Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Nine: Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

Screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack 

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare, Deneen Tyler, Michael O'Neill, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts and Griffin Dunne

This was a big deal at the time of its release. McConaughey was on an upswing in his career with The Lincoln Lawyer, Mud, and Killer Joe. This movie nabbed him the Best Actor Oscar along with Jared Leto for Supporting. Did I love this movie? No.

Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is a down on his luck electrician that finds out that he has tested positive for HIV. He doesn't beleive it at first, because it was a gay disease. Then, he has a change of heart and researches everything about it. The CDC, FDA are trying to control a trial of AZT to treat AIDS symptoms. Woodroof circumvents the red tape to provide medicine for people not on the trial.

I have some thoughts. I was not rooting for Woodroof. In the context of the movie, he was extremely prejudiced and homophobic. The slurs that were coming out of his mouth would make you blush. You expect me to root for this awful man. Was he trying to make a difference in treating AIDS? Sure. Should I clap for him? No. He was the main character of the movie. That does not bode well for me. I wanted him to fail. I didn't care about him.

This movie was trying to be so deep with the wailing, "oh, look at me, I lost all this weight so I can get an Oscar" and all that. I wasn't falling for it. Why did this story need to be told? I read up that one of the screenplay writers put a whole bunch of misinformation in the initial script with conspiracy theories that HIV do not develop into AIDS or how the early drugs like AZT worked in human body.

I have to get this off my chest. There were too many characters in this movie. I was confused who from whom. I didn't know who was Tucker,  T.J. or Clint. They all looked the same; white men with mustaches. Get rid of them. I don't care.

Did McConaughey and Leto give good performances? Sure. Oscar winning? Not really. It did not elevate the material in my eyes.

Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Eight: Pariah

Pariah (2011)

Written and directed by Dee Rees

Stars: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Aasha Davis, Sahra Mellesse, Pernell Walker, and Kim Sykes

I have heard of this movie from the indie circuit. What I didn't know that this is a full length version of Rees' original short, Pariah from 2007. I felt as this movie dragged a lot.

Alike (Oduye), a 17-year-old from Brooklyn is struggling with two identities. She knows that she is a lesbian. She goes to clubs with her friend, Laura (Walker) and she is free to dress more butch are her people. At home, her strict Christian mother, Audrey (Wayans) wants her to adhere to be more feminine. The two worlds collide and madness ensues.

The first moments of this movie, I was hooked. The vibe of the movie pulled me in. The problem with the movie is Alike. I understand being in the closet, requited love, living separate lives. I get that. I felt as though Alike was too awkward.

Alike's parents were the best parts of the movie. Sure, they fought like cats and dogs, but they love their daughters. They want different things from their daughters. Cool.

The pacing of the film is my biggest compliment. I wish that a couple of characters were cut. A couple of side plots would be jettisoned. I wanted to take more of the family dynamic.

Rating: 6/10

Monday, June 27, 2022

God's Own Country

God's Own Country (2017)

Written and directed by Francis Lee

Stars: Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones, Ian Hart, and Patsy Ferran

I haven't seen this movie in about four years. When I knew I was gonna hate My Beautiful Launderette, this film was gonna get me out of my foul mood. Thank you for this film existing.

Johnny (O'Connor) works for his family farm in Yorkshire. He spends his days working there and his nights drinking, puking his guts out and has casual sex with any man that shows interest.

Johnny's father, Martin (Hart) cannot work, because of a recent stroke. A Romanian nomad, Gheorghe (Secareanu) to work on the farm temporarily. Johnny and Gheorghe develop an unlikely relationship.

Let me count of the ways that I love this movie. There is not that much dialogue in the film. You can read their thoughts through those lingering glances. I love that Gheorghe came into Johnny's life to give him love. Johnny is used to having things done his way. Gheorghe challenges that with compassion, empathy and being nurturing.

The tone, the pacing, and the chemistry were impeccable.

Rating: 10/10

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Seven: My Beautiful Laundrette

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Directed by Stephen Frears

Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi 

Stars: Gordon Warnecke, Daniel Day-Lewis, Roshan Seth, Derrick Branche, Saeed Jaffrey, and Shirley Anne Field

When I was doing this blog-a-thon, people were suggesting that I watch this movie. I don't see what the big fuss is about.

Omar (Warnecke) is a Pakistani young man taking care of his ailing Papa (Seth). One day, his wealthy uncle Nassar (Jaffrey) gives him a laundromat. Omar has an idea to transform the laundromat with his old childhood friend, Johnny (Day-Lewis).

This movie was not what I thought it was going to be. In my eyes, all of the characters are awful people. Most of Omar's family treated him like shit. Why do people love this movie?

The score. I hated the score by Stanley Myers and Hans Zimmer. What the fuck is up with the water droplets? Why? For the love of all that is holy. I can't. I can't with this movie. Sorry, not sorry.

Rating: 1/10

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Six: Victor/Victoria

Victor/Victoria (1982)

Directed by Blake Edwards

Screenplay by Blake Edwards

Based on the concept by Hans Hoemburg and earlier screenplay, "Viktor und Viktoria" by Reinhold Schünzel 

Stars: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, John Rhys-Davies, Graham Stark, and Peter Arne

With the fabulous Julie Andrews getting her AFI Lifetime Achievement Award recently, I wanted to see one of her Oscar nominated performances.

A down on her luck singer, Victoria Grant (Andrews) tries to audition for various nightclubs around Paris. She has a chance meeting with Toddy (Preston), an out of work lounge singer. Toddy comes up with a plan to have Victoria assume the identity of Victor, a famous female impersonator from Poland. Things get complicated with a nightclub owner, King Marchand (Garner) takes a liking to Victor.

This movie being the zeitgeist for the longest time; I thought I would have heard something about the plot. There was things in this movie that surprised me. I was glad that Blake Edwards did not make fun of gay men or drag queens. There was care with this screenplay. Treated the characters with respect for the most part.

The pacing of the movie dragged in the middle. Times I thought the movie was over and it kept going. I had a problem with Lesley Ann Warren's character, Norma Cassady. Was she trying to be annoying? Was that her acting choice or Blake's? Why was she nominated for an Oscar? I had the biggest problem with the voyeurism of the movie. It felt creepy. Lock that wardrobe. Let's leave it at that.

Rating: 8/10

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Five: Pride

Pride (2014)

Directed by Matthew Warchus

Screenplay by Stephen Beresford

Ben Schnetzer, George MacKay, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Joe Gilgun, Faye Marsay, Freddie Fox, Paddy Considine, Imelda Staunton, and Bill Nighy

In the times that we are living in, I wanted to watch an inspiring story. A Facebook group I'm in suggested this movie. Since I've never heard of the situation, I felt a little out of the loop.

We are plunged into the the middle of the miner's strike in 1984. A young activist, Mark (Schnetzer) organizes a group of people in the neighborhood to help out the striking workers to help feed their families. The Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners or LGSM is formed. They reach out of a small village in South Wales lead up by Dai (Considine) to bridge the gap between the different groups.

The biggest problem I had with the movie is that being an American, I have no clue about cultural movements in different countries. If the movie could have explained more about what the workers were striking, I would have enjoyed the movie more.

I was worried that the movie was going to be like Stonewall, a big screen misinterpretation of events. I don't know if that happened here. I felt as though I was being manipulated a little bit. The swelling score, character's making heel turns, AIDS, gay bashing, all of that.

I understand that there were some real people in the movie and some not. Cool. I didn't love the movie as some other people would.

Rating: 7/10

Friday, June 24, 2022

Pride Month Movie - Day Twenty Four (Part 2): (A)Sexual

(A)sexual (2011)

Directed by Angela Tucker

Stars: David Jay, Dan Savage, Anthony Borgaert, Lori Britto, Carol Queen and Cynthia Graham

I was trying to find a film about the subject of asexuality. Those films are few and far between. I managed to find this documentary on PlutoTV.

The subject of the documentary, David Jay, the founder of AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network). He is bringing awareness to asexuality, which is a person that does not have the desire to have sex. David goes on the talk show circuit to bring the subject to the general public. Sometimes, people treat it as a joke, but 1% of the population are under the asexual umbrella.

Being a genderqueer person of color that happens to be demisexual-- a person that can only have sexual attraction when you have strong feelings for someone-- I wanted the movie to be more informative. The thing is the information was good in the beginning of the movie. People have to realize that being celibate does not equate to being asexual. Is there a correlation between autism and asexuality?

The biggest problem I had with the documentary is that it was bogged down with the talking head segments. There is also a section where the documentary was focusing on a confusing story of David with his lesbian friend, a straight friend and her boyfriend. I was checked out from then on. I seemed that the middle section to the end credits meandered.

Rating: 5/10