Archive for the 'Movies' Category

19
Jul
10

Some Europop from the 70s

Back in the 70s, a certain Europop band from Sweden ruled the charts here in Australia. Everyone wanted to jump on the bandwagon so went searching through their European archives of songs they had given up on to see is they could match the success of the Swedish palindrome. Here are some of my favourites.

Teach In – “Upside Down” (Netherlands)

Teach In (again) – “See The Sun” (Netherlands)

Champagne – “Rock ‘n Roll Star” (Netherlands)

Marianne Rosenberg – “A VIP” (Germany)

Silver Convention – “Get Up And Boogie” (Germany)

Silver Convention (again) – “Fly Robin Fly”

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24
Feb
10

Prayers For Bobby

Although it’s been more than two hours since the movie finished and I have been trying to distract myself with uptempo music, I still feel an emotional wreck. I feel all cried out, probably because I have been crying my eyes out.

The reason is the movie “Prayers For Bobby” starring Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffith, the ultra religious mother of gay teen Bobby. She cannot accept his sexuality because it goes against what she has read in the bible. And one doesn’t question the bible. Bobby feels more and more alienated and eventually takes his own life. Mary goes to pieces (as did I) and starts a journey of questioning her blind acceptance of the bible and eventually becoming involved with PFLAG. Her speech towards the end of the movie is inspirational.

Sigourney is simply brilliant as always, although you spend most of the movie hating her. Ryan Kelley as Bobby is superb. I recognised him from somewhere and when I checked, I saw that he had played Ryan in one of my favourite “Smallville” episodes “Stray”. This is considered by many to be one of the best episodes in the series history mainly due to the performance of Ryan.

This movie is a must-see, especially for any parents of gay kids. Here is the trailer which is emotional enough by itself.

16
Jan
10

Lots of Tim Draxl

I have had a big week of Tim Draxl, singer and actor.

I have had his album “Insongniac” on my MP3 player fairly constantly.

I finally saw his latest movie to be released on DVD in Australia – “In My Sleep”. So it wasn’t that good but for what it was, it was OK. It engaged me for 90 minutes as long as I didn’t think too much about it. Tim was good but didn’t really have too much to do from an acting point of view.

Thursday night I joined James and Colin to see Tim perform at the Civic Hotel. As usual he was great. He can really sing while ripping your heart out at the same time. Great venue, great service, great food and of course, great company. Thanks to James for the photo of Tim and me after the show.

I’m on the left (in case you couldn’t work it out)

Another thrill was that we were able to buy Tim’s first CD in almost 9 years. “Live At The Supper Club” was recorded, well, live at the Supper Club back in August. It contains all of my favourite performances and is really quite sublime. It’s interesting to compare the album with “Insongniac”, Tim’s last album recorded when he was 19. Tim’s voice has really matured and you can really feel the emotion behind the song. You can order the album here.

23
Aug
09

Tim Draxl – Actor

timheadshot

As mentioned in my previous post, Tim Draxl is concentrating on acting as a career. He has been living in LA for the past four years and has completed four movies which are ready for release over the next 12 months.

“Red Canyon” is a controversial thriller and allows Tim to show more of an emotional range. He is one of the stars of this one and can be seen throughout the trailer.

The first one we’ll probably get to see is another thriller “In My Sleep”. It comes out on DVD in Australia in October and opens in US cinemas early next year. There are a couple of glimpses of Tim in the trailer.

Another film that is starting to create a buzz is “Ivory”, starring Tim as a concert pianist alongside Martin Landau and Peter Stormare. No trailer or anything at the moment so keep an eye out for that one.

If you want to look at some of Tim’s earlier stuff, he is excellent in “Swimming Upstream” which is readily available.

“The Shark Net” was an ABC Australia mini series which attracted critical acclaim, as did Tim’s performance. It has just been released on DVD in Australia (cover below).

sharknetdvd

26
Jun
09

My 10 Favourite Gay Films

JudgeG recently asked me to comment on the film, Boys In The Band and he has put up my response on his blog. Needless to say, I hate it and he loves it so he wanted to put up two opposing views. Check it out here.

Rather than dwell on stuff I don’t like, I thought I’d share my list of favourite gay films. This is just off the top of my head and I’ve put them into chronological order.

victim

VICTIM (1961)

Predating Boys In The Band by 9 years, Victim tells of a lawyer being blackmailed because of his sexuality. This was time when being a homosexual was highly illegal and something to be ashamed of. Dirk Bogarde played the lawyer, both the actor and his character standing up for what is right with the threat of destorying their respective careers hanging over their head. A brave and inspiring film.

torchsong

TORCH SONG TRILOGY (1988)

A heart-warming story told of different stages of a gay man’s life and in particular, his relationships and how patterns repeat themselves. Very funny and very touching at the same time. Harvey Fierstein wrote and directed and starred alongside Anne Bancroft and Matthew Broderick.

sumofus

THE SUM OF US (1994)

I’m not much of a Russell Crowe fan but he is brilliant in this Australian film as a gay plumber trying to find love and his relationship with his very understanding father. A very Australian film with very Australian characters that you just fall in love with.

jeffrey

JEFFREY (1995)

There have been so many films about HIV/AIDS that it got a bit much at one stage. It was almost like you couldn’t have a gay film unless it was about HIV/AIDS. Jeffrey was the film that stood out for me. At times totally hilarious and at times very sad and dramatic. Patrick Stewart is stunning as a flamboyant gay man (I could never look at Captain Picard quite the same way again) and there are all star cameos from Olympia Dukakis, Christine Baranski, Kathy Najimy, Nathan Lane and Sigourney Weaver.

beautifulthing

BEAUTIFUL THING (1996)

A wonderful love story between two teenage boys as they go through their person journies. The dance scene at the end always leaves me with tears of happiness. The film is chock full of colourful characters and lots of Mama Cass music. This film really is a beautiful thing.

getreal

GET REAL (1998)

This is the story of Steven, an English schoolboy, and his journey which culminates in a very moving coming out speech in front of his school, family and friends. There’s also a Cyberman in it so how could I not love this film?

brokeback

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005)

You just knew that this film had to be on my list, didn’t you? Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are just superb in this dramatic tear-jerker of an unspoken love between two men.

shelter

SHELTER (2007)

A film about family, being true to your dreams, love and surfing. I first saw this at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Film Festival and just loved it. A very positive story with two appealing lead characters. Being gay is just treated as something quite normal which is quite refreshing.

patrik

PATRIK, AGE 1.5 (2008)

Another film from the Film Festival and another film about family. A Swedish gay couple want to adopt an 18 month old baby (ie. 1.5 years) and due to an error end up with a 15 year old homophobic thug. The journey that this odd family unit takes is very heartwarming and very Swedish. I could relate to the Swedish bureaucracy, that’s for sure!

milk

MILK (2008)

A truly inspiring story about a truly inspiring man. Sean Penn does such a good job of capturing Harvey Milk and he certainly deserved the Oscar. The film is very compelling as it travels towards the inevitable ending (for those who know about Harvey Milk). Although I knew how the story ends, it still packed an emotional wallop.

17
May
09

William Shatner in Esperanto

I’m currently reading (and enjoying) William Shatner’s autobiography. In it, he talks about a low budget movie he made just before “Star Trek” called “Incubus”. He talks about getting the original script (in English) and signing on to the project. It was only after agreeing to do the film that the director told everyone that the film would be shot in the constructed language, Esperanto, a failed but noble attempt to introduce a universal language. Not only that, even when not filming, the cast and crew all had to speak Esperanto!

By his own admission, William Shatner is well-known for making up stories so I found this hard to believe.

But it’s true.

Here is a trailer for the DVD with Shatner taking on the Succubi Sisters. The trailer is ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek but reports are that the movie is actually not too bad despite its low budget status. And don’t worry – there are English sub-titles.

I’m tempted to get this one!

17
Apr
09

Movies…

2009 in movies for me has been character driven, barely any special effects and no CGI. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good blockbuster, it’s just that I haven’t seen any this year until recently.

I have seen and loved movies like Milk, Doubt and The Reader – all sensational and well deserving of the accolades received. Thanks to the DVD medium, I have also caught up with such brilliant movies like The Black Balloon, September. A Guide To Recognising Your Saints and the charming comedy Juno.

So, I guess I was due something a bit more mainstream and action-driven. Sadly, I picked two movies that despite all the hype were both very disappointing.

Twilight

I should have heeded the warnings but I needed a couple of hours of destressing at a cinema one day and there was nothing at all on. I reluctantly picked this movie and I wish I hadn’t.

I love a good vampire story and films like “Interview With A Vampire” and TV shows like “True Blood” really hit the mark but there’s nothing really to connect with in “Twilight”.

To be fair, I’m not part of the target audience and I have never read the books. To me, the first part of the movie played out like a “Dawson’s Creek” episode albeit with vampires but it didn’t have to be vampires. The story seemed intent on destroying much of the vampire folklore. I can cope with small changes (“True Blood” had a good take on the reflection in a mirror myth) but hey, these vampires can even go out for a stroll in the daytime. Vampires are meant to be creatures of the night. The second part of the movie was quite boring and really just an over-extended chase scene.

And I must be one of the few people who does not get the whole Robert Pattinson thing. Yes, he’s good looking in his own way but I would not call him beautiful in the way most people are. I found Cam Gigandet a lot more appealing but then again I have always had a weakness for the bad boy. Taylor Lautner has a lot more potential but needs a few more years.

Just my opinion since there were a lot of people who loved this movie. I simply wasn’t one of them!

Watchmen

I had high hopes for this movie and it has been on my must-see list for quite a while now. I really wish I hadn’t seen it and I even seriously considered walking out during the screening.

I used to read comics when I was younger and have really enjoyed the big screen adaptions of recent years. On paper, “Watchmen” sounded really interesting and compelling. A story showing the dark side of being a super hero set in an alternate timeline version of the 80s where Richard Nixon is still president and the planet is on the brink of war.

I knew it was going to be dark and violent and I was OK with that. I don’t particularly like violence in movies but as long as it is not gratuitous and I know when to look away then I can usually cope. The violence in “Watchmen” was over-the-top, sickening  and totally gratuitous. I couldn’t believe the movie was only rated MA when it should have been R (Australian ratings) based on the depiction of violence.

One can usually find some connection with a character, however dark they may be but not this collection of characters. Even the supposedly “good” heroes were very boring and bland and I couldn’t feel any connection. The two most (or should I say only) interesting characters were the sociopath Rorschach and the disconnected outcast Dr Manhattan, both played well by Jackie Earle Haley and Billy Crudup respectively. They were the only two actors I would keep if I was recasting the movie.

As I have already said, the story itself is a good one as well as being very intelligent and thought-provoking. There is a lot of potential to make a really good movie out of it and I would have done it totally differently. I guess that the movie has been influenced by the look and feel of the original graphic novel which has a cult following. I have not read the graphic novel and, like with “Twilight”, I do not fall into the target audience. I believe that the fans were in the main happy with the final product so who am I to want to change that. I just wish I had never seen it.




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