March 2018. Saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (James Gunn, 2017). Hugely entertaining, like the first one. It still works, although perhaps more routinely. The chemistry between Pratt and Saldana too. Visually possibly even more stunning than the first one. The one thing that finally makes Marvel adaptations acceptable in the twenty-first century: CGI. Hurrah for progress.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
September 2014. Saw Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014). I always fear the worst when they adapt a Marvel comic. But this actually works rather well. The actors are very convincing. Chris Pratt (so good-looking when he loses the extra weight) delivers. And the chemistry between him and Zoe Saldana is interesting. The characters Peter and Gamora have a fresh approach to gender.
December 2018. Saw The Happy Prince (Rupert Everett, 2018). Not bad at all. Not just another Wilde biopic. And this time it doesn't concentrate on the trial. A queer movie, somehow. Everett seems to be the right guy for the job (direction and writing and acting), obviously sharing characteristics with Wilde. At any rate Everett and I see Wilde in the same way, yay. Of course I read every Wilde book, but I also read every Everett book. Nice to see Colin Morgan as Lord Alfred Douglas.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
August 2018. Saw Hooked (Max Emerson, 2017). A very imperfect but endearing movie. I like Max Emerson as a model, I like him as an actor, I like what he does on social media, what he does with drag queens. As a writer and director, there is still a lot of progress to be made, but, hey, for a first movie, it's not so bad! Never mind the bitchy critics. I think the principal problem is that Emerson has a political message to deliver, which sometimes gets in the way of his characterization and direction. The main actor, Conor Donnally, is hot and adequate (as hooker Jack). Of course we can all agree with the message about queer homeless youth, but the story could have been more gripping.
August 2018. Saw The Package (Jake Szymanski, 2018). If you like gross teen movies, with one penis joke, really overextended, this movie is for you (and don't get me wrong, I love the teen movie genre). Daniel Doheny, who was charming in Alex Strangelove, tries his best and still acts convincingly, but whereas the jokes were OK in Alex Strangelove, they're merely vulgar in this. Although I must admit I laughed at some passages. A few interesting things to say about gender and a couple of funny bits of female empowerment I suppose.
Monday, June 11, 2018
June 2018. Saw Alex Strangelove (Craig Johnson, 2018), written by Craig Johnson. Not bad at all. A gay teen movie. Totally mainstream in the best sense of the word. A rom-com, in a way. Every baker in America should see this before they decide who to sell wedding cakes to. Quite charming and well-acted. Funny: the objects in Elliott's bedroom that signify gayness. Also funny, the use of the B-52s. And, no, just because it's exactly the same kind of movie as Love, Simon, doesn't mean you should see only one, they're complementary. There can never be enough of those movies.
June 2018. Saw Love, Simon (Greg Berlanti, 2018), adapted from Becky Albertalli's novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (pity about the movie title). Not bad at all. A gay teen novel, a gay teen movie. Totally mainstream in the best sense of the word. A rom-com, in a way. Every baker in America should see this before they decide who to sell wedding cakes to. Quite charming and well-acted. Funny: the objects on the wall that signify gayness.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
March 2018. Saw Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017). Script by James Ivory. I'd read the novel by André Aciman, and liked it. The problem with this movie is that it is too aesthetic. Too politically safe, too visually safe. It takes place in the 1980s but perhaps it should not have been written and filmed as if nothing had happened since the 1980s, cinematographically and on the LGBTQ+ front. So, yes, it is very visually appealing; yes, Armie Hammer is hot; yes, Timothée Chalamet is cute; yes, Italy is beautiful. So? When a gay movie that's grainier and grittier gets Oscars nods, then we can go, "yay."
Monday, December 18, 2017
December 2017. Saw Why Him? (John Hamburg, 2016). John Hamburg gave us I Love You Man (2009), which I have worked on. This movie is extremely vulgar, the humor is scatological and often uninspired, and yet it sort of works. You find yourself laughing and warming up to the characters. And I'm not saying that just because I like James Franco--or because it's nice to see Bryan Cranston in something other than Breaking Bad. Pure genius: Kaley Cuoco doing Justine (like Siri).
November 2017. Saw Victor Frankenstein (Paul McGuigan, 2015). Useless, really. I saw and read dozens of Frankenstein products beside the Mary Shelley book. Some are fun, some bring something new to it. This one brings a couple of new things to the Frankenstein shtick (Igor isn't dim-witted and a humpback all along), but it's not really interesting. I prefer my James McAvoy in X-Men movies and my Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter movies.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
July 2017. Saw King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Guy Ritchie, 2017). Ritchie tends to be awful (Swept Away, Revolver), he can be great (RocknRolla). Or he can be interesting but flawed. This movie is full of good PoMo ideas and tremendous fun -- but it's uneven. I never want to hear, ever again, that an actor can't become an action hero if he plays gay: look at Charlie Hunnam (remember the UK Queer as Folk?). He's a good actor with a splendid future.
Friday, August 18, 2017
August 2017. Saw War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2017). Stupid French title: La Planète des singes: suprématie. What happened? Seriously, Matt Reeves, what happened? This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And Lord knows I'm not hard to please. Give me nice special effects, a good sci-fi pitch, and I'm happy. But this? Just a revolting succession of sappy clichés and hippie stereotypes, making you wonder if it was meant strictly for preschoolers (who'd probably be as bored as I was anyway). Not so-bad-it's-good, not funny, nothing. Just long and lethal. What a waste of money. Makes one wish they'd left the franchise alone back then, honestly.
October 2014. Saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2014). Acceptable movie. Effective. As IMDb says, "A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier."
Always nice to see Gary Oldman.
Always nice to see Gary Oldman.
August 2017. Saw Bell Book and Candle (Richard Quine, 1958). Stupid French title L'adorable voisine. 1958: a great year for Kim Novak and James Stewart, Hitchcock's Vertigo and this. Delightful comedy about a witch and a publisher. She's not quite as blond as I would like, but she's gorgeous. She wears a lot of black and red (and leopard skin!) and her eyebrows are wicked. Quine also directed Paris When It Sizzles (1964). Bell Book and Candle: I hadn't seen this little gem in years. The picture with the cat Pyewacket is a classic -- great scene.