Archive for the ‘Must-see’ Category

So long Pruitt

July 7, 2018

To celebrate Scott Pruitt’s resignation from the White House as despicable, disgraced EPA chief, I thought I’d put a positive spin by focusing attention on films which can educate and inspire. What a grave world we are handing our children. Power needs to be permanently taken from these greedy, immoral men and moved to people and organizations prepared to work hard to repair and care for the planet and the living beings once and for all. From Global Citizen,

Nowadays, there are environmental films popping up in a range in topics, so the opportunities to learn about the planet and how to protect it are easy and endless — and perhaps essential as world leaders waver on their commitments to fighting climate change.

From climate change to waste production to slaughterhouse effects, here is a list of 11 films that are worth watching (and rewatching) today.

11 film titles:
The 11th Hour
Meat the Truth
Tapped
Gasland
If a Tree Falls
Chasing Ice
More than Honey
Cowspiracy
After the Spill
Before the Flood
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Find the full article on Global Citizen.

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Adaptations

July 5, 2018

I’m struggling lately keeping up with my viewing. Next week I leave for a week’s vacation so July will be lighter posting than normal. I’ll do my best to keep up for the next week until I fly out on Friday, July 13. Meanwhile, I was thinking about adaptations. I’ve been enjoying more pleasure reading this past decade. And wonder if a movie can ever really hold its own next to a book? For the most part, I say no. But there are some stunning exceptions:

The Heiress
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Merchant Ivory adaptations are all glorious, particularly these four:
Howards End
Maurice
The Remains of the Day
A Room with a View

What about Mr. Potter?
Harry Potter films

And the recent YA novel turned film:
Love, Simon

Agree? Disagree? Have any to add to this list?

The Heiress

Scott & Bailey: Season 3

July 2, 2018

Season 3 turned out to be the most complex and shocking Scott & Bailey so far. Friendships destroyed, difficult relatives, free-fall marriages, difficult cases and a mole among the staff are just some of the challenges facing Janet and Rachel in this twisty eight-episode arc. Really love this show. It’s so easy to watch. Nothing too complicated and yet the quality never falters. 4 out of 5.

Enlightened: Season 2 (take 2)

June 23, 2018

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the colossal whistle-blower television series, Enlightened from the brilliant minds of Mike White and Laura Dern.

9 to 5 tribute

June 21, 2018

My good luck charms: Lily, Jane, and Dolly in 9 to 5.

Man in an Orange Shirt

June 19, 2018

PBS’ Masterpiece imports another outstanding British production, Man in an Orange Shirt available today on DVD and streaming. The film tells the love stories of two male couples, one post WWII and one in present day England. British novelist Patrick Gale wrote Man in an Orange Shirt. If you haven’t read any Gale, I suggest starting with Rough Music or The Facts of Life. Gale is a master of storytelling in multiple time periods. Man in an Orange Shirt focuses on love, but also exposes the destruction the closet can reap on gay people and their loved ones, particularly their opposite-sexed spouses. Michael and Thomas struggle to hold on to their love in an unforgiving 1940’s England. Michael marries Flora while Thomas faces the law. Michael’s grandson Adam meets Steve as they face modern-day challenges of open relationships and online hook-ups. For both couples, the closet and societal acceptance prove their biggest hurdles. Writing, production values, acting, directing all first-rate. The story is told in two parts starting as the war comes to an end and finishing in present time. Man in an Orange Shirt feels like something I will want to revisit in the very near future. Thrilled these stories are being written and produced for television. Lots of tears with ultimately one happy ending. 4 out of 5 for Man in an Orange Shirt.

Love, Simon

June 16, 2018

Ah, a new generation’s coming out film. Only this time the film goes from indy to wide theater release with celebrities renting out movie houses for kids and their parents to see the film. We can and need to enjoy the progress while continuing the fight for full equality for all. The Greg Berlanti adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s gorgeous YA (Young Adult) novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda lives up to the hype. Before you watch, read the book. Newly crowned, Love, Simon, Berlanti’s film captures the simple, every-teen existence of Simon Spier navigating high school and his uncertainty about coming out in his picture postcard life. Simon has an easy life. What he doesn’t understand is why he has to come out and no one else does. Love, Simon becomes accessible by striking a balance between the characters. Yes Simon is white and privileged and male, but his story is universal and his friends are straight and many shades other than white. I realize it can be frustrating seeing yourself only in supporting roles. So I’m not minimizing that issue. I’m simply saying there’s power in telling these coming out stories to a wider audience using images society is comfortable with… cis white males and then absolutely following that up with stories about women, people of color, gender non-conforming, etc. I thought Simon worked on many levels and part of that was the accessibility of this film to straight white America. I live in a town with very little diversity so I understand the importance of visibility. Simon also excels at accessibility because the story stays simple and easy-going. No one gets beat up or threatened. Simon doesn’t lose his family’s love. But there’s still drama and angst which fuels the teen drama in familiar ways. I absolutely enjoyed Love, Simon and understand why it got such love when it was released. It’s out on DVD and streaming. Love, Simon will make you happy we live in a world where progress has been made. There’s still tons of work to do, but it’s nice to be able to take a break and enjoy how far we’ve come. Love, Simon is a tender reminder of the good things the world has to offer LGBT kids today. 4 out of 5.

Enlightened: Season 1 (take 2)

June 15, 2018

In awe of how great Mike White’s Enlightened is the second time around. Must see for anyone who’s ever felt dead inside and lost from our brutal corporate reality. Or for anyone who wants a wake-up call. Or anyone who craves intelligent television. Click on the image to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

Queer as Folk: Season 5, The Final Season (take >3)

June 9, 2018

I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I moped when it ended. Click on the image below to see my updated review of the classic television series, Queer as Folk: Season 5: The Final Season.

Happy Pride Month 2018

June 1, 2018

I mentioned in an earlier post this week I’ll be tweeting each day in June 2018 #pridereads focusing on the many aspects of LGBT literature. I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Follow me @reelcharlie

Also, three years ago in 2015, I watched a film or television series each day for 30 Days of Gay. From an earlier blog post,

In June 2015, I created 30 Days of Gay: one review each day for the 30 days of June, LGBT Pride Month. I reviewed classic LGBT films I love but had yet to review on Reel Charlie along with brand new films. The month-long project was a labor of love and so much fun! Please follow the 30 Days of Gay thread by clicking on the link below and navigating forward in the blog by clicking on the film title in the upper-right – begin the first navigation by clicking on the link below, then choosing Maurice:
30 Days of Gay

We have a lot of be thankful for and a whole more to fight for. Future generations will look back on our lives and wonder how we managed to do all we did to further equal rights for gender and sexuality. Keep on doing what you are doing, talk, march, donate, love, show up, just be your authentic self. Special thanks to all my beautiful allies who never cease to amaze me. Your support and love make my heart sing. Happy Pride everyone. XOXO. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tea dance to find.


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