Archive for the ‘Gay’ Category

Watch Three Clips from the Gay Drama ‘Beach Rats’, Due Out This Friday (Towleroad)

August 22, 2017

I’ve heard buzz this year about the new indie film, Beach Rats. Now that it’s being released in theaters this Friday, there’s more news including three new clips released on Towleroad today. From the earlier blurbs on various websites, I wasn’t interested in watching a negative film about coming out. Should filmmakers be able to make work without happy ever after endings? Absolutely. From Towleroad,

Wrote on commenter on Towleroad (andrewd215) a month ago (possible SPOILERS):

I had Beach Rats as one of my must see movies when I went to the Provincetown Film Festival in June. After watching the movie I left wondering if they had shown a different version than the one I had read about getting all the praise. The film did a good job of drawing you into the character and the struggles he was going through, especially in the hyper sexual heterosexual normative male environment he was in. However, it was interesting at the conclusion of the movie to hear more than a few scattered boos but rather a good number and vocal comments among people as they stood to leave and walking out making comments such as “such a f**king cop out” and other like statements. It seems that among those most verbal, that an ambiguous ending for movie can be exceedingly frustrating after the build up the movie because the ambiguity of the ending was so complete and that it would be hard to have a discussion as to how Frankie’s life went from there. Maybe the harsh reactions at the end of the movie were because it showed the anguish, the angst, and his struggles but did not portray or provide that anything resulted from it all so that any dialogue would have to been abstract.

From what I remember about the movie the cruising that went on was a result of Frankie’s online cam site sessions, that in addition or rather than a JO session, lead to an arrangement to meet up. The active cruising scene was the exception but was the result of a failed hook up that lead him to approach a car in the hookup cruise parking area that lead to a very successful night of hot sex. I don’t think this movie is one that will reach people that need to be reached, or in pain and conflict or questioning their sexuality because of the ending of the film. If anything the movie will probably lead those in similar situations and environments to stay in the closet. At least in a 90’s coming out movie you had some idea that come out was a positive thing to do.

I will say that I’m not seeing (for now) Beach Rats. I can handle difficult films with ambiguous endings. I adore French cinema after all. But I’m too wrapped up in politics right now to deal with films that don’t at the very least offer a glimmer of hope to young gay characters. For similar reasons, I’m avoiding Call Me By Your Name. I read the book. Hated it. It’s a story about two straight-identified men who have an affair one summer and then go back to being straight. Whatever. Fluidity be damned. Maybe this story makes sense to hetero men who dipped their toe in the pool in their youth. If you’re going to show bisexuality, show it with satisfying and positive relationships on both sides of the sexual aisle. Otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing heteronormativity. Personally I rarely get to see myself on the screen. I’d rather not have to share it with a straight male’s interpretation of what a gay experience is. And to reinforce this interpretation, the director made a choice not to show any male/male intimacy. Just longing. Give me a freaking break.

Watch the Beach Rats clips.
Beach Rats trailer.

Call Me By Your Name trailer.

Transparent: Season 3 (take 2)

August 15, 2017

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the splendorous Amazon Prime original series Transparent.

Victor Victoria (first time on Blu-ray)

August 13, 2017

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s review of the timeless classic film, Victor Victoria.

‘Sense8’ is back in production, and the finale is going to be totally ‘epic’ (Queerty)

August 12, 2017

Has your cluster been informed yet? Sense8 is coming back for one final epic wrap-up movie. The Netflix series that was too big for just two seasons is back in production and due to release their final film in 2018. Watch an extended “thank you” video from creator Lana Wachowski, her cast and crew. Adorable clips abound. I still get chills when I think of this series. For all its imperfection and limitation it certainly did propel storytelling forward. It created a world where everyone is equal, where everyone’s voice and love are honored. Sense8 wrote the manual for the future of humanity.

Read the full article on Queerty and check out Lana’s fifteen minute video.
Check out Reel Charlie’s reviews of Sense8: Season 1, the Sense8 Christmas Special, and Sense8: Season 2.

Instead of sharing a pic of the cast or creators or a poster, I want to share two pics of my favorite supporting actors – Max Mauff who plays Felix and Michael X. Sommers who plays Bug.

 

Max Mauff (Felix)

Michael X. Sommers (Bug)

 

 

 

The 25 Best Showtime Series of All Time (Paste Magazine)

August 2, 2017

Paste Magazine ranks their top 25 favorite Showtime series. And Reel Charlie favs make the cut including,

13. The L Word
9. The United States of Tara
6. The Big C
5. Nurse Jackie
1. Queer as Folk

So happy to see Queer as Folk get its due. Click on the series titles above for Reel Charlie reviews of Season 1.

Read the full article on Paste.
What are you Showtime favorites?

Ozark

August 1, 2017

Laura Linney and Jason Bateman star as married couple Wendy and Marty Byrd in Netflix’s new creepy crime drama, Ozark. There’s now a solid sub-genre of crime drama where an otherwise ordinary person or family gets involved in high crime. I’m not talking white-collar crime. I’m talking kill people and dissolve them in acid crime. Ozark definitely follows this trend as a child of Breaking Bad. And that’s not a bad thing. Especially when the acting is top-notch and the location shoot is beautifully eerie. There are of course the many plot thrusters which have to be ignored, such as people not hearing gun shots from close range, police not being called when someone destroys a hotel room, or FBI agents drinking on the job. But if you can suspend your belief for an hour at a time, you’ll be rewarded with a scary and exciting first season of life in rural Midwest. Yes, there’s a few scenes that are disgusting. But it’s fun and worth the watch if you can stand the violence. 4 out of 5.

In a Heartbeat (short)

July 31, 2017

Closing out the month of July 2017 with a beautiful animated short film, In a Heartbeat from filmmakers Beth David and Esteban Bravo. From YouTube,

A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.

Watch the adorable film on YouTube.

Shock to the System

July 29, 2017

The second Donald Strachey murder mystery adaptation, Shock to the System is as my late friend Bruce Kingsley said to me on Facebook, “much better than the first.” Based on the Richard Stevenson detective series, Shock to the System is number two of four books made into television films for HereTV. Chad Allen plays Strachey perfectly. Sebastian Spence plays Timmy, Don’s romantic partner. They live in Albany where Donald solves crimes. There’s nothing earth-shattering about the series other than the persona of Strachey follows a quiet, masculine appearance which older viewers may find refreshing. I’m giving this one a 3 out of 5. Decent detective murder-mystery fun.

Oops, almost forgot to mention Morgan Fairfield has a small role in this.

Dynasty: Blake’s Trial & Homophobia and the Reincarnation of Steven Carrington

July 28, 2017

The two Steven Carringtons played by Al Corley and Jack Coleman.

The CW prepares to air a brand-new version of Dynasty this fall. It might be helpful to take a look back at this popular and troubled series before jumping into the 2017 version.

It’s incredible how my memory of the 80’s television soap continues to feel so positive. I remember my friend Pat coming over to my house and having a glass of champagne with my parents while we watched the ridiculous, over-the-top series. I remember a huge group of gay men in college converging on my friend Duane’s apartment because he had the biggest television. We howled, we screamed, we laughed together. In hindsight, I suppose any gay content was positive back then.

Watching the original Dynasty today streaming on Netflix, I am appalled at how homophobic and disgusting the plot lines were. Gay character Steven Carrington started out being gay and proud. Then he had an affair with a married woman – sleeping with her more than once, then slept with his male ex-lover Ted from NYC once, then Stephen’s father, Blake (the star of the show) went on trial for Ted’s murder. He did murder him. And Blake’s behavior towards Steven was nothing short of a bully. Blake was the perfect image of the disgusting treatment LGBT people faced during the Reagan Administration by Reagan himself (silence on AIDS) and the formation of the Religious Right. On Dynasty, fictional Steven married a woman and had a child with her. Why not make him bisexual? Such sad and revolting writing for a gay male character to endure.

There’s no way I could continue watching Dynasty today. Truth be told I fast-forwarded through episodes in Season 1 and Season 2 for a reminder of the murder trial. It’s unbelievable things were that bad for gay people in my lifetime. Yes I was an adult at the time and out. I guess we didn’t demand the respect in the media we do today. Of course things are far from perfect today, but we have a slew of LGBT characters on film and in television who do us proud.

I wrote extensively on Steven Carrington, The Two Steven Carringtons Legacy in 2015 for Reel Charlie.

For more on Blake’s disgusting behavior towards Steven later in the series, see Cora Buhlert’s blog post from 2013, Dynasty and socially acceptable homophobia.

The Dynasty reboot promises to be filled with a decidedly not confused Steven salaciously bedding a man named Sam – a nod to Heather Locklear’s Sammy Jo character. Gotta love 2017. Australian actor James Mackay plays Steven. The new Dynasty premieres October 11, 2017 on the CW after Riverdale.

Star Trek: Discovery (official trailer)

July 26, 2017

The television series, Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24, 2017 on CBS All Access. This new Trek incarnation boasts a Chinese female captain played by Michelle Yeoh, the first-ever openly gay crew member on a television series played by Anthony Rapp (Rent) and starring Sonequa Martin-Green as the first officer and Spock’s step-sister. Rapp told a recent Comic-Con audience that Wilson Cruz will play his love interest. The Klingons are back. The series also stars Jason Isaacs. Very excited to see what the writers do with the series. This might be a reason to add CBS All Access to my streaming line-up.

Watch the official trailer here.


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