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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: International Spies, Dating Trials and Vocal Anxieties

    I got five new movies this month. Let’s see how they fare…

    For More Mini Movie Reviews, check out this page.


    Walk On Water

    Eyal is a professional hit man for the Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service. His newest mission is to track down the ex-Nazi officer Alfred Himmelman rumoured to be still alive. Eyal spies on Himmelman’s granddaughter, now living out in Israel after turning her back on her family in Germany. Eyal poses as a personal tour guide and takes her visiting brother Axel from the historical sights of Jerusalem to the shores of the Dead Sea. Soon after Axel’s return to Germany, the Mossad suspects that Himmelman could come out of hiding for Axel’s father’s upcoming birthday party. Eyal is sent to Germany, where he must get closer to Axel in order to discover the truth about the notorious family. Uncharacteristically vulnerable since his ex-wife’s recent death, professional killer Eyal will also have to discover certain truths about himself.

    Not a gay movie per se or even romance but more of a movie with a gay major character. This is a movie full of ironies that kind of made sense if only people could be so open minded. It is, above all, a story of peace.

    We find the granddaughter of a Nazi officer finding a home in Israel. An Israeli spy dancing an traditional Israeli dance in the house of a Nazi family. A straight guy having more chemistry with the gay brother than the sister he eventually married. Had this been filmed today, I think they would have added the romantic twist.

    Be it the case, I have no complaints. This is a beautiful, underrated movie you should check out.


    More Than Only

    A young gay man finds how to love himself and accept love from another, despite the disapproval of his father.

    Ridiculously cute! And realistic too.

    A story of a university student who must accomplish three tasks ala Triwizard Tournament in order to win a date with a cute nurse. There are a lot of fluffy moments balanced by more dramatic, angstier scenes wherein the main character has self-destructive tendencies triggered by a homophobic father.

    The scenes where the father suddenly calls are gutwrenching. The mood immediately plummets and you can see the raw hurt. In contrast to that, the scenes between the two MCs are bursting with love and joy. I also love their group of friends, especially their badass best friend who not only helped with the tasks but later on became the surrogate mom to their child.

    This is a movie where you feel a rollercoaster of emotions and grow attached to the characters. And that last line!

    (After saying thing like growing attached to the characters I actually forgot their names…(๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ)


    Happy Endings Sleepover

    American CIA Field Operative, Johnnie Allen, is assigned to Denmark for his first mission. An American spy highly placed in the Kremlin is to be spirited out of Russia, and it is Johnnie’s job to get him safely to Antwerp where the agent will board a freighter.

    This is based on the novel of Cade Jay Hathaway. I haven’t read it yet but I love this movie! It’s a slow-burn, friends to lovers, roadtrip story with danger and espionage thrown in.

    The roadtrip part of the movie comes from the the part where Johnnie had to deliver a car and transport a spy across the boarder. His friend Sander tags along.

    Normally, I’m not a fan of roadtrip stories but this one has a lot going for it, from mistaken identities, scenic pitstops, kissing a friend to piss off a homophobic asshole then kissing him again because you realized he has feelings for you too. Let’s not forget antagonizing the royal guards, shooting bad guys and getting shot back.

    The MC is an American who speaks with a Curacao-an accent because he grew up in a cult in Curacao until he was 14. The main actor who is Dane pulled it off really well. The two MCs had great chemistry and the lead actors were good together.


    Do I Sound Gay?

    After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about “sounding gay.” Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people — both gay and straight — often wish for a different voice. In Thorpe’s feature-length documentary debut DO I SOUND GAY?, what starts as a personal journey becomes a chance to unpack layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem.

    Journalist David Thorpe tackles the gay sound. And yes, I agree, some people really do sound gay. I think it’s perfectly fine. One of the persons interviewed even said, he only needs to say hello and then everybody would know. No need to come out and say it.

    This is particularly interesting to me because I have a bit of a thing with voices. Like I notice that people from different countries could have a certain voice quality. For example, some Asian women have a distinctive voice that I would immediately recognize as Asian even if they are speaking with an American accent.

    I found interesting tidbits regarding Hollywood and gay culture. While it’s not surprising that there are many gay actors, I didn’t realize they had to work hard not to sound gay. There is apparently a voice coach who specializes in removing the “gay sound” in their speech.

    This documentary features luminaries such as George Takei, Margaret Cho, David Sedaris and Tim Gunn. Random people on the streets all over the world were also interviewed.

    This is a good film to watch if your interested in one man’s quest to change the way he sounds.


    The 10-Year Plan

    Myles and Brody are best friends and total opposites. Myles is an idealistic romantic looking for a husband. Brody joyfully bounces from bed to bed and revels in being single. Fearing what will become of them when they get older, the two friends make a pact to be a couple in ten years if neither has found true love. Ten years later, not much has changed. But now that their arrangement is almost due, both friends will do whatever it takes to avoid becoming each other’s last resort.

    My first thought here, wasn’t there a Kate Hudson rom-com with a similar storyline?

    Personally, I’m not convinced Brody is the best guy for Myles. He’s too much of a player. He is a great friend though because he’s always there when Myles needs cheering up.

    There’s not much surprises here. It’s pretty obvious how things will play out. The highlight for me here is the friendship between the MCs. The movie also did well in capturing their gradual transition from friends to romantic interest.

    Anyway, this is an okay movie, good enough to pass the time.


    Hope you enjoyed today’s Mini Movie Reviews! Have a great weekend!

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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Queen and Country, Friends and Lovers

    Reviewing this month’s batch of movies because this is turning out to be a monthly thing.

    For More Mini Movie Reviews, check out:
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: From Rom-Coms to Serial Killers
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: A Bit of Drama and Some Hokey Vampires
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Shakespeare Gems to Icelandic Tragedies (With Some Crap Along The Way)
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Secret Affairs I Rooted For, Comedies I Did Not Laugh At


    Jayson Bend: Queen and Country

    Jayson Bend, R.I.M. Agent 009, teams up with a Swiss counterpart to try and stop the launch of a satellite that will turn Ray Perdood, the owner of the largest global hair salon chain, into one of the most powerful men in the world.

    A super campy take on that famous franchise. So much fun!

    Our favorite queer agent traipse across Europe into the arms of exotic young men who may or may not be out to kill him. Throw in a seductive villainess, an evil mastermind and you get international shenanigans, dastardly deeds and fabulous hair. All the good stuff.

    Now if only young Q and Bond would get it on…


    Der Kreis (The Circle)

    Zurich: 1958. The bashful teacher Ernst Ostertag and the German cabaret artist Robi Rapp get to know one another in the Swiss underground organization called “Der Kreis.” (The Circle). As the two dissimilar men defend their love, they witness the heyday and decline of this Europe-wide pioneering organization for gay emancipation.

    Real life couple Ernst and Robi prove there is forever in this riveting docudrama about underground organizations and gay liberation.

    This beautiful film covers the time Ernst was introduced to The Circle up until the present time when gay marriage was legalized in Switerland. Ernst and Robi were the first gay couple to be married in the country. The two men were so used to living such a hush hush life that they were very surprise gay marriage was even possible. Their story got me teary eyed.


    Like You Mean It

    When Mark commits to falling back in love with Jonah, he is forced to look at himself with unprecedented courage and honesty.

    Discontented aspiring actor falls out of love with his boyfriend (despite having the bestest boyfriend ever! Dude, seriously?!) and then tries to fall in back in love again. This is basically the gist of this movie.

    This could very well be a rom-com but making this a dramatic story worked pretty well into making it more compelling and raw. I was also psyching myself up for hurts and heartbreaks. There’s plenty of hurts but the ending gave us hope, it was worth it.


    Beira Mar (Sea Shore)

    Martin and Tomaz travel to Brazil to sort out an inheritance. Once they are alone in a seaside cottage, feelings develop as they explore the border between friendship and love.

    Slooow-burning friends-to-lovers movie with cute actors to ogle. Blue hair = LOVE!!!

    This is also a coming-of-age of sorts and a story about connecting and overcoming fear. This is a quiet film with almost no background music. The silence, a palpable presence that served to highlight all the unsaid feelings between the characters. I love this quality in a film.

    The big reveals here also came as naturally as it can be with the two friends talking as they normally do. I love how everything simply fell into place. A young man finally had the courage to face his fears. And all was right in the world.


    What Women Want: Gay Romance

    A look at why women are the overwhelming majority of writers, publishers, readers and fans of gay male romance novels.

    When I was still a cosplayer, my dream was to go to Comiket in Tokyo. Nowadays, my dream is to attend the GRL.

    This Charlie David documentary explains why women (and some men) love gay romance. It covers GRL and pays tribute to its late founder Ethan Day. I’m so happy to see my favorite authors explaining the ins and outs of MM romance. Also, narrator Kenneth Obi was there! I love his work in Unbreakable Bonds and other Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott books. There were also other authors there I have yet to discover. The whole event looked so much fun!

    This is a must-see documentary for fans and even non-fans alike.


    Hope you enjoyed today’s Mini Movie Reviews! Have a great weekend!

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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Secret Affairs I Rooted For, Comedies I Did Not Laugh At

    This is another round of Mini Movie Reviews. I picked these movies because of their posters. I get interesting results. Here goes…:

    For More Mini Movie Reviews, check out:
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: From Rom-Coms to Serial Killers
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: A Bit of Drama and Some Hokey Vampires
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Shakespeare Gems to Icelandic Tragedies (With Some Crap Along The Way)


    Capital Games

    Take two ambitious men, one top LA advertising firm, and add a competition for the same high-ranking job. Tough ex-LAPD cop Steve Miller quit the police force to work in the calm of an office environment. Mark Richfield, the glamorous new kid in the office, soon wins favor with the big boss and co-workers causing Steve to cringe in jealousy. After a team-building exercise in the Santa Fe desert goes awry, the two men share a night of passion that leaves them both with unresolved emotions. Steve becomes torn between passionate love and passionate hatred and Mark must endure an agonizing decision that will affect his life forever.

    Based on the book by G.A. Hauser, this is an enemies to lovers, gay-for-you story that’s a must watch for fans. I’m not sure which is better, the book or the movie (haven’t read the book yet) but I had a lot of fun watching this MM book come alive on screen. Some of the acting could use some work but the actor for Steve Miller pulled it off really well. Steve was the best character here.


    Lazy Eye

    Passions re-ignite and secrets revealed when a graphic designer reconnects with the great, lost love of his life for a weekend tryst at a house in the desert near Joshua Tree.

    I had conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, this is a really good movie. It was well-acted, great plot, absolutely fantastic chemistry, gorgeous scenery. Then after getting my hopes up and lulling me in with feel-good feels, it pulled the rug from under my feet. Moral of the story: Sometimes we get what we need, not what we want.


    Bite Marks

    While backpacking across the country, bickering gay couple Cary and Vogel decide to speed up their trek by hitchhiking instead. That’s when fate brings them Brewster, a sexually confused trucker who picks the pair up on his way to delivering a shipment of coffins. After a few strokes of bad luck, the mismatched trio ends up lost and broken down in an abandoned junkyard. Though surviving a night of petty fights and sexual tension seems tough enough, the nightmare is only just getting started as strange noises in the back of the truck reveal the presence of five bloodthirsty vampires.

    A messy trainwreck I couldn’t look away from. Partly because vampires. Partly because this has a lot of potential. The sarcastic lines and satirical humor didn’t quite had me LOLing but I could appreciate the attempt to put a twist on a tired old genre.


    Rainbow Bridge Motel

    After reserving their dream wedding package at Niagara Falls, Dean and Darren learn they’ve booked themselves in a run-down motor lodge sandwiched between two chemical plants run by some guy named Shibbawitz and a Burmese refugee family.

    This one’s a real mess. It was all over the place. It was trying too hard to be PC and inclusive. It wasn’t funny at all. All in all, waste of a good concept.


    Free Fall

    In his gripping and erotic feature debut, German director Stephan Lacant chronicles the pleasures and pitfalls of a tumultuous love affair between police officer Marc (Hanno Koffler, Summer Storm) and his training partner, Kay. At first Marc brushes off his attraction to his colleague as a fluke, but his feelings become evident the more time he spends away from his pregnant girlfriend Bettina, inside motel rooms and in remote corners of the forest with Kay.

    I’m pissed that the two men didn’t go riding off to the sunset. Just setting expectations here for those, like me, prefer certain kinds of endings. Still, this was a powerful movie capturing that irresistible urge to be with someone you’re not supposed to be with. It also tackles homophobia especially in the police force. I love the actors here. A must-watch if you are a fan of Summer Storm and SENSE8. A sequel please!!!


    Hope you enjoyed this week’s Mini Movie Reviews. Have a great Saturday!

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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: Shakespeare Gems to Icelandic Tragedies (With Some Crap Along The Way)

    A mix-bag of movies this weekend. Let’s get right to it…

    For More Mini Movie Reviews, check out:
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: From Rom-Coms to Serial Killers
    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: A Bit of Drama and Some Hokey Vampires


    I Want To Get Married

    Just six days before the vote on Prop 8, the sweet and geeky Paul attends a wedding and decides he wants to get married to the man of his dreams. At the same time, he’s assigned to work for a conservative client who’s campaigning against gay marriage — and he’s too strapped for cash to say “no.” In the week that follows, Paul embarks on a hilarious and heartwarming personal journey to find the man of his dreams, test his moral limits and reconcile with his estranged parents.

    An awkward movie with awkward acting. Awkward could be adorable but this totally lacked the charm. Shame. I expected better from Matthew Montgomery.


    The Seminarian

    A closeted student at a conservative theological seminary, struggles to come to terms with his nurtured beliefs and coming out to himself, his friends, and his only surviving family member. At this low point mentally and emotionally, Ryan ends up in a troubled online relationship which leads him to question everything he has known about God and Love.

    Philosophizing about God and Love while dealing with a closeted sexuality should have been profound and moving but this movie has the personality of an oatmeal. The lead actor lacked charisma. Do not waste your time on this.


    Getting Go: The Go Project

    A shy young man schemes to meet a hunky dancer known as ‘Go’ under the pretence of filming a documentary about him, and New York’s nightlife. As the two grow closer the line between subject and filmmaker become increasingly blurred.

    A so very not safe for work movie shot entirely with hand-held cameras and cellphones. The documentary style made it seem the whole thing was real. So real that I sometimes had to remind myself this was completely fictional. This was raw and honest. The bittersweet ending was very apt.


    Rift (Rokkur)

    Two men in a secluded cabin are haunted by their dead relationship.

    A movie that simultaneously affirms my belief not to live smack dab in the middle of nowhere and made me want to go to Iceland. The gorgeous, sweeping landscapes served as a back-drop to a dark suspenseful plot that kept me riveted to the screen. This is one of those movies where the timeline of events could be confusing. Also with some surreal scenes that made you question reality. I love how the two lead actors brought out the palpable post-breakup tension and chemistry between MC’s Einar and Gunnar. This is not romance though so you know what to expect.


    Leather

    Birch, a young man living in the Catskill Mountains, reunites with Andrew, his childhood friend from the city.

    A movie that was for some reason tagged as comedy although there was nothing remotely funny about it. The attempts at humor fell flat. This has so much potential to be good instead it was all over the place. I love friends-to-lovers stories but even Birch’s more hipster than hipster, old-school lifestyle and cool soundtrack couldn’t save this movie.


    Private Romeo

    A modern take on Shakespeare’s `Romeo and Juliet’. When eight male cadets are left behind at an isolated military high school, the greatest romantic drama ever written seeps out of the classroom and permeates their lives.

    Saving the best for last with this brilliant Shakespeare interpretation I completely went gaga over. Never had Romeo and Juliet been done so differently yet totally made sense. The actors outdid themselves here. The chemistry between MCs Sam (Romeo) and Glenn (Juliet) was off the charts! But they were nearly upstaged by Josh (Mercutio) whose intensity radiates off the screen. Watch this now!!!


    Hope you enjoyed this week’s Mini Movie Reviews. Have a great Saturday!

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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: A Bit of Drama and Some Hokey Vampires

    I was able to watch more movies last weekend. This time, I didn’t go with my usual rom-com diet. I went with the dramatic stories just for a change.

    But I couldn’t go without the vampires. There always has to be vampires.

    Also, check out: MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: From Rom-Coms to Serial Killers


    Gone, But Not Forgotten

    Questions about the identity of an amnesiac (Matthew Montgomery) threaten his romance with the park ranger (Aaron Orr) who rescued him.

    Fresh faced Matthew Montgomery wins the day for being adorable in this critically acclaimed film that I cannot believe was made in 2003! I mean, it’s so normal! It’s not low budget crap or some controversial artsy number. It’s a solid dramatic movie that everybody could watch. We need more of this.


    Role/Play

    A recently outed actor and a gay-marriage activist meet and begin a relationship, forcing them to confront the fickle nature of celebrity within the community

    More of Matthew Montgomery, this time playing opposite his real-life husband Steve Callahan. This is a talky film where they argued about private and public personas, being true to one self and being a professional gay which I didn’t know until now was an actual thing. This might be a good film to watch if you’re curious as to why many gay actors still prefer to stay in the closet despite the changing times.


    Mulligans

    Chase (Charlie David) never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson. A closeted gay man’s (Dan Payne) affair with his son’s best friend (Charlie David) threatens to tear his family apart.

    Young+super cute Charlie David brought his strong eyebrow game and tempts a closeted dad who looked like an older Superman. Big nay on the cheating part but this is also a good teaching-kids-gay-is-okay movie. Mostly because of how the film handled sensitive issues when a child is also involved.

    Vampire Boys 2: The New Brood

    Jasin’s century-old rival, Demetrius, returns to get his revenge and ruin his eternal bliss with Caleb. Demetrius creates an army of vampires – including Jasin’s ex, Tara – by converting unwilling victims from the local boxing gym for his new brood.

    The Vampire Boys are back. This time with a bigger budget and a better looking cast. The acting could still use some work though.


    Vampires: Lucas Rising

    The vampire Lucas returns from the underworld to help stop the evil Lilith from creating a master vampire race.


    Film company Ariztical (also of the Vampire Boys fame) carves a niche for themselves in the gay vampire genre with yet another fangy movie. This one has the acting style and special fx quality of 90s sentai shows and should be watch with the same suspension of disbelief and same level of enjoyment. In short, it so bad it’s good. I want more!


    How’s your Saturday going, everyone? I hope you’re having a peaceful weekend. The world is in chaos so please stay safe!

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    MINI MOVIE REVIEWS: From Rom-Coms to Serial Killers

    I had a movie marathon last weekend so I’m going to do mini reviews of the movies I watched. I usually gravitate towards rom-coms only because they’re guaranteed to have happy endings but I was able to watch a couple of darker movies.

    Anyhoo, here goes…


    The Thing About Harry

    Sam is a young gay man who’s forced to share a car ride with Harry — a popular jock who was his enemy in high school. But things take an unexpected turn when Sam learns that Harry has come out, opening the door for a potential romance

    The thing I liked about this movie is that whenever I thought I knew where it was going, it doesn’t go the way I expected it to. It tried not to go the usual rom-com routes while still delivering our requisite happy ending. This one has not only one but two grand gesture moments. I’m kinda meh on how they played musical chairs when it comes to sleeping with their friends turned boy/girlfriends turn exes then back again. Still, if you like a feel-good gay rom-com, this is it.


    Shadowlands

    Shadowlands explores love in three separate stories – a couple renegotiating a relationship, a narcissist grrasping to comprehend it, and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss.

    When I first saw trailer, I was reminded of the Japanese movie, Ranpo Noir, with its dark themes and sensual imagery. This anthology is divided into three parts, what I liked to call, The Weird One, The Cute One and The Sad Sad One.

    Narcissus a.k.a The Weird One is about a surgeon in 1928 who was obsessed with his own fucked up idea of perfection. This one would have been more effective had the acting been a little better. The main actor looked the part but he lacked the intensity.

    Mating Season a.k.a The Cute One is about a couple in 1951 talking about the idea of having an open relationship while camping in the woods. One day they met a young man who they welcomed into their company. This is my favorite. It’s sweet and fluffy with just a hint of paranormal.

    Pygmalion Revisited a.k.a The Sad Sad One. is about a modern day artist grieving the loss of his partner. This here was raw grief. The flashbacks of happier days juxtaposed with the present one nearly had me bawling like a baby.


    eCupid

    A gay man nearing 30, and in a 7-year relationship rut, taps into an otherworldly Internet ad that starts omnisciently controlling his life.

    I first saw this on Youtube, tried to watch it but found it a little bland. Then I tried to watch it again and found it’s not so bad after all. As far as gay rom-com goes, this is one of the okay ones. Marshall was an ass for trying to dump his cute boyfriend and he needs to grovel more.

    Vampire Boys

    Jasin and his vampire brood’s time is running out. In order for them to survive, Jasin needs to find a mortal to turn into a vampire to spend eternity with. Los Angeles provides plenty of young candidates. The brood has their eyes set on Tara, a young, gorgeous blond college student. Tara is open to the idea of becoming a vampire, but someone else enters the picture to disrupt the brood’s plans. Caleb, a fresh face college student new to Los Angeles, keeps dreaming of a mysterious stranger. At school, Caleb meets the stranger, Jasin, and they have an instant connection. The problem is that time is short, and Jasin needs to convince Caleb that eternity as a vampire can be a very sweet life.

    This is so low budget I can’t even!

    We are way past overdue for a proper gay vampire movie, Hollywood! Somebody do a big budget remake of this because F4 vampires for the win.


    Devil’s Path

    Two men encounter each other on a dangerous gay cruising park trail, and quickly find themselves caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

    A twisty suspense thriller that has a lot of running around. Normally I get bored with chase scenes but I really liked that this movie has two very unreliable MCs so it’s pretty unpredictable.


    A group of social gay men welcomes a handsome new guy into the circle of friends, but they fail to notice that friends start disappearing, one by one.

    A very tongue in cheek serial killer falls in love story. Not exactly hilarious and I didn’t even get the Youtube jokes but heck, it was cute. Cute’s my jam so…


    I had a great time and would have watched more but my eyes were getting blurry already. I’m happy that the quality of LGBT movies have been improving instead of being relegated to the usual B-movie category. Here’s hoping for more quality LGBT movies.

    Are rom-coms your thing? Or are you more into the darker stuff? What’s your favorite LGBT movie?