Archive for the ‘LGBT themed’ Category

Netflix high school comedy dramas. They make them by the dozens. Here’s yet another one. Told from the perspective of an all American teenage girl with Indian roots.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a great lead. You just wish her lines were more sassy and sarcastic. She’s the kind of actress who can play a likable bitch. Now she’s a likable… nerd.

The rest of the cast acts like they’ve never been in front of the camera before. But here again, the characters are annoying and boring and just not intriguing at all, so let’s blame the directing and writing team.

Really. It’s a show about a girl who lost her dad, is stuck with her conservative mother, feels very American, but is forced to connect with her roots, falls for the popular jock, neglects her best (and only) friends and can’t seem to find a balance between trying to popular and being the smartest kid in class.

Yawn.

www.imdb.com/title/tt10062292

Temblores – *

Posted: November 15, 2019 in 2019, Drama, Guatemala, LGBT themed, Luxemburg, X

Pablo has left his wife and kids to be with a guy. His family wants him to start with a gay conversion therapy. Which he does. The end.

It’s set in Guatemala, made with Luxemburg money and it’s boring. There’s zero chemistry between the two men. And the whole conversion therapy feels more ridiculous than intriguing/realistic.

Next!

www.imdb.com/title/tt7128732/

Come on, vogue
Let your body move to the music (move to the music)
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow)
You know you can do it

Madonna’s best track is featured during the entire first episode of the second season. It’s a really good episode. If you only have to watch one episode of this entire series, pick that one. You can also watch the entire show of course, but there are not that many episodes nearly as good.

Madonna’s Vogue kind of made the late eighties New York ball culture mainstream. For a few months. Until the hype was over. Few people actually know about this underground culture, which is experiencing a bit of a revival right now. And this show is only going to get more people intrigued.

The show is important. No doubt. It focuses on an underground culture with characters from the black and latino underrepresented lgbtq community. And it tells the story of the struggle that people with HIV or Aids had to go through 30 years ago. That storyline is quite moving. BUT – in capitals – the acting, writing and directing is messy. Especially in season 1, which introduces the characters. Maybe that has to do with the directing. And the budget. It feels like every scene was never rehearsed and shot in one take only. It’s amateur. And annoying. The dialogues feel awkward as well. Season 2 improves on all of this. The acting is much better and especially the monologues of diva Miss Electra are hilarious and well-written. The episode stories however are often too far-fetched (the one where they have to hide a corpse, really?) or a real drag (the aids cabaret in the hospital).

Some characters are really cool though. That Miss Electra steals the show. She’s a vicious queen with a cold heart, but defrosts by the end of season 2. She is by far the most fierce, intriguing and hilarious person in the cast. Dominique Jackson is acting a bit wooden in season 1, but shines in season 2. Get her an award. Equally growing in her role is MJ Rodriguez as Blanca, who keeps the show going. She needs an award to.

There’s a lot going on. And the AIDS-related storylines are really good. But the interaction between the characters doesn’t feel realistic. They are inconsistent. In one episode they hate each other’s guts, in the next they support each other like sisters, in another one they are ready to physically harm each other, in the end they go on a day trip together. It’s weird. I’m sure there is enough drama in real life. So to add extra drama just doesn’t make sense.

Still. Season 3 may be great. and the soundtrack is excellent

www.imdb.com/title/tt7562112

Rocketman – *(*)

Posted: November 9, 2019 in 2019, biopic, Drama, LGBT themed, Musical, USA, X1/2

It’s never a good sign when the producer of a biopic of a certain artist is the artist himself. In this case, Elton John. Sure, he has lead an interesting life, but told from his perspective it’s flawed and biased.

The movie starts with the British piano rock star attending an AA meeting in full extravagant outfit. It ends with a message that he’s been clean for 27 years. In between you get to learn about his rise to fame and the lack of love he received as a child and as an adult. The whole part where he’s addicted to alcohol, drugs and sex is mentioned, but not really visualized that much.

So, all you’re left with is an uninteresting character with mediocre songs who rose to fame, couldn’t figure out the difference between his onstage larger than live persona and lived with self pity until quite late in his career.

Some may like the magical realism at certain points in the movie (like the uplifting experience in LA’s Troubadour or the skyrocketing singer performing Rocketman, the song). It’s a nice gimmick, but nothing more than that. The acting isn’t particularly great, but satisfying. But it’s a bit sad when the only interesting character in the movie is the ‘evil’ manager John Reid, who is also the bad character in Bohemian Rhapsody. Now, give him  a biopic!

www.imdb.com/title/tt2066051

 

Boy Erased – *(*)

Posted: September 29, 2019 in 2018, Australia, Drama, LGBT themed, USA, X1/2

Gay conversion programs. They are allowed in several States of the USA. They claim to be able to cure homosexuals and parents spend a lot of money sending their lgbt kids to these organizations. So be it.

Boy Erased tells the true story of one of these kids, who started the program, then quit and then wrote a book about his experience.

It’s a boring movie. Lucas Hedges just isn’t a good actor. He brings zero charisma to the protagonist. Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe act all stereotypical and bland. The soundtrack doesn’t help either. The vocal songs are indie campfire college radio tracks. The instrumental parts seem like they were composed for a horror movie. But it’s the storytelling that just doesn’t touch the nerves, the way this topic should.

What’s up with these kids going to these programs? They have zero personality. And what about the parents? Or the guys running the program. Not one of these characters, not even the main one, is shown as a real person with real feelings or real anxieties. This is superficial bullshit.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7008872 

Mario – **

Posted: September 26, 2019 in 2018, Drama, LGBT themed, Sportsdrama, Switzerland, XX

Two promising football players (soccer, if you’re reading this in the US) share an apartment, provided by the club. They get along really well. In fact, they get along so well, they end up falling in love and having a sexual relationship. But what about their future now?

LGBT movies seem to get a quicker worldwide release than regular movies. The only Swiss movie in the local library is this one. That says a lot. That said, it’s not a bad movie. It’s a typical coming out as gay in a homophobe environment movie, but it’s also a coming of age young adolescent movie. And it gives you a bit of a look into the recruiting of promising football players as well and how being a great player isn’t the only thing one needs to succeed.

Best scene: The photo shoot with the fake girlfriend

www.imdb.com/title/tt6999052

 

Special – **

Posted: August 26, 2019 in 2019, Drama, LGBT themed, TV series, USA, XX

It starts good. A guy with (a light form of) cerebral palsy starts an internship at an online press company, but is afraid to tell the rest of the team what his condition is. His boss asks if he acts so weird because he was hit by a car and there you have the lie he needed: yes, he got hit by a car and that damaged him for life. It’s also the first article he writes for the website and it’s an immediate success.

It starts of funny as well. As he’s with his physiotherapist he mentioned how jealous he is of Bob, who’s in the wheelchair all the time. ” I feel like a mixed race child, not knowing who to belong to. I am not ‘abled’ enough to live a normal life and I’m not disabled enough either. At least Bob knows where he is at.” “That’s a lot of insults in one sentence” his therapist say. Bam. Un-pc humor right from the start

However, the next seven (very short) episodes, bring more drama and less humor. And the charming, funny character, becomes a bit of an whining jerk. The guy is gay and a virgin and he just wants to find a partner! He also wants to live on his own even though he cannot tie his shoe laces! He wants to get away from his over-caring mom, but is then upset when she starts a relationship with the hot new neighbor.

The humor and charm of the first episode are gone by episode two. Which is weird. Because normally the pilot is the bad episode and the show gets better after that. It’s a short series and there are some good elements, but as a whole it’s not really worth recommending.

Missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9381622/

 

Recommended by friends, this new LGBTQI+ Netflix series is a bit of a drag really. No pun intended.

A woman returns to San Francisco after having left 20 years ago to pursue a career. She used to live in a community house run by a transgender, whose 90th birthday is the occasion of her return. But not everyone is happy to see her. Most definitely not her ex husband and their adoptive daughter.

Laura Linney and her character save this show from total boredom. Her presence is fresh and funny. The rest of the cast is not impressive at all. And the script sucks. Every episode has a few scenes that are worth the rave reviews, but in general this is not a good drama show.

An intriguing character is Jake, a transgender who is confused about his new identity after the transgression. It’s not a stereotypical characterization and the actor isn’t a professional, which makes it more real. His former lesbian girlfriend is having trouble accepting the new identity as well. Yes, this story line is good.

But most of the time the story and characterization is irritating. Why do daddies in interracial/intergenerational couples always have to be white? Why do we need characters that represent the pseudo artistic influencers we now see on social media? Why does San Francisco look sunny and clean? I mean, have they been to San Francisco? Why is the idea of smoking weed every single moment of the day something attractive to look at on tv? Why do producers think Ellen Page is someone people want to watch ‘act’?  It’s also so annoyingly politically correct. It’s terrible.

In fact, the best confrontational scene is the one where a bunch of old homosexuals get reprimanded a younger gay guy because they use the word ‘tranny’. The discussion that follows is quite a powerful moment on generational conflicts.

It’s not a good show. It’s hard to finish. But episode eight is worth the watch. It’s a flashback episode focussing on the Compton Cafeteria Riot from 1966. Though flawed, it’s worth the watch and the only episode that doesn’t make you push the forward button.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7087260

A Jewish girl has been in lesbian relationship for about 3 years, but hasn’t come out yet to her conservative parents, who already have to deal with a homosexual son and his non-Jewish boyfriend. The chef of the local restaurant that she loves to go eat at with her colleague invites her to a Senegalese party where she’s having a blast, away from her lesbian partner and her conservative parents. But then the inevitable happens: she falls for the chef, a black muslim. Now what?

As far as French comedies are concerned this is quite a funny take on the multicultural and pluralistic society we live in. However, it’s tackling too many issues at once and in the end doesn’t tackle any of them at all. The movie isn’t politically correct (which is great), but it’s also quite superficial and focuses a lot on stereotypical behavior.

Sure, the dilemma of the main character (marrying her lesbian partner or starting an affair with a black muslim) is confusing, but you can always say it’s a french movie. This is not Hollywood. If you’re easily offended about the representation of jewish people, muslims, blacks, lesbians, gays, racists, anti-Semites, then skip this one.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6290418

Ten minutes into this French television movie, you’re wondering if the tourist office of Lille has financed this detective crime story. The drone shots of Lille are fabulous. Perfect for any city trip destination commercial. Then, after some research, it turns out this television movie is part of a French series of ‘murder mysteries’ that take place in tourist destination. And each story is linked to some local legend. It’s a great concept. And this episode makes you want to watch others. Not so much for the acting or the stories, but for the getaway experience.

In this movie, the body of a sculptor is found inside of one of his sculptures, at display in the excellent Piscine of Roubaix (an art museum in a former art deco swimming pool). The local police captain gets the help of a superior from Paris, who grew up in Lille. She’s standoffish and cold and reluctant to revisit the city in the north, where she is confronted with her past. In fact, one of her best friends was an assistant to the sculptor.

The crime story is silly. It’s not exciting or thrilling at all and the finale is a disappointment. But the acting is quite good and again, the location scouts did an excellent job. Too bad it’s not the pilot of a series, because both the captain and his supervisor are great characters. The captain’s assistant is also intriguing.

But it’s a television movie. And when it’s over, it’s over and you only remember how great Lille can look.