Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eating Out - 2004

Eating Out - 2004 (US)

Eating out.jpg

A nice comedy with gay drama, and funny stuff. 

I watched this movie because Netflix suggested it and it was fun. 

The story is mostly a group of gay men, fag-hag, (ex)partners and stereotype all messing around together for a comedy where being gay is the center of it. 
It’s a mix of teen movie, high school movie, coming out to family and dive in the sea of stereotypes. 

The main story goes around the dynamic I love him who loves you and one of them pretends to be gay to hit on a girl. 
The story flows smoothly and made me laugh. 
Not much to think about stuff that emerges in the plot,as I generally like, but it’s a nice comedy for a relaxing time on tv. 

My vote. 2.5/5

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Torch Song Trilogy - 1988

Torch Song Trilogy - 1988 (US) 

This is an old movie that I had the opportunity to watch many times during my life. It’s kind of a step stone for camp culture so I watched it many times during the years with different people. 

The story has its place is the 80s where the gay movement was still young, there was no marriage and no visibility. The gay life was something that was happening at night in hidden part of the city. 
The main character is a drag queen and he comes from a Jewish family where he’s considered poor and living a terrible life. 
His life is pretty decent actually and he seems pretty happy with it. 

The movie is the story of many years of his life passing through love relationships, parenting a foster child, struggling for the love of his apparently cold steel mother. 

When I watch the movie I can identify with the main character and his struggle to be in a relationship: it was very similar for me too and it’s very interesting how the writers are dealing with this. 

What I like about this movie is the type of awareness that in the 80s was able to provide: drag queen’s life, casual sex, relationship, grief for the loss of the beloved ones, difficulty of communication between generations that keeps far away the two different visions of life between parents and offspring. 
The movie is also full of camp humor that makes everything, even the most difficult part of the plot, hilarious and lighter. 
Another very good moment is the one when mom and son are confronting each other in their mutual not allowing the other to explain or help. It’s so well-done by the gay attitude of the 80s of forcing others to accept one as a gay man no matter what and the “homophobic” part on pretending that this “argument” is just a little side note. I must say that Harvey Fierstein did a great job on displaying this on both sides of the “war”… it’s a very good point and I hope this made a lot of gay man question their approach on this matter. 

The movie flows very well between the different parts of the action and the different moments of the life of Arnold, the main character. 
One thing that I love of this movie is that it shows you that you can use sarcasm and laugh in many situations of your life., the hardest ones and the lighter ones. Also it’s another movie that tells you: “ be yourself!”, and this is always very good to know and refresh. 

To be a movie out in the 80s, Torch Song Trilogy, talks about bisexuality and open couples. It’s very good that a movie at that time was able to show and talk about this side of the sex life of people. The context is borderline gay, but the point it makes is pretty good, even if in the end it’s always a big funny mess ;) 
Another very good point is an early talk about adoption by homosexual couples: a very interesting argument for the 80s … that’s for sure!
In the end this story shows how the life of gay men is not too different from the one of everyone else: very similar struggles and emotions in a lack of rights environment. 

Anne Bancroft plays the difficult role of Arnold’s mother and she is really amazing in that part. She is a believable jewish mother who fights with all herself against the “poor life” of his son trying to deal with her strong vision of what is right in life and the love for her son. The casting for her role find an amazing actress that gives life to an amazing character.  Wow!

Thank you Harvey Fierstein for giving us a so nice story. 

My vote: 4.5/5

Mambo Italiano - 2003

Mambo Italiano - 2003 (CA)

Mambo italiano.jpg

Can Italian people be drama free for real? Not for this movie!

I’m Italian and this movie talks about Italians… and it’s freaking hilarious and it touches your heart. 

A nice drama/comedy that has its location in Montreal. 
As Angelo, the main character, says as some point: “There is nothing worse for Italians to be gay”.

This is the story of Angelo’s life from his childhood to the present moment. The Italian cultural background that immigrants have is very well depicted and and it can be pretty hilarious. 
The movie is a comedy but is dense of a lot of struggle that are part of the Italian culture and the actors are showing very well the various relationships. 
The part I like much is when the parents, as immigrants, are talking about their choice to move to Montreal (the fake Canada that is also the fake America). the different vision between the parents who immigrate and the offspring that was born in Canada. 
I also like the difference in perspective between the average gay who built and like the gay village and the main character who dislikes the village wanting and kind of straight relationship with his partner. That in my opinion is a very good point of the movie. No perspective wins and this is also a good point. 
I liked the rawness of the situation when all the parents are trying to change their sons' behaviour and everything that goes with it. I can say that, nonetheless this is a comedy and wants to make you laugh, it’s also a very good way to see all the pressures that are coming from a homophobic culture both on the person himself and on the parents. 
For me both laughs and dramatic moment are very good and this made me love this movie very much.  
Ginette Reno is wonderful in her portrait of an Italian mom, and Paul Sorvino is a great Italian Father and husband. They are conveying the emotional manipulation that is part of the culture in an amazing way. 

In the end the message of the movie is: “be yourself and be happy!” … and “do what others want you to do and be sad and in an emotional prison for the rest of your life”.

pretty great!

my vote 4/5

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Weekend - 2013

Weekend (UK) - 2013

Weekend 2011 film poster.png

This movie is a hidden gem. 
Finally a movie where dialogues and acting are the very center of the movie itself. This for me is delightful.
The movie is about a connection as well as a love that starts around the time of a weekend. One guy lives a normal life with a normal job and he lives his life alone. 
A few straight friends with family and kids. 
He doesn’t share his life, the emotional one, with his straight friends. Possibly because “they couldn’t understand” or possibly because “they are not interested”. …just an assumption by the way.
It’s a classic compartmentalized life of a gay man integrated and not so much. He questions himself, his life, but staying at the window and not going completely into it. 
When he met the “other” guy, after the sparkle of lust and sex, something weird starts. The other guy is an artist, a guy who questions and provoke almost anything and everyone. 
The artist asks him to share his thoughts about the approach and the attraction towards the artist himself, as part of a project he’s conducting for his art. This starts a very interesting set of discussions that start breaking apart his life and he does the same in a little part for the artist. 
Their discussions are the centre of the movie, where we can see two men going through their life, personality, to merge and share their views and approach to life, sex, goals, childhood and more and getting both enriched by this weird back and forth of dialogues, sex, pot and nudity. 
The director puts some sex scenes, both of the main character alone and with his mate. In my opinion, the use he does of the sex is amazing because it’s natural, it’s part of what happens in everyday life and this makes you, the watcher, and the two guys who are sharing the sex together in the same scene and emotions. It’s not what makes the movie appealing or interesting, but what talks about another aspect of the connection. 
The problem of the plot is that the artist is going away for a big period of time to study in US and this will bring him abroad. What started as a simple sex is now more than that and the connection puts the two guys in trouble with the leave that is supposed to happen and the end of the weekend. 

Another thing I loved when I saw it is the main character not sharing his big concerns with his straight friends. It’s good that the straight friend questions the main character on this topic. This makes the connection they have finally deeper and the “gay guy” can see that his sex and emotional life related to men is something that is worth to share and not an inconvenience that should be uninteresting. This is a very good point that many gay guys are falling into. It was showed very well in the movie. 

The other good thing that I saw in the movie is the power of the art to transform, impress and destroy the status quo. I love this and I think that this is the deepest aspect that art has no matter what the media is. 

The movie is shot in apartment locations as well as in some public places. The whole locations gave me a nice taste of the normal everyday life that the main character lives. 
The care for many details of the movie, life the furniture of the main’s character apartment or the great bike he rides are well done. They talk about him very well. 

The main actor, Tim Cullen,  is a straight man in the real life and his portrait of this gay man is impressive. The scenes where he kisses his mate are very passionate and he did a great job on giving life to this character. The other actors are pretty good themselves as well. The artist is portrayed by Chris New, a great actor who really looks and acts like the pain in the ass artist the character is. They create situations that look very real. 

In the end this is a great movie that left me good emotions, interesting thoughts and giveaways and I could sympathize with the characters. 
A pretty good movie. 

My vote: 4.5/5

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The martians - 2015

The Martians - 2015 (US)

How can you act like superman without being superman?
How can you deal with a terrible situation being human and credible?

This movie shows this in an amazing way.
The first approach to the scene is on Mars: the movie shows you wonderful landscape of what probably is living on Mars. I watched an exposition where they used images of the pathfinder and the result was very close to the one I can see here. Good job!
The costumes and scene were both amazing: not too far from what is possible or available today.
The only thing that is barely credible is how he could be healthy after the big incident happened at the beginning of the movie and not being sick for part of the first days.
This movie shows very well how sticking to the good news and not ceasing to the dark side of the situation creates miracles. This is fiction, but the approach they showed on the screen is amazing.
Matt Damon is great at his role and portraits a powerful character that is very strong and also pretty human.
Interesting all the politics and the dynamics on earth: a real mix of costs, emotions, resources and efforts.
The emotional part of the movie is finally not ruining the story: no one of the character goes in emotional loops that create a lot of silly situations, as seen many times in other movies like this one. I appreciate that this side of the story was pretty balanced.

The soundtrack is simply great! I love old stuff from the 70s and the 80s so I was delighted of all the music there. By the way, stay for the end title ... a good music track will be there that is also perfect in that very moment.

There are a few things difficult to believe (related to the production of what is needed to go on) because I didn't see any real planning for the resources needed there or that a plastic wrap can be good and enough in the situation where it was used to recover from an incident, but I can close one eye on them: the story is not about technicality, but about approach.

The story is credible and powerful.
I went out of the theatre happy to see that a movie is about a good approach to life (concentrate on the positive and on what it CAN be done), a mindfulness approach to a difficult situation (break down a big issue in smaller pieces), powerful images and great music.

Great casting for this movie: most of the actors are perfect for their part. Jeff Daniels is an amazing political chief in charge and he takes difficult and scary decisions.
Matt Damon is great and believable.
The aerodynamics geek is very close to a real one.

My vote: 4/5

Studio 54: director's cut - 1998

Studio 54: director's cut - 1998 (/2015) (US)

The difficult and amazing life at the end of the 70s seen by an ordinary, uncultured young man. 
The movie wants to provide the atmosphere and excitement around the king of the disco clubs of the 70s. The goal is pretty reached. I will only talk about the director's cut version of the movie that is pretty different by the original in the theatres back in the 90s.
I'm a great fan of the music of the 70s so this was the movie for me. I ignored what the studio 54 was (I was a kid at its time) but the movie provides me the electricity that was there at the time. 
The casting is amazing. Ryan Philippe acting is great: I really believe that he's a very simple, uncultured stunning man. Mike Myers is great at his portrait of Steve Rubell, but I admit that I don't  know if the real Rubell acted that way. 
The movie provides all the atmosphere that Rubell created in order to have people living a free sex and drugs lifestyle. The club attracted a lot of people from all over the world because of this. At the time this was unique and the freedom possible there was practically unlimited. 
The huge use of drugs is present everywhere and the many VIPs that attended the club are there as well (even if way less mentioned that what occurred). 

What I like of this movie is the great soundtrack and the show of the void of a life based on only cuteness in  world of sharks. I use you, you use me. This is the main theme and the probable main critic to the era. 
It's funny how I keep thinking that is unreal that Myers' character tells on TV about hiding money from the IRS, but this is the reality of what happened and it's simply crazy, probably Steve's judgment was clouded by the huge use of drugs he was doing. 
The scene around the bar and all the sex involved in the interaction with the customers is very well done. Not too much and pretty clear. Rubell was able to create a mix of culture (disco clubs), nightclub, entertainment that was really great even if terribly dangerous. 
Apart the main things about the club, the story-lines related to Shane's family and friends are pretty good. I recognize some mentions to Saturday Night Fever even if this weakens a little the plot. Maybe the situation with Shane's father are are shallow because Shane is pretty shallow himself , and probably is his father, but this is just a thought.
The costumes are amazing. Apparently the 54 was recreated pretty well, based on various comment I read on the internet of the usual customer of the club back in the days.
I like a lot that in this movie that we can have a glimpse of the crazy freedom that was around the world at that time: a lot of unprotected sex and a lot of mates, that nowadays looks pretty crazy (it was the pre-AIDS situation). 

my vote: 3.5/5 

Deep Impact - 1998

Deep Impact - 1998 (US)

A spectacular and world impact movie on a recurring fear the unknown from outer space seen from three different perspectives.

The movie has good rhythm and spectacular photography. The incoming slow Armageddon is coming by the usual big comet that promises to annihilate all the current life on hearth. Not an original plot, but this time we have a different perspective. There is the very young astronomical scientist discovering the comet and becoming famous (and also growing up very fast as a man); there is a crew of young and old astronauts that sees the issue as a mission to accomplish; there is a journalist that is all toward the career goals and has in this tragedy a moment of incredible boost of her work chances and career.

I like how the plot went toward all the story providing these different points of view: different levels of the society act and react in different ways, with different purposes, with different outcomes.

I find a bit weak that the cockiness of the presidential guards against the journalist ceases so strongly as soon as she has an agreement with the political administration on command.

Another thing I didn't like is all the emotional stuff going on with the young scientist. It's a deadly situation and they keep playing the card "I want to stay with my parents" even if this means sure death. In a good movie I'm expecting to see a parent in this situation forcing the offspring to keep going on and have a future and not the opposite. I imagine this has the favour of a part of the audience, but I prefer something less sweet and more plausible.
I like how the relationship of the astronaut is depicted. They mixed very well old style and new style together creating a good tension between two approaches to the mission that end up enriching themselves instead of breaking apart the mission itself.
The part related to the journalist is nice, but I think that the writer was too undecided with this character: is she a career oriented person that doesn't care to step on everyone else head or is she a professional who uses her own moral to evaluate her steps? I think for her they wanted both and that this weakened the character. I didn't see an inner evolution that can provide what they depicted for this character.
I was expecting all the "unforeseen issues": this type of movies often like to play very many unexpected events to made the resolver of the situation a god like human who play extremely smartly or extremely heroically. Or maybe because no movies end with the real destruction of the earth I had practically no surprise of the end of the movie. Personally the quality of the images in the space are compensating the lack of originality of the story.
The president, portrayed by a nice Morgan Freeman, is too much a sensitive human and not very credible, but I have to say that in the end of the 90s this was more credible than nowadays, so I won't complain too much.
Personally there was too emotional stuff on the story, but it's a movie that is nice to watch.

My vote: 3/5