV produced four indie films based on the Donald Strachey Mysteries written by Richard Stevenson. Stevenson’s written 15 Strachey novels. They are fun, easy-to-read mystery novels based in Albany, NY featuring an out gay male private eye. Third Man Out was the first of four novels HereTV produced directed by Ron Oliver and starring Chad Allen and Sebastian Spence as Donald and his life partner Timmy. Watching the film a dozen years later, I found myself cringing in places and definitely wanting more. I love Chad Allen. Although he’s left acting, his thirty-year career highlights include Reel Charlie indie favorites, Save Me and Hollywood, je t’aime. I wish Third Man Out had felt as good as those two gems. But in truth it fell flat. Perhaps the series got better as time went on. Not sure I will investigate further, but lovers of murder mysteries and gay male indie film might want to give them a try. 2 out of 5. Next.

Gosford Park screens at Metrograph (NYC)

May 3, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and Julian Fellowes’ sumptuous pre-Downton Abbey class drama, Gosford Park appears on the big screen next week at Metrograph in NYC. Catch it if you can. Bob Balaban’s going to be there in person for Q&A. From Metrograph,

Gosford Park
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
1:15pm4:15pm7:00pm

2001 / 131min

DIRECTOR: ROBERT ALTMAN

CAST: BOB BALABAN, MAGGIE SMITH, MICHAEL GAMBON, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, CAMILLA RUTHERFORD, CHARLES DANCE, GERALDINE SOMERVILLE, RYAN PHILLIPPE

Introduction and Q&A with Bob Balaban

Robert Altman’s classic whodunit set over a shooting weekend at an English country estate in 1932 features a peerless ensemble cast portraying the upstairs-downstairs array of guests and servants, fusing the spirits of Agatha Christie and Jean Renoir in this arthouse hit. Bob Balaban, who created and produced the movie, plays a holidaying American film producer and joins Metrograph for this one-night-only screening to discuss the film’s production. The screenplay comes courtesy Julian Fellowes, who would continue to dissect the English class system in Downton Abbey.

Contact Metrograph for tickets.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of the triumphant Gosford Park
. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve last seen it.

Frozen River

April 23, 2017

Watched the beautiful and haunting Frozen River a second time starring Melissa Leo, one of my favorite character actors. Released in 2008, Frozen River tells the desperate story of two women – one white, one Native American who live on the New York/Canada border and stumble into smuggling people from Canada into the U.S. in order to make fast money to help take care of their children. The barren, frozen water which separates the two countries acts as an obvious metaphor for the lives of the women as they struggle against insurmountable odds to thrust their families forward in a positive direction. Directed by Courtney Hunt, Frozen River proves the perfect example of outstanding indie filmmaking. A simple script full of twists, turns, and complications with a messy yet satisfying ending. Filmed entirely in upstate New York in and around Plattsburgh. 5 out of 5 for Melissa Leo and Frozen River.

Here’s What Happened When I Did All The Verbs From The L Word Theme Song In One Day (Autostraddle)

April 8, 2017

Kayla from Autostraddle decided to copy down all the verbs from The L Word theme song, The Way That We Live by Betty and act them out. Laughing out loud ensues. For fans of The L Word and lovers of obsessed people everywhere,

I have been trying to master the fast part of “The Way That We Live” by Betty, the theme song for The L Word, for the better part of a decade. That rambling list of gerunds is deceptively hard to recite, especially under the pressure that sets in when you triumphantly declare at a party that you can totally recite all the words to The L Word theme song and everyone expects a demonstration.

After many a night practicing, and my girlfriend waking me up to inform me that I was singing it in my sleep again, the rowdy earworm started to sound more and more like an incantation or a prayer. The more I heard those words play over and over in my head, the more I wondered if within that daringly simple hook, Betty had encoded a certain doctrine. Could The L Word’s theme song outline a righteous path toward a fulfilling life?

With the conviction of Jenny Schecter writing about manatees, I embarked on a journalistic and spiritual journey to unlock life’s secrets with the help of Betty’s lyrical key. I decided to do all of the verbs described at the end of The L Word’s in just one day. The results may shock you.

Read the entire article on Autostraddle.
Listen to Betty’s The Way That We Live, the theme song for The L Word.

Lovely & Amazing

March 15, 2017

There’s something diabolical about Nicole Holofcener‘s 2001 film, Lovely & Amazing. It truly is the embodiment of “rich white people’s problems” I’ve ever seen. The characters are whiny, self-absorbed, narcissistic. One of them is even mean. Really mean. And they have no concept of their privilege. Still I love this film. I believe it is a testament to Holofcener’s outstanding conceptualization of the story and her direction of the incredible cast including Brenda Blethyn, Catherine Keener, Emily Mortimer, and Raven Goodwin. I’ve seen most of Holofcener’s work in film and on television. Lovely & Amazing is some of her best work. She really nails dialogue between women. Being from a matriarchal family, I have spent my life witnessing the complexities of mother/daughter relationships. Lovely & Amazing puts the worst and the best of them out there for the world to see. The film holds up beautifully after 16 years. 5 out of 5.

‘Donnie Darko’ Restoration Trailer: The Cult Hit Returns To The Big Screen To Make Us Lose Our Minds All Over Again (Indiewire)

March 3, 2017

donnie-darko-4kI discovered Donnie Darko when it came out on video. A few years later, I got to see the Director’s Cut in a theater. It was insane sitting in an audience full of Darko fans. Now, the 4K restoration is being released in theaters in time for the film’s 15th Anniversary. From Indiewire,

There are cult movies, and then there is “Donnie Darko.” Richard Kelly’s 2001 mind-trip barely made any buzz after it first screening at the Sundance Film Festival, but that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most intensely beloved cult hits of the 21st century. Every year it seems “Donnie Darko” amasses a ton of new followers, and it’s become a right of passage for any cinephile looking to make a dent in contemporary cult cinema. Fortunately, the BFI has given the film a major 4K restoration, and they’ve released a head-spinning new trailer to get fans excited for its December release.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the troubled and misunderstood Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a teen living in suburban Virginia who is visited by a man in a horrifying rabbit costume and told the world will come to an end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Donnie’s world predictably unravels and Kelly unleashes a darkness that finds its way into the very headspace of the viewer. And that’s pretty much how an indie psychodrama becomes an immortal cult classic. Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore and Mary McDonnell co-star.

Read the full article on Indiewire.
Get a taste of Donnie Darko from YouTube.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of Donnie Darko.

D.E.B.S

February 27, 2017

d-e-b-sFinally got around to watching D.E.B.S., a spoof of action comedies and parody of Charlie’s Angels featuring four young women who are training to become paramilitary operatives. The kink in their plan results from one of the women falling in love with a female villain. Great seeing a film portray two women in love. What concerned me about D.E.B.S. stemmed from a lackluster script. In the end, I just didn’t care about these girls. I felt bad. Writer/Director Angela Robinson has been a writer/producer behind True Blood and The L Word. Sorry, I just didn’t feel this. 1 out of 5. Next.

Be Mine 2017

February 14, 2017

gay-love

If you’re a sucker for romance (and heartbreak), why not take a stroll through some great lesbian and gay love stories this Valentine’s Day? From Reel Charlie’s favorites list,

Beautiful Thing
Carol
Freir Fall (Free Fall)
Giorni (Days)go-fish
Go Fish
Ha- Buah (The Bubble)
I Do
The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love 
Jongens (Boys)
Maurice
Metrosexuality
My Beautiful Laundrette
Parting Glances
Presque Rien (Come Undone)
Reaching for the Moon
Weekend

Un conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale) (take 4)

December 25, 2016

Click on the link below to read Reel Charlie’s review of Un conte de Noël, a very Parisian, intense, French holiday film. This ain’t White Christmas. It is Arnaud Desplechin and Catherine Deneueve perfection.

un conte de noel

 

Maestro

December 13, 2016

maestroEssential, historical 2003 documentary Maestro on the birth of the underground club scene, Paradise Garage, Disco and House Music in New York City featuring DJs Larry Levan, David Mancuso, Frankie Knuckles, Francis Grasso, Nicky Siano, Little Louie Vega, Jellybean Benitez, and Francois Kevorkian among others. Full of first person accounts from the surviving DJs as well as former staff and people like me who just came to dance makes this documentary rich with intimate detail. A must-watch for anyone interested in the birth of dance music, NYC nightlife, or LGBTQ people of color. 4 out of 5 for Maestro.


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