The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2017 film "Pinsky" provides a chance to see the best movie about a hipster Boston 20-something lesbian with a domineering Russian immigrant grandmother having a quarter-life crisis that you will see this year. The accolades for this quirky indiecom include the Best Narrative Feature at the 2017 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Much of the appeal of this dysfunctional Jewish family film relates (pun intended) to it evoking thoughts of the Neil Simon semi-autobiopic "Brighton Beach Memoirs." That one tells the tale of an adolescent Simon living in a full house with his parents, his brother, and the rest.
"Pinsky" opens on a terrible, horrible, no good day for titular Millennial Sophia Pinsky (producer/writer Rebecca Karpovsky). Her grandfather drops dead in the street within hours of the live-in girlfriend of Sophia leaving her a Dear Jane letter. All of this is on top of Sophia still working at the Jewish grocery store that is her college-era employer.
These worlds initially collide due to the death prompting Sophia to attending Shiva at the apartment of her grandmother (a.k.a. Bubbie). This is the first interaction of these women in several years after Bubbie cuts Sophia out of her life for moving in with her girlfriend.
The rest of the story in this regarding is that family rabbi Bob Stern (Alan Blumenfeld of the Marion Ross Jewcom "Brooklyn Bridge"). We subsequently learn that Bob has a very personal interest in the activities of the Pinskys.
Bubbie first exerts her Yenta side in coercing newly single Sophia to move back into Temple Beth Pinksy. The fellow members of the congregation are Sophia's father, who is obsessed with his ballroom-dance partner, and aimless sibling Victor, who has delusions of qualifying for the Boston police force. One can give Victor credit for realizing that he lacks the right stuff for the BFD.
The unavailability of an eligible Jewish doctor prompts Bubbie to aggressively promote the next best thing. She coerces Sophia into dating long-time family friend/medical researcher Trevor. Trevor agrees to play along despite having no romantic interest in Sophia and knowing that she prefers her phallic items to be of the plastic variety.
The final piece of the puzzle comes in the form of Sophia beginning a friendship that she apparently hopes reaps benefits. This object of her affection is Jessica Elliott, whose black skin is one of a few characteristics that distinguish her from the other patrons at the aforementioned Jewish market.
Jessica being an open-mic night regular introduces Sophia to the world; that leads to her aspiring to become a hipster lesbian version of Jerry Seinfeld; not that there is anything wrong with that.
Families of every religion and nationality can relate to the developments in the wake (pun intended) of the death of the grandfather leading to comically extreme trauma and drama at a Shabbat (a.k.a. Friday Night) dinner. The Mogen David freely flowing may be a factor regarding the gefilte fish hitting the fan.
Part of the gist of the listing of grievances is Bubbie laying the mother of all Jewish maternal figure guilt trips regarding her heavy sacrifices for her ungrateful family; we also learn that Trevor has his limits.
The biggest picture is that "Pinsky" illustrates the truth of the expression that you can pick your friends but not your relatives. It also brings to mind a foreign film from a few years ago in which a nice young Parisian Jewish man is planning to move to Israel; his sister reminds him that his planned destination is full of people who are like their parents. A third perspective is the Seinfeld joke that Jewish men marry shiksas because they want a wife who does not remind them of their mother.
The always excellent Breaking DVD extras this time are an interview with Blumenfeld and a short clip of Karpovsky doing stand-up.
Best friend of edgy off-beat films Breaking Glass Pictures embraces the spirit of the 2018 quirky indie comedy "Wobble Palace" by releasing the DVD of it on October 30, 2018. This praise relates to "Palace" occurring over the October 30-31, 2016 weekend just ahead of the presidential election that year.
Breaking does another solid by providing a spot-on synopsis of "Palace" in the press materials. This makes life easier for over-worked reviewers everywhere who welcome any chance to half-ass it. This brilliant prose that aptly begins with the phrases "auteur-driven," "hyper-independent," and "Millennial anti-rom-com" is below.
"WOBBLE PALACE takes place on the eve of America's most traumatic election, where a couple on the verge of a nervous break-up decide to split their house up over the weekend. Desperate to make new connections, Jane and Eugene find themselves in a series of unpredictable misadventures, sexual escapades and emotional traumas. From this simple premise we delve into a manic and hilarious world of lust and mistrust, revealing the identity crises and narcissistic self-loathing at the core of the millennial experience."
This adventure begins with easily the most divisive narrative technique in modern film. A series of texts establish the context for Eugene (producer/director/writer Eugene Kotlyarenko) and Jane to divide their shared abode that artist Jane has decorated in early Pee Wee's Playhouse for the Halloween weekend. Folks who have good eyesight and embrace all innovations apparently love this popular exposition tool. Those of us whose eyes are less-than-perfect and who are less fond of copycat gimmicks do not embrace this method as much.
The real action begins on the morning of Saturday, October 30. This is the day that Eugene has the house. Seeing more of his morning routine than we need to includes watching him create the worst comb-over in a LONG history of cinematic bad efforts to hide a receding hairline,
The day of Eugene starts well before rapidly picking up momentum that leads to an epic crash-and-burn that deprives him of every last shred of dignity. This nottie surprisingly gets a hottie blonde photographer that he meets through a dating app. to come by. It is even more surprising that she sticks around after uncovering the truth about his relationship with his "roommate."
Eugene soon putting himself in a literally and figuratively compromising position proves that all men are stupid. His learning the extent to which an angry woman hath fury provides the audience great entertainment and our boy intense anguish. His relationship with Jane being much closer to hate than love at this point does not help matters.
The primary action then shifts to Jane, whom we join on Sunday morning after a wild Saturday night party. This starving artist trying to hold her own with one who lives in an expensive loft is very amusing.
For her part, Jane is spending her day at the house with a member of the Millionaire Boys' Club who is a regular booty call. Watching this horny pair have a room but needing to wait for a bed is both relatable and hilarious. This two-pump chump making an ill-advised dump adds more comic drama to their intercourse.
Kotlyarenko augments this study of the mating habits of Millennials with apt flashbacks that establish how they get to where they are at the present of the film. This includes the more traditional rom-com style segment that can be considered when Eugene met Jane. These scenes not only depict the joy of new (if not true) love but the cyclical nature of everything.
All of this wraps up with Jane and Eugene reuniting after their weekends of freedom. This leads to them determining if their flame is reignited, has burned out, or simply is a Hanukkah light that adequately is keeping the relationship going until they either fall back in love or experience enough hate to call it quits. Real and reel life allow accurately predicting which of these is the outcome.
The special features include a separate audio commentary by Kotlyarenko and his entertaining four-minute introduction to 15 minutes of deleted scenes. The elan with which this aforementioned auteur describes his film, the support of Breaking, and the context of the footage that ends up on the editing room floor communicates his tremendous love for the art for which he bares all.
The breaking news regarding all this is that "Palace" presents a compelling portrait of a modern man-child clown who receives a harsh wake-up call on starting his day alone in bed.
Breaking Glass Pictures goes wonderfully old school regarding the May 2019 DVD release of the 2019 thriller "Dark Sense." The well-executed tried-and-true premise is that 22 year-old Scottish psychic Simon is on the trail of a serial killer, who has extreme prejudice against folks with the sixth sense. "Sense" further shows that Breaking remains committed to making edgy films (be it thrillers or artfully erotic gay-themed movies) that makes it so awesome.
The reason that the concept of "Sense" seems familiar to some folks who still read books is that it is based on the best-seller First and Only by Peter Flannery. Flannery presumably discusses his book in his DVD audio commentary.
On a broad level, "Sense" evokes thoughts of the tried-and-true joke that someone who is psychic should have seen something coming. This applies both to the peers of Simon who run afoul of our villain and to Simon, who should have foreseen the negative response that he received on contacting MI-5 to join forces.
The following YouTube clip of the "Sense" trailer offers a good glimpse of the story and the UK style narrative,
We meet Simon as an eight year-old lad trying to save the family priest/friend from a fate equal to death. Although Simon arrives in time and states the nature of the threat, he does not prevent the crime. The nature of the killing and of the presence of Simon is part of the copious religious symbolism in "Sense." We also see throughout the film that everything is relative,
The action shifts 14 years into the future, Simon knows both that the killer is out there and that Simon has big bullseye on his back. He does not know the identity of that psycho.
The extreme extent to which Steve connects with both the killer and his victims sets "Sense" above less creative psychic amateur-detective films. This aspect also perfectly ties into the other themes of the film.
Humor related to Simon making a senior MI5 official look foolish is a highlight of "Sense." Less humor relates to Simon first-hand learning that one of the three big lies is that I'm from the government; I'm here to help you. We do not learn if Simon has had experience with someone falsely telling him that the check is in the mail or asserting the third big lie.
Simon hiring a private contractor in the form of former soldier-of-little-fortune Steve also is very true to form regarding government activities. The job of Steve is to protect Simon from experiencing a fate equal to death.
It is predictable that Steve and sympathetic MI5 agent Sonia Chatham team up to come to the rescue when Simon finds himself in a perilous situation. How things ultimately unfold provide wonderful twists that provide a nice bonus in the form of social commentary.
The best part of all this is that "Sense" and SO MANY indie films prove time and time again that art and commerce need not be mutually exclusive. Hollywood MUST recognize that an audience exists for a film that is not part of a franchise, is not a vanity project that allows the inner-circle of an actor whose looks surpass his or her talent to play dress up, or that resorts to cheap thrills, gore, or broad humor to get butts in the seats at the multiplex.
The Breaking Glass Pictures May 7, 2019 DVD release of the 2019 mockumentary "Strawberry Flavored Plastic" again shows the Breaking talent for finding art-house films with mainstream appeal. A combination of "Strawberry" broadly following the formula of "The Blair Witch Project" and being set in real-life upstate New York town Peekskill, which is the setting of the sitcom "The Facts of Life," allows dusting off the 20 year-old joke "The Blair Warner Project." That humor relates to the name of a "Facts" character.
"Facts" also inspires a joke that sums ups a theme of "Strawberry." Fictional documentarians Errol and Ells do not think of a their film subject as a serial killer; they think of their film subject as Noel.
The following YouTube clip of the Breaking trailer for "Strawberry" shows how well that the mockumentary genre can succeed in the right hands.
Errol and Ellis initially think that Noel is a one-trick-pony as to a murder of passion for which his debt to society is paid. By the time that they realize that their subject is a natural-born serial killer who still actively pursues his hobby, they are in very deep. They ultimately put both art and commerce forefront by continuing to make the movie.
Aidan Bristow does a wonderful job playing Noel as a guy who seems a little off but adequately harmless. This performance partially makes it believable that Errol and Ellis continue to hang around even after learning the awful truth.
A "bad dog" moment is a game-changer in that the filming of the show goes on in a revised manner. This rude awakening also increases tension that real-life writer/director Colin Bemis portrays so well that digging up his basement and checking out his refrigerator is not entirely unwarranted.
In true 21st-century film style, the beginning of the end is relatively anti-climatic. The best is yet to come in the final few scenes. This reinforces the "peace, love, and understanding" principle that everyone has something to offer and touches the lives of everyone with whom he or she makes a connection. We also get a sense of imitation being the most sincere form of flattery.
The special features include deleted scenes.
The Breaking Glass Pictures June 18, 2019 DVD release of the 2018 "coming-of-age age war musical" period piece "Kanarie" fully demonstrates the regard of Breaking for the spirits of both Pride and the '80s. The film also shows that not learning the lessons of apartheid and government-condoned homophobia back them are condemning us to repeat aspects of both 35 years later.
The following YouTube clip of a "Kanarie" trailer does just as well highlighting all of the three seemingly incompatible elements of the film as writer/director Christiaan Olwagen does blending them.
"Kanarie" opens on a high note; 18 year-old Johan is having great fun wearing a wedding gown and clowning around with his sister. This glee leads to a dare for Johan to walk down the street of his small conservative town in that garb. The rest of the story is that the parents of that excitable boy/fan of Boy George and Depeche Mode are prominent pillars of the community.
All starts out well and leads to one of a few fantasy musical numbers that are straight out of the MTV of the era. Things come crashing down in a way to which all of us who have shed off our repressions and expressed pure joy only to have the real world provide an abrupt rude awakening can relate.
The expression "out the frying pan, into the fire" is very apt regarding the news that awaits Johan on his return from his walk-of-shame. He learns that his number has come up and that he must enter the South African army for his two years of service. The rest of the story is that this is an era in which the actual battle regarding apartheid is at a peak.
Johan receives less-than-anticipated relief when his musical talents earn him a spot in the titular South African Defense Forces Church Choir. That group travels around performing for the folks back home. The rude awakening this time is that the military is very effective at reminding the songbirds that they still are soldiers.
The next scenes evoke strong thoughts of the 1988 Neil Simon semi-autobiographical non-musical war movie "Biloxi Blues." That film has Brooklyn draftee Jerome (Matthew Broderick) traveling to the titular Southern city for basic training before being shipped off to show Mr. Hitler that the nephews of Uncle Sam have something to say about how The Little Corporal is running things.
Like Jerome, Johan boards a train for his first military home away from home. Both boys also travel with those who at least will be near (if not dear) to them for the foreseeable future. In the case of Jerome, this is rotund high-voiced hyper-active (queen?) Ludolf and their (not-so-little) corporal, whose behavior screams for him to become a victim of friendly fire.
One difference is that Johan and his band (pun intended) of brothers is headed to the Valhalla Air Force Base in Swartkop.
Beyond that, the similarities between "Biloxi" and "Kanarie" are so strong that one must think about whether come elements are from the former or the latter. An example of this is a white soldier in "Biloxi" concealing that one of his parents is black. Another "Biloxi" scene has two gay soldiers getting caught in the act prompting a witch hunt.
Johan and Ludolf soon meet and bond with Wolfgang Muller, who shares the enthusiasm of Johan for the pop music of the day.
Much of the good humor of "Kanarie" comes courtesy of scenes with the stereotypical host families with whom they stay while on tour. These include a motherly type and a Mrs. Robinson who clumsily tries to seduce the lads.
It is during this period that Johan and Wolfgang truly become brothers at arms. The problem is that Johan is uncomfortable about even accepting (let alone embracing) that he is gay. He puts this in the context that Boy George is keeping at least one foot in the closet.
Of course, all this leads to final act drama as Johan faces the dual pressures of being in the military and singing in a church choir. The means by which he receives at least a quantum of solace shows that there was more enlightenment than generally considered in the mid-80s.
The bigger (and highly relatable) picture this time is that virtually all of us experience a first or second coming-of-age on concluding our high-school career. We experience the larger world by entering college, enlisting in the military, or immediately becoming a wage slave. The common lessons that come with these experiences is that we must adapt or perish and that that does not always come with the luxury of to thine own selves be true.
Olwagen nicely expresses the times that are a changing in the South African in the '70s and '80s and what makes his characters from that era tick in an insightful DVD extra, This feature also provides good behind-the-scenes secrets.
Breaking Glass Pictures and filmmaker Michael Fisher team up for the sugar daddy of films that embrace the Pride spirit regarding the 2018 Fire Island documentary "Cherry Grove Stories." Queer as folk cinephiles and other friends of Dorothy who missed this movie on the pink film-festival circuit can get it on DVD.
The broadest relatable bit of this film is the recognition that Pride is about much more than hairless anorexic 18 year-olds only wearing Speedos and roller blades and hirsute far-from-anorexic middle-age men in drag that makes clownesque Mimi from "The Drew Carey Show" look like a natural beauty. Pride primarily is about community and showing that guys who connect with Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now are just as respectable as breeders.
A similar note that is even more in tune with the theme of "Cherry" is it evoking memories of hearing stories of regulars at JRs Bar in Washington, DC fully toning it down to watch "The Golden Girls" on the bar TV every Saturday night. To those guys at that time, friends as flawed as you in their own way somehow forming a family presents an ideal that endures 30 years later.
A related tale of the capital city is even the '90s being a time that hearing your named called out in a gay bar can cause angst, especially when the performers provide entertainment that prompts recent crackdowns. The rest of that story that involves a surprising impromptu high-school reunion is not fit for this family friendlish forum.
The following YouTube clip of the "Cherry" trailer barely scratches the surface as to the copious vintage clips and titular boys-to-men tales by the guys who enjoyed the heyday of the scene.
The opening scenes consist of the scores of talking heads, who share the dates of their first trip to Cherry Grove. These begin in the post-war years and span to the recent past.
Our panel of experts also speculate about the origins of the name of the island; one theory is that pirates would set fires to attract prey. Although there does not seem to be definite proof of buccaneers ever calling the island home, it is indisputable that a certain form of pirate favors that locale and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
The titular lore closely reflects societal attitudes toward gay men. The early days especially were a period of liberation during which the guys could more easily socialize, dance together, and do everything else that gay men do together mostly free of legal repression and almost universal disapproval of friends, family, and employers. This is akin to the next generation who could enjoy the community and the celebration of the early days of Pride parades. The classic Lisa Simpson quote "we are used to it" shows that all of us have come a long way, Baby,
Speaking of repression, the folks who were there tell of the distressing ways in which the real world invaded one of the few places that men could openly express their friendship (with or without benefits), love. and lust for each other. Milder forms of this included quickly having to change to a dance partner of the opposite sex when the cops came by.
Worse tactics relate to an aspect of Cherry Grove that be considered the best of times and the worst of times. Men who wanted to hook up in the pre-Grindr era would cruise the Meat Rack just off the beach. (Tales of the lesbian equivalent the Doughnut Rack seem to merely be rural legends.) That cruising area dying off in the Internet Age is one of the many examples of Cherry Grove reflecting the times.
The cops would go beyond well-orchestrated raids. They would handcuff the arrested man (some of whom presumably still were in various states of undress) by the dock for early risers to see. The humiliation would continue with publishing the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of theses boy who just wanted to have fun in the newspaper in an effort to ruin their personal and professional lives.
On a lighter note, an amusing story that involves the perspective of two persons with a role in a "blocking" incident at the Meat Rack is a "Cherry" highlight. This one comes very close to literally being a case of biting the hand that feeds you.
The award for best story essentially involves the raconteur discussing essentially having a monkey whom he shocks on his back. The rest of the story involves a form of trauma and drama that is typical of most gay friendships. The pattern is offense provided, offense taken, and then adequately forgiving to maintain the relationship but never forgetting.
The relate bigger picture is that this labor of love by Fisher helps ensure that this important aspect of gay history never will be forgotten.
A pink film-festival Q & A with Fisher is a highlight of the always special Breaking bonus features. This includes discussing the very apt genesis of the project.
The Breaking Glass Pictures October 17, 2017 DVD release of the 2017 gay-themed thriller "B&B" provides thrills and copious candy corn for thought ahead of the gay Christmas known as Halloween. It also is notable for being a film that truly warrants the subtitle "Ginger Snaps."
The accolades this time include a special mention Award of Excellence at the amusingly titled 2017 Accolade Competition. Other honors including a Best Actor and a Best Director win at the 2017 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival.
The following You Tube clip of a SPOILER-LADEN trailer for "B&B" does a good job summarizing the plot; it also provides a good look at the related suspense.
The central story/catalyst in "B&B" is that recently wed couple Marc and Fred return to the scene of the crime a year after seeking lodging at the titular inn. Homophobic innkeeper Josh (Paul "The Doctor" McGann) refusing to give the then-unmarried couple a room with a double bed leads to a lawsuit that leads to a legal victory for the boys.
The underlying dispute seems to be a factor in the decision of Marc to make an honest man out of Fred; it definitely motivates that couple to return to the inn and to taunt Josh. Although the sentiment is putrid, one must give Josh his due for asserting his beliefs by placing only twin beds in every guestroom.
These early scenes provide strong indications that Marc is the top in the relationship; Fred being sympathetic regarding (allegedly pure) red-headed 16 year-old gay son Paul of Josh provides further proof of the nature of the Marc-Fred dynamic. This good heart apparently is an additional factor regarding the seeming sexual interest of Paul in Marc.
The arrival of large menacing Russian Alexie provides the newlyweds further fodder for debate. Cynical Marc is convinced that this newcomer is a neo-Nazi gay-basher, and Fred is equally sure that Alexie is focusing on taking any remaining innocence that Paul possesses. The discoveries that these amateur sleuths make on investigating their fellow guest remove any doubt that he is not there for the scenery.
The tone of "B&B" fully shifts from gay drama to Hitchcockian thriller on Marc and Fred seeing Paul and Alexie head to the local gay cruising area; this ultimately leads to Fred pursuing them to protect Paul.
The ensuing confrontation leads to a death that leads to twists galore that sadly reflect on society and slightly less so on the extent to which a father will go for the love of a child. The scarier part is the realistic risk that any of us face regarding running afoul of the legal system even if we are have not committed a crime.
Writer/director Joe Ahearne particularly shines as things fully spiral out-of-control as the surprise villain shows his true colors in a manner that makes anyone who challenges him at chess a fool. The bottom line is that our central couple pay a high price for the satisfaction of rubbing their legal victory in the face of Josh.
The epilogue provides (not necessarily) full-circle closure; the cynicism that Ahearne expresses regarding public perception is distressing because it is true.
The special features include highly entertaining cast-and-crew interviews that validate the excellent choices all around and that make viewers wish that they were on set for the filming.
Breaking Glass Pictures takes a short respite from releasing provocative in every sense edgy fare to offer the charming 2018 German family film "The Little Witch" on DVD. This joins the (reviewed) Disney Channel-like film "In the Doghouse" and the (also reviewed) tween-friendly scifi movie "Watch the Sky" as kinder-and-gentler items in the Breaking catalog.
The titular sorceress is the tender age of 127 in witch years and looks like a roughly 20 year-old muggle. Her Rudolph syndrome at the beginning of the film is that the adult witches are not allowing her to play their reindeer games. The issue is the determination that the witch is too young to join in annual festivities that include dancing.
Ignoring the advice of her talking raven friend Abraxas, the witch straddles her broom and flies off to crash the party. Everyone has fun until the powers-that-be discover the interloper, This leads to old-school punishment in the forms of giving the girl with something extra one year to learn the thousands of spells in a massive book "or else" and by essentially confiscating her wheels.
The comeuppances immediately lead to the ultimate walk-of-shame and more long-term transform our heroine into a more studious individual. Mild hilarity ensues regarding some of her efforts to cast spells going awry.
The literal rest of the story is that the rhymes-with-witch villainous Rumpumpel pops in several times intent on finding cause to cast out the little witch. This includes an equally amusing and child-friendly tense scene in which this unwelcome visitor shows up during the commission of the dual sins of entertaining children and casting spells in their presence. The general idea is that children should be scared (if not eaten) and not delighted.
Our rogue spellwoman further digs her figurative grave on using her powers for good, rather than evil, on another occasion on which Rumpumpel is lurking about.
This leads to the climax that is a year in the making; the little witch proves during her final exam that every little thing she does is magic. This leads to awesome in that she shows her tormentors to not fuck with her. Stating that this a game-changer is a massive understatement.
The first moral of this story are that being cruel to children and dictating your values to them is not the way to win their hearts and to keep the old ways alive. The second moral is that no one ever is to old to enjoy a cute movie.
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2018 micro-budget horror film "Epidemic" contributes to the proof both that Breaking has good instincts for edgy art-house fare and that there are seemingly endless variations of the deadly plague sub-genre of fright flicks. The additional fun of dysfunctional relationships in this on-location movie filmed in Allentown, Pa. provide the best entertainment.
The following YouTube clip of a SPOILER-LADEN trailer for "Epidemic" highlights the aforementioned aspects of the film.
The upcoming 30th birthday party of everymillennial Dana provides the main arena for the carnage in which far few who enter leave. Concluding that inviting remarried alcoholic father Rufus regarding whom Dana has a long-term estrangement makes sense is the most puzzling and unbelievable aspects of the film.
An amusingly unlikely coincidence that sets the primary action in motion involves the preparation of gal pal Mandi for celebrating Dana reaching an age that she no longer can be trusted leading to discovering a not-so-concealed secret room. The exploration of Mandi leads to a mishap that equally can be considered letting the genie out of the bottle and opening Pandora's box.
The secret room also requires a brief detour into Blogland. Videos of people discovering a door in a floor, a secret passage, etc. in their homes are catching up with footage of frolicking felines on YouTube. A personal experience somewhat validates the authenticity of such assertions and includes the bonus of potential creepiness regarding buying a house.
The seller of my current house being tremendously supportive regarding a move to unfamiliar territory had the side effect of learning that he was obsessed with this dwelling to the extent of going out of his way to drive past it after the sale; he likely continues doing so more than three years later. This validates the decision independent of this to change the locks and the alarm code within a few days of moving.
The seller repeatedly referred to leaving a time capsule and bragging that I never would find it. Concluding that it merely was buried in the yard, I was inadequately intrigued to undergo a treasure hunt.
A leaky pipe a year after moving led to opening up a drop-down basement ceiling; that led to discovering a creepy cache of report cards, old newspaper articles, photos, and other family treasures but nothing of monetary value. The spoiler this time is that one man's treasured mementos are another man;s trash. A related amusing part of this is that the layout of the cellar and finding several niches down there had already earned it the title of "serial killer basement."
Returning to our main topic, Mandi having an immediate and severe reaction to exposure to a substance in the previously sealed room does not deter her from attending the party. This leads to predictably infecting the people who are most near and dear to her by spewing all over them. This, in turn, leads to spreading the love.
Rufus indulging in liquid courage before arriving at Ground Zero makes him literally late to the party. This, in turn, proves that stupid is as stupid does. Rather than try to help the party goers or report the incident, this concerned father grabs the ailing birthday girl and brings her to the sterile environment of a no-tell motel. The feverish Dana makes it a literal hot-sheets lodging establishment.
Although everything largely plays out predictably, ambiguity regarding whether horrific visions and a semblance of a happy ending are real or Memorex keeps things interesting. The bigger picture is that justified paranoia regarding the spread of a literal or figurative plague adds an iota of credibility that keeps things interesting.
Breaking excels just as well regarding the extras that most of its releases include. These include a lively and amusingly self-deprecating interviewer with Rufus portrayor/Breaking insider Andrew Hunsicker. We also get outtakes from this film about an outbreak.
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the unrated director's cut of the 2017 HIGHLY erotic drama "Adonis" greatly pushes the envelope even regarding the edgy and often explicit Breaking films. Like the (reviewed) film "Utopians" (2015) by Scud, "Adonis" pulls off the tough trick of successfully combining erotic, pornographic (i.e., appealing to prurient interests), and artistic elements. This gay-themed film joining the ranks of comparable straight films is another example of the expression "You've come a long way, Baby" applying to people all along the Kinsey Scale.
The following YouTube clip of the Breaking trailer for "Adonis" provides a strong sense of the erotic and the stylized artistic elements while including a tantalizing taste of the pornographic aspects.
A scene in "Adonis" in which star Adonis He, who plays opera singer turned porn star/nude male model/high-rent boy in upscale bro thel Yang Ke, is confronted with his appearance in "Utopians" removes any doubt regarding the connection between these two films in an apparent indirect trilogy. The character whom He plays in the earlier film is a young man who meets a professor who uses the Scud mixture of eroticism and pornography to help the boy realize his true self and be comfortable with his sexuality.
The life of Ke is more turbulent then his younger self/counterpart in "Utopians." He is raised by a single mother and apparently follows a family tradition regarding the nature of his birth. He first literally takes to the streets when the opera company for which he is singing for his supper goes bankrupt., This indicates the truth of the statement that it is over when the fat lady sings.
The opening scenes of "Adonis" perfectly illustrate the combined themes of the film and portend of things to come that also have already come to pass. Scud pays homage to both "The Lord of the Flies" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (not to mention "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers") by having Ke awaken naked in a lush forest. We see equally naked masked post-adolescents peer out from the foliage and descend from the trees to surround this visitor,
Much of the rest of this highly symbolic movie centers around a film shoot in which Ke spends his 30th birthday laying on a cross while a large group encircles him and takes their turn at center stage topping this star. The extent of the brutality of each penetration varies according to a combination of the aggressiveness of the top and the degree to which he succumbs to the goading of the director. The nature of the film, the camera angles, and one money shot all indicate that at least some of the sex acts are real.
Although it is somewhat ambiguous, it seems that Ke is taking a "lay back and think of England" approach to losing his cherry in a few different ways, This apparently is the narrative context for the scenes that show what led to this.
We see Ke living an unconventional but happy childhood; like the rest of the film, this ties into what is to transpire.
We also see how Ke goes from being an opera singer to a sex worker. This begins with posing for nude pictures on a city street. The response of viewers to the aftermath of that photo shoot state a great deal about the personality of that individual.
Ke then quickly meets his mentor/protector/agent/pimp. This leads to the aforementioned job catering to the needs of wealthy men. A movable feast and a private party are highlights from that period in the life of Ke.
This employment leads to a houseboy gig for a creepy older perv. and ultimately to the film shoot that Scud has unfold throughout. A highlight there is one of the boys getting a little rough from the start shows that at least Ke (if not He) realizes that he is not ready for the rough ride ahead. The lesson here is that you sometimes must take 20 or more for the team. This leads to a very symbolic payment that disappoints viewers who anticipate several money shots that would have been even more symbolic.
Ke survives the central ordeal to follow the porn star path of banking on his celebrity and his savings to truly become a respectable businessman. This leads to a strong probability of achieving the American dream only to learn that some people will always consider him a piece of meat despite his quitting the business.
All of this ends with everything going back full circle that puts the opening scenes in perfect context. The overall theme is that all of us are our own worst enemy, and that even people willing to literally and figuratively prostitute themselves may have more worth than believed.
As indicated throughout this post, "Adonis" is notable for appealing to higher and baser sensibilities. The story is well-written, all play their roles well, you will respond consistently with your own essence, and your thoughts will be equally provoked.
The DVD extras begin with entertaining clips of the aforementioned gang of 20 or more. This naked men figuratively sing their thoughts on topics such as where they see themselves at 30. The other extras are a series of "making-of" features.
KBreaking Glass Pictures continues its limited dickumentary series with the April 9, 2019 DVD release of the 2019 non-fiction film "Bigger Like Me." This self-described extended director's cut of the 2014 film "Big Like Me" further chronicles the efforts of comedian Greg Bergman to remedy endowment-based angst.
"Bigger" is most akin to the (reviewed) 2013 Breaking DVD release "Unhung Hero." That one involves actor Patrick Moote dealing with the same anxiety as Bergman and taking comparable remedies to improve the Marco Rubio-sized hand that he is dealt. Comparing the two films is akin to the decades-long "Bewitched" v. "Jeannie" and "Munsters" v. "Addams Family" debate, One thing that can be stated with certainty is that Moote is much safer than Bergman in the f**k, marry, or kill game.
Although Moote is less crude and explicit in discussing his endowment and in showing what he is packing than Bergman, it seems clear that the latter has a couple of inches in both length and width than his "little buddy" at the start of their journey.
Another difference is that a size-related humiliating rejection of a marriage proposal motivates the desire of Moote to transform his earth worm into a water moccasin. Bergman being in an overall happy marriage at the beginning of "Bigger" shows that he is packing enough heat to adequately satisfy his wife. That relationship becoming rocky later in the film reflects the wisdom of gay columnist Dan Savage in "Unhung." He states that angst about not measuring up can harm a relationship more than falling on the lower end of the bell-end curve.
We also see that 32 year-old Bergman is his own worst enemy; he explicitly states that his natural endowment respectably falls in the "average bear" category regarding both length and width. This guy who spends much of the film naked or only wearing tiny briefs never addresses that losing 50 pounds both would make his junk look proportionately bigger and make him overall more attractive. This is not to mention how manscaping would benefit him. His aforementioned unduly assertive personality is another matter.
Noting the SPOILER that Bergman succeeds in becoming a bigger man is done to show that this prompts him to fully embrace the "if you got it, flaunt it" philosophy. He repeatedly drops trou to his ankles in very public settings without receiving any encouragement to do so. A silly aspect of this is that having to artificially enhance size is not a point of pride. This sincerely is not to say that the chosen people should go around showing passers-by and new acquaintances how either God or heredity has blessed them.
Another way of thinking about this is that most men whose endowment is a valid point of pride generally follow the "speak softly and carry a big stick" philosophy. There is something to be said for providing Mr. or Ms. Right (or Mr. or Ms. Right Now) a (hopefully pleasant) surprise during an initial unveiling in the boudoir.
On a similar note, Bergman shows very poor taste regarding repeated displays of dildos. Having one frequently sticking out of his backpack is bad enough. Numerous woman on the street interviews in which he uses three of these devices in a "Goldilocks" style survey is more creepy than funny.
A DVD bonus deleted scene in which Bergman engages in the above poll in an interview with a surprisingly willing and candid 16 year-old Mennonite girl clearly shows why this exchange does not make the cut even in the extended version.
Scenes in which Bergman and his college-aged little brother openly discuss their endowments and repeatedly wave around the aforementioned marital aids is only slight less creepy than the aforementioned exchanges.
A bigger pet peeve relates to statistics. Early in the film, Bergman joins an organized group of men who formally identify themselves as being among the 55 percent of the male population that is unhappy with their penis size. Bergman goes on to state the goal of every man becoming a one-percenter. The obvious flaw regarding that statement is that virtually every man packing a Magnum would make that size the norm, rather than the except to the rule.
The bottom line regarding all this is that Bergman is sure to entertain fans of Howard Stern and other abrasive raunchy humor. He is a cautionary tale to the rest of us in the form of showing the perils of obsessing about a perceived physical flaw. Our "average Joe" would have been much better off accepting his lot in life and understanding the concept of "TMI."
Briefly returning to "Hero," Moote succeeds where Bergman fails because this presumed member of the "Fantastic Four" has a more legitimate issue than his fellow comedian. Further, Moote displays better humor and perspective. As the aforementioned reference to the game of three indicates, size is not the only thing that matters.
The Breaking Glass Pictures March 12, 2019 DVD release of the 2018 neo-"Deliverance" film "Devil's Path" helps get horny gay sluts in the mood for spring; remember that (easily pulled down) short shorts and mesh belly-shirt season only is a few weeks away. On a higher level, this no-reason-to-feel-guilty pleasure tells an intriguing story and has some depth.
The accolades for this tale of two boys looking for a climax include a Best Supporting Actor award for Patrick portrayor JD Scalzo and a Best First Narrative Feature for writer/director Matthew Montgomery at the 2018 FilmOut San Diego festival,
The following YouTube clip of a "Path" trailer provides a good sense of the style and the themes of our central lost boys.
The setting of a wilderness area that gay men frequent in an effort to find Mr. Right Now is familiar to guys who look for love (or lust) in all the wrong places and in too many facials. Country mouse Noah and the city mouse currently known as Patrick meet near the trailhead (pun intended) of the titular danger zone. This provides early depth in the form of Patrick representing the common gay stereotype who quickly shares his sexual fantasies and almost as rapidly gets down to risky business but either lies about or refuses to tell less personal information such as his name and the general nature of his work.
Noah and Patrick then go into the woods with full knowledge of two men who enter that dark and forbidden area but never come out. The subsequent intercourse of our leads adds additional depth in the form of the declaration by Noah that he desires more than wham-bam-thank-you-Sir (or Daddy) and Patrick responding that the bears and the other woodland creatures are only there to hit it and quit it.
The plot thickens on Patrick about to dump Noah in favor of a good-time boy when Noah asks his new friend with potential benefits to hang back while he answers a call of nature. Patrick soon discovers Noah on the ground bleeding; the immediate aftermath of that incident prompts the local Yogi and BooBoo to take off in hot pursuit of Patrick and Noah.
Our boy in the hoodie revealing more about himself as he and Patrick play hide-and-seek for their lives provides additional depth. The lesson here is that the seemingly nice guy who is out cruising may have a not-so-hidden dark side,
We learn of the almost literally dog-eat-dog tortured childhood of Noah; this relates to his being in the forest to get to the bottom of the disappearance of his brother who took one for the team. A related reveal is that Noah likes to watch.
The truth that fully comes out is genuinely surprising and once again proves that you never really know the guy whom you meet in the woods to get you some. Of course, this adds a new dimension to the head games that that often involves.
The bigger picture this time is that "Path" validates the theory that the degree of sexual content in a film is inversely related to its substance. Virtually nothing about the Noah/Patrick relationship either is erotic or sensual. Further, any flash of naughty bits is of the "blink and you'll miss it" variety.
The special features include extended interviews with the cast, the crew, and crew members who are in the cast. Crew member Steve Callahan gets the best line in referring to his Park Ranger Tom being horrible at his job. Another spoiler is that our leads are as endearing in real life as they are on the screen.
The Breaking Glass Pictures February 12, 2019 DVD release of the 2018 supernatural mystery "Beyond the Night" shows that there sometimes is much more below the surface regarding himbos. Adrian Grenier of the hilariously rude, crude, and socially unacceptable HBO comedy series "Entourage" produces this small-town drama about a cold case heating up.
The bigger picture is that "Night" is part of a supernatural subgenre in which a youngish member of the military experiences eerie angst on returning to his or her rural working-class town. The review of the Breaking film "Lost Child" on this site describes it as a Gothic tale from the trailer park.
The seemingly obligatory dialogue-free opening scenes of "Night" has 30-ish soldier Ray Marrow rushing through hospital hallways to the bedside of his recently deceased wife. The copious deleted scenes that Breaking provides as a bonus feature puts this in perspective,
Ray next goes into the hospital room of his young son Lawrence; the first sense of the large red discoloration on the face of the boy is that it relates to the incident that lands him and his mother in the hospital. We quickly learn that this feature is a birthmark. Writer/director Jason Noto reveals much later that that distinction may be the source of Lawrence being the boy with something extra,
The first challenges that Ray faces on returning to the declining coal-mining town where he was born and raised are reconnecting with his son whom he barely knows and helping the boy deal with the loss of his mother. A kids say the darnedest thing moment provides further drama that drives much of the film.
Despite the pressures on Ray, a scene in which he fails to pick up a small mess that Lawrence makes in a grocery store is bothersome. Particularly a member of the military should have the courtesy to conduct the clean up in Aisle Four.
Strike one against Lawrence occurs during the graveside "party for Mommy." The lad persistently tugs on the dress blues of his father during the funeral.
Strike two occurs during the reception following the service. On being introduced to the mother of a 15 year-old girl who went missing several years earlier, Lawrence spontaneously says the name of that gone girl. This is despite the boy never having met June Rain or being told about her disappearance.
Those of us who have been on either or both sides of an "out of the mouths of babes" situation can relate to the "stuff" that hits the fan in the immediate wake (pun intended) of Lawrence invoking the name of she of whom one should never speak.
The plot thickens on indications that Lawrence may be the incarnation of June Rain. This greatly distresses folks with a horse in the race and locals who simply do not want to relive the unpleasant past. Meanwhile, Ray is trying to be a supportive parent in the face of his already "original" son calling even more attention to himself and making Dad the focus of the aforementioned scorn.
In the grand decades-long tradition of Lifetime movies, the powers-that-be with a role in June Rain evaporating already are nervous before Lawrence fingers one of them. The fact that the father of June Rain is well connected does not help matters.
All of this leads to a climax that begins with a western staple. The sheriff takes the person-of-interest into protective custody only to have a lynch mob attack the local jail, This leads to a revealing trip to the scene of the crime.
The bigger picture is that the truth reflects a few shameful tales as old as time about beauties and beasts. We see that the nature of man is not so respectable, that many wrongdoers would get away with it but for one or more meddling kids, and that those in whom we place out trust often deserve the level of trust bestowed on Rodney Dangerfield.
Breaking supplements this intriguing film with wonderful bonus features that extend beyond the aforementioned deleted scenes. We see Noto and a couple of stars interviewed on the red carpet at the Los Angeles red carper premiere of the film. This not including Grenier and his entourage is disappointing..
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2017 drama "Longing" once again shows the talent of Breaking regarding separating the wheat from the chaff. Facially, this tale of 40-something businessman Ariel Bloch learning that he knocked up his college girlfriend back in the day is about coming to terms with not raising your child, This film being so much more makes it special.
The strong indie vibe, the quirky characters, and the increasingly bizarre situations evoke thoughts of the hit art-house film "Little Miss Sunshine." That movie has a dysfunctional family taking a hurried cross-country road trip.
The Israeli Film Academy and the Jerusalem Film Festival both bestowing best screenplay awards on "Longing" reinforces the praise for it,
Our story begins with baby momma Ronit ambushing Ariel with the big news at what he thinks is a casual reunion; Ronit becoming hysterical in both senses of the word makes the audience wonder what Ariel saw in her in the first place, Ronit naming their son Adam is very apt in the context of how well his birth father knows him.
The next big bombshell is that Adam is dead; this prompts Ariel to travel to see the grave of this teen.
This visit really sets the film in motion; the almost constant reveals should be relatable to even parents who discover that they really do not know even their kids in the hall, Watching Ariel increasingly getting involved in the former life of Adam and becoming protective of him is even more fascinating. This clearly extends well beyond guilt related to not being there and empty gestures that try to compensate for that failure. Ariel feels very strongly about fighting for his boy.
Writer/director Savi Gabizon artfully builds this part of the story on micro and macro levels. This begins with the partner-in-crime of Adam tracking down Ariel and telling him more and more things that he does not want to hear. This climaxes with that boy making unreasonable demands on Ariel.
We then meet the object of the obsession of Adam and get to know his live-in booty call. This is not to mention seeing a grand declaration of love that is not perceived well.
Things really get weird when Ariel bonds with the father of a teen suicide victim. The men develop an unorthodox plan that they hope provides their offspring eternal peace. The execution of this scheme leads to a very bizarre confrontation regarding an assertion that Adam is not good enough for the daughter.
The"wait there's more" aspect of "Longing" is that we learn of a like father like son side of Adam; this only contributes to the sense that the boy is haunting his parents from the grave.
Gabizon wraps all this up with a scene that concludes many more conventional films.
This review wraps up with the observation that "Longing" has so many twists and wry humor that lovers of indie films and/or character studies are sure to love it.
Breaking Glass Pictures fills the need for a John Hughes style distressed teen in love with quirky outcast film in releasing the 2016 film "Honeyglue" on DVD and VOD on February 19, 2019. The scads o' festival love for this "The Fault In Our Stars" with a transvestite leading boy includes a Best Feature award at Cannes, an award at the Newport Film Festival, and the "Best Director Award" at the Orlando Film Festival.
The following SPOILER-LADEN YouTube clip of the "Honeyglue" trailer does a good job presenting the story and those who tell it.
Though Hughes films are the granddaddy of "Honeyglue," more recent (and edgier) "teens with cancer" dramedies such as "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and "The Fault in Our Stars" are the older siblings of this story of girl develops fatal brain tumor, girl meets girl/boy, girl and girl/boy live happily ever daily.
The hook this time is that the girl is a conservative suburbanite presumably with grades that are as good as her manners. The bad boy is a drifter with an incredibly troubled past and a desire to express himself that is as strong as the forces that seek to repress it.
Our modern-day Frankie and Annette Morgan and Jordan meet at a not-so-wholesome night club where they strike up a conversation. On Morgan asking a made-up-in-drag Jordan about his sexuality, he grabs a seemingly random guy to kiss full on the lips only to turn around and do the same to Morgan. Other symbolism
This quickly leads to Morgan unexpectedly meeting the parents sans wig and with minimal makeup but clad in a kilt. One spoiler is that Jordan portrayor Zach Villa, who aptly is starring in the stage production "For the Record: Dear John Hughes," is more appealing as a very pretty boy than a not-so-pretty girl. He can be considered a feminine and darker cousin to "Austin and Ally" star Ross Lynch.
On the same subject, Adrianna Mather plays Morgan. She does a good job playing a quirky "All Grown Up" Ally to Villa's Austin. Mather is also a Zombot co-owner and a producer on "Honeyglue."
The courtship of Morgan begins with a "winner-take-all" bet; this in turn leads to a wonderfully awkward 'za feast with the 'rents and hilariously hyper and goof bro Bailey. "Twilight" veteran BooBoo Stewart excels at stealing scenes in this role.
Discovering the advanced stage of the brain tumor in the noggin of Morgan prompts our lovers to accelerate said courtship despite the opposition to said plans. This leads to the cliched road trip (very much ala "Earl") that has enough twists and humor to make it interesting. Suffice it to say that Morgan is a particularly bonnie lass during this leg of her adventure with the kilt-wearing Jordan.
Like all films of this nature, reality crashes down on our pair near the end. The nice twist this time is that it reflects the truly fantastical nature of the soul of Jordan.
This being a film largely geared to teen girls, the symbolism of the title is blatant but effective. It relates to a wonderfully illustrated children's book that Jordan is writing. This tale tells of a very cute dragonfly boy who literally and figuratively goes to great lengths to woo the bee princess whom he loves. Both the tale and the drawings create a strong desire for a copy of this book.
Bird injects more subtle symbolism in manners that include other cliches in modern "cancer" films. One example of this is Jordan shaving his head in solidarity meaning more than support for Morgan losing hers.
On a more personal note, the quality of the film overcomes pre-viewing negative feelings regarding the transgender element in it. This aspect of society seems done to death and does not appeal to your not-so-humble reviewer. Instincts that "Honeyglue" is far more than a boy in a dress or a desire to fully become a girl enormously pay off.
The current angry openly cursing villagers and the literal Mexican standoff regarding the government shutodwn make the Breaking Glass Pictures December 4, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 satirical comedy "Obamaland" particularly timely. Portraying both the right and the left as thoroughly ridiculous reflects the wisdom of Don Rickles, who escapes criticism by making nasty jokes about everyone.
The overall hipster/indie tone evokes thoughts of "Portlandia." This comparison extends to writer/director Greg Bergman playing community college Obamanomics professor Xander. One can easily imagine his students chanting "hey hey ho ho these racist teachers have got to go" with no valid provocation ala the real-life "students" at Evergreen Community Coillege.
A more personal note is that your MODERATE not-so-humble reviewer HATES Trump and is no friend of Barry. He has used the term Obamanation since 2008; a side note is disgust that afternoon talk-show host Oprah essentially is responsible for the outcome of the 2008 election by endorsing Obama at a time that his campaign is failing. The final stop on this detour to Blogland is a long-standing hope that Bill Gates will run for the office of chief EXECUTIVE of the EXECUTIVE branch,
The following YouTube clip of the Breaking trailer for "Obamaland" highlights the humor at the expense of both sides of the aisle.
The underlying concept of "Obamaland" is that assertions associated with a vast right-wing conspiracy are true, The delusional FICTIONALIZED titular president is a Kenya native and a Muslim. He also is obsessed with equality to the extent of rearranging the heavens but apparently lacks any intent regarding Uranus.
The film is set in 2040, and most of the former United States is now Obamaland. The area formerly known as Texas is part of the Borderlands. A series of incidents that either are fortunate or unfortunate depending on your perspective are behind Obama being President for Life of the country that bears his name.
Xander already has reason to be disillusioned with the Otopia that Obama has created when this community educator is assigned to cover a concert in the Borderlands. This dream-come-true becomes a nightmare when he faces a rear attack that involves taking it like a man.
Deliverance comes at the hand of a Trumpublikan, who is displeased with the state of our union. The start of this beautiful friendship continues with that conservative taking Xander to the abandoned AppleCheeez restaurant that serves as a resistance headquarters.
Xander then gets caught up in the plot to make America great again; the most amusing moment in the film comes when he remarks that every negotiation related to the plot to bring down Obama involves him having sex. A hilarious test that is designed to prevent the unworthy from entering the inner sanctum is a close second for most memorable scene.
All of this culminates in a free-for-all game changer. The lesson here is that things have gone to far for all of us to get along.
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2017 gay-themed drama "Brotherly Love" offers insight into the mind of a nice 20-something guy on the cusp of taking his final vows as a Catholic brother. His dilemma is the extent to which his love of God conflicts with his love for his fellow man.
Another interesting aspect of this one is that it follows the pattern regarding the inverse correlation between the quantity of male nudity and the quality of the film; in this case, the limited amount of lewdness corresponds to this film having a solid mix of heart and humor.
The festival accolades for "Love" include writer/director/star Anthony J. Caruso taking home the Best Actor and the LGBT Film honors at the 2017 IndieFEST Film Awards. This 30ish guy plays Brother Vito Fortunato, who spends his days preparing to fully devote his life to God and his nights hitting gay bars with wild manchild best friend Tim.
The following YouTube clip of the Breaking trailer for "Love" nicely summarizes everything that makes the film entertaining in ways that include taking a moderate tone regarding a subject with which many devout Catholics struggle.
At the heart of the matter, "Love" addresses an unfortunate side effect of relatively new societal and legal equality for gay men. Vito being able to be openly gay presents him with the issue of reconciling his option of having a full life with Mr. Right (or a night with Mr. Right Now) with his desire to fully devote himself to the man upstairs. His supervisor and his two peers accepting his sexual orientation is nice to see.
A related theme is that Vito knows that God does not hate fags; the issue is that this deity requites that those who fully commit to doing his work downstairs take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Vito, who has tasted his share of forbidden fruit, is having the most trouble with the first two requirements.
The internal struggle of Vito ultimately distresses him to the point of reverting to his old habit of consulting with his former teacher Sister Peggy. Her nun sense solution is for Vito spend his summer working at a Catholic facility for AIDS patients. The manner in which the stars perfectly align regarding this trip either is divine intervention or movie magic.
Caruso does especially well portraying the relationship between Vito (who brings tons of baggage on his trip) and cute volunteer gardener Gabe Rimes (whose last name seems to have an extraneous letter). Gabe is a sweet and relatively wholesome guy who is a stranger to the alleys of Austin. Whether having a full life is something that he can do without Vito (make it without him) takes center stage.
The prelude to Gabe inviting Vito to see his double wide involves the boys engaging in friendly bantering as Vito engages with the clients inside while Gabe spends long hours hoeing out back. Many of us can relate to the Saturday night of Gabe consisting of watching "Golden Girls" reruns alone. An aside regarding this is that that series provided a bonding experience for gay men in the '80s. They would gather at bars to watch it during that not-so-enlightened era.
Watching Gato have a low-key first date is equally sweet and charming. Although "Love" does not address it, this courtship reflects that relationships in which sex does not immediately happen have the best chance of long-term success.
We also get to see a relatable senior-citizen gay couple; their bickering is hilarious, and they follow the pattern of many committed couples across the Kinsey Scale in that they show that opposites attract. The story of how they met is a "Loving" highlight.
We further get a twofer in terms of the tried (but not always true) methods of persuading someone to share a shower and to sleep in a bed rather than on the floor. A related note is that sometimes an act of kindness just is an act of kindness.
The best news is that this Summer of Love shows that some form of guiding influence provides two righteous dudes the opportunity for a happy ending.
Breaking almost always includes at least one bonus feature; they do especially well this time with a Caruso-hosted "behind-the-scenes" look. A highlight of this is a festival trailer with several alternate scenes that include some actors and sets that differ than those that appear in the final version.
The holiday engagement season openly including same-sex couples makes November 13, 2018 an apt release date for the Breaking Glass Pictures DVD of the 2018 comedy "My Big Gay Italian Wedding." The truth bombs and overall fun of this one make it a good gift for the boys in your life who either have tied the knot or who plan to go to the Chapel of Love where they're gonna get married,
This neo-modern rom-com begins with dreamy 20-something actor/Berliner Antonio narrating how he meets live-in boyfriend Paolo. This recap quickly leads to Antonio popping the question and an excited Paolo saying yes. The ritual of putting a ring on it is one of the first of many highly amusing moments.
The honeymoon period ends on Antonio discussing he and Bohemian landlady/roommate/fag hag Benedetta taking an Easter vacation to the small mountaintop Italian village where his parents live. This also is when Antonio learns that resistance is futile regarding not wanting Paolo to tag along. This relates to Antonio never actually telling that his parents that he is gay or that Paolo even exists.
Many gay men can relate to Antonia not being ashamed of his sexuality but not being particularly "proud" in that he does not have a rainbow flag outside his house or march in a pride parade. His comfort zone encompasses being out among gay and straight friends but not being ready to bring Mr. Right home to meet the parents.
Textbook comic relief enters the picture on middle-aged cross-dressing suicidal bus-driver Donato moving in with Benedetta and the boys. He soon becomes a pity addition to the trip.
Roberto the dad being the liberal mayor of the small community introduces an interesting twist. He is battling his council over his advocacy of 15 refugees who are living there. However, the tolerance of Roberto does not encompass his son being gay.
Momma Anna is much more supportive; her acceptance of Paolo and pushing him to invite his estranged mother to the ceremony reflects the brand of love of mothers-in-laws across the entire Kinsey Scale. This also makes those of us whose mothers have passed away happy about that in this particular context.
Anna asserts her motherly love to the extent of drawing a line in the sand regarding Roberto; suffice it it to say that he does not step up. Surprisingly stronger support by the local clergy is much nicer.
This leads to the typical hilarity that occurs in any film that centers around planning any wedding. We get the crazy ex booty call, a problem occurring with the venue, the whole party-planning going out of bounds, etc. Gay-themed obstacles include affirmative efforts to prevent the boys from walking down the aisle.
All of this (of course) climaxes with the big gay day. Genuine hilarity in these final few moments include a psychotic "I object" moment and Paolo attempting a "Three's Company" caliber ruse. All of this concludes with a scene that triggers PTSD memories of Katherine Heigl movies.
Breaking continues its solid track record by supplementing this comedy for our times with good extras. We see the actress who portrays Benedetta steal the show from her co-star who plays Antonio at a Q&A session following an opening-night screening at the 2018 Out Shine Film Festival in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.
We also get an "making-of" feature that shows the actual filming of scenes interspersed with comments by cast and crew.
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2016 drama "Play the Devil" combines the two best genres in the Breaking catalogs; edgy indie films and gay-themed movies about mutual objects of affection facing strong internal and external pressures. The copious symbolism and social commentary are icing on the cake.
The accolades for this one include major wins at the Nashville and Woodstock film festivals.
The following YouTube clip of a festival trailer shows how tone and style perfectly convey the nature of the central relationship.
"Devil" begins with the mother of all non-sequiturs that writer-director Maria Goven artfully ties into the final moments of the movie, which qualifies as the mother of all symbolism in films. These opening scenes are of two young guys apparently engaged in a rite.
The action then shifts to teenage prodigy/thespian Gregory stealing the show with his starring role in a high school non-musical with an aptly strong "Equus" vibe. This leads to successful middle-aged businessman James (who has a daughter in the cast) coming backstage after the performance to nag (pun intended) James to attend a party at his house. The combination of the overture and this being a Breaking release makes it abundantly clear that James wants to get Gregory on his casting couch and that that effort will succeed.
The early scenes further establish that Gregory fits several stereotypes in both his impoverished community on Trinidad and in inner-cities in the United States. He is a bright, ambitious, likable teen living with his loving grandmother because his parents are not equipped to raise a child. Gregory also has an older brother with a drug habit and a live-in girlfriend.
The pure methods of James regarding his relationship with Gregory include a desire to mentor him and to use his resources to help him pursue his dreams, which clash with the aspirations that his grandmother has for him. The impurity comes via desiring benefits from the unlikely friendship.
The not-so-subtle seduction escalates to James luring Gregory to his luxury beach house for a sleepover. The more subtle response of our boy clearly shows that he accepts with full knowledge that the older man wants something other than gas or grass for that ride.
Getting Gregory into bed does not require plying him with wine (drugged or otherwise). At the same time, our innocent seems to be acting mostly out of obligation and has serious regrets the next morning.
Gregory wanting to end things, but James wanting more relatively free milk drives much of the conflict in the remaining portion of "Devil." Multiple desperate times leading to desperate measures in the form of accepting further assistance from James does not help.
All of this occurs in the period leading up to the annual Carnival festival, which centers around a confrontation with a symbolic devil. The nature of the event this year is particularly personal for Gregory.
The drama this time begins with the two worlds of James colliding in a manner that may end him up in divorce court and estranged from his daughter. We also see that he once again makes a misdirected civic-minded gesture.
This leads to the inevitable final confrontation between James and Gregory. Even folks who are unfamiliar with the nature of Breaking releases know that this conversation will either end with a kiss, bloodshed, angry words, or some combination of the three. The final outcome is more surprising.
The appeal of "Devil" is the aforementioned substance of the film. Most of us want someone younger and cuter; many upstanding members of the community with an outwardly ideal life that includes a loving wife and offspring feel repressed in one or more ways, and help always comes at least with a sense a obligation. The almost impossible challenge relates to achieving a measure of joy in a manner that does not leave scars.
The DVD bonus features include a "making-of" film and a separate extra that has interviews with Gowan and producer Abigail Hadeed.
The Breaking Glass Pictures August 14, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 coming-of-age drama "Porcupine Lake" honors the spirit of equal time. This tale of big-city awkward tween Bea spending the summer near the titular body of water in rural Canada and entering an "its complicated" relationship with local girl Kate is a variation of the coming-of-age of a questioning boy bonding with a guy who is more sure about himself.
The following YouTube video of the Breaking trailer for "Lake" fully conveys the indie spirit and the new love vibe of the film.
Our story begins with Bea and her school-teacher mother arriving at the gas-station/diner that her father is running in the wake of inheriting it from his father. It seems that the family is reunited for the summer several months after Dad moves from Toronto to fulfill his family duty. Ambiguity regarding the level of estrangement between Mom and Dad is an intriguing element of the film.
Middle-class Bea literally soon catches the eye of upper-lower-middle-class Kate, who quickly makes a move on her future summer friend with possible benefits. Kate definitely is the aggressor in this relationship. It is equally clear that she is more developed on every level than Kate.
The primary focus is on this vacation romance in which Bea sells cheap trinkets outside the diner and Kate deals with her somewhat shameless family that includes aptly named teen stud Romeo. This playah does not let being a baby daddy affect his dating life.
Although the girls dream of a life together, Bea is more realistic than Kate. It is interesting that the fantasy of the local girl essentially includes a life of luxury in Westchester with her math teacher.
Writer/director Ingrid Venninger shows throughout "Lake" that she knows of which she writes; this is particularly true in separate scenes in which Bea expresses the extent to which she will go to be with Kate and Kate makes a heart-breaking breaking effort to escape her environment.
As indicated above, one of the nicest things about "Lake" is that is shows that both boys and girls do cry. One apparent difference is that boys who like other other dudes are much less comfortable acting on it and definitely are more reticent about activity that indicates that the opposite sex does not interest them.
The feature-length "making-of" documentary "The Other Side of Porcupine Lake" shows the love of Venniger for the project and the support of Breaking for the production. Getting to see every aspect of making this shot-on-location film that features locals with no acting experience is fascinating.
It is equally interesting to see multiple thespians audition for the primary roles. Although most hopefuls do a good job, one can easily understand the casting decisions. Seeing the actor who plays "Dad" with a significantly different look provides further entertainment.
One highlight is watching Veninger first find and then arrange to use one building for "Lake." The most fun comes on seeing a presumable prod. ass. literally strip down and take one for the team as Veninger puts him through his paces.
The other extras consist of additional audition footage and separate cast and crew interviews. The enthusiasm of the kids is fun.
One reward of more than a decade of reviewing home-video releases of indie films is watching already loved studios and distributors expand their catalog beyond their original scope.
Philadelphia-based Breaking Glass Pictures is a prime example. The recent Breaking DVD release of the 2018 drama "Lost Child" reflects this and provides a good companion to the (reviewed) Breaking August 2018 DVD release of the day in the life of teenage redneck film "Moss." These edgy southern-fried films are a great expansion from the edgy more substance than skin gay-themed films that Breaking continues adding to its catalog.
A perfect example of the not-so-missing link in this evolution is the Breaking April 2017 release of "Fair Haven." This reviewed film has Tom Wopat of "The Dukes of Hazzard" playing the widowed father of a kind and gentle farmboy who returns from conversion therapy that does a great deal of harm and no good.
The following YouTube clip of the Breaking trailer for "Child" highlights the Blu-ray worthy cinematography that features the Ozarks. This promo. additionally conveys the Southern Gothic vibe of the film.
"Child" opens with a seemingly obligatory scene for "you can't go home again" films about a boomerang kid who is a native son or daughter returning after leaving in disgrace years ago. The first images either are a bus rolling through the bucolic landscape of the area or get right to that public transportation pulling up to the center of the arena of action. The main character disembarks and gets into the old pickup of the ride to the childhood farm or shabby house in the woods that has a key role in the underlying angst.
Our tortured soul this time is recently discharged soldier Fern. She is returning to Clampett country after teen trauma that results in her moving out of the family home and then enlisting in the army. She moves back into the family house in the wake (no pun intended) of the death of her father, This relocation ties into a mission to find and care for her brother Billy.
Life experiences taking their toll and general unease related to being a woman living alone in a cabin in the woods are enough to put Fern ill at ease. A neighbor with good intentions strongly urging her to get either a gun or a dog and the man down the street looking like he is straight out of "Deliverance" contribute to the tension.
Fern meeting the titular dirty but civilized 10ish boy Cecil in the nearby woods is the final element that puts all the pieces in place for "Child." The lad ain't talkin' but agrees to come home for vittles and to spend the night. A one-night stand returns to haunt Fern when she learns that the day job of bartender Mike is a social worker. Fern not wanting to subject Cecil to the evils of a foster home prompt her to agree to let him stay with her a bit longer.
Fern mysteriously getting sick and literally aging overnight prompts consulting a country doctor. This licensed professional attributing this condition to the presence of Cecil indicates this his method of providing healthcare does not significantly differ than that of Granny in "The Beverly Hillbillies."
The essential folklore is that a malevolent forest-dwelling spirit takes the form of a young boy and convinces a good Samaritan to take it in so it can do plenty of harm. Odd behavior by Cecil proves that he is own worst enemy.
Meanwhile, Fern reuniting with Billy involves the most surprising and disturbing twist in this extremely gothic film. Not only is he not glad to see his sister, he considers her a primary root of all past and present evil.
A familiar aspect of this is one sibling running off and not only failing to protect a brother or sister but leaving that person behind to contend with all the highly toxic family drama. In many respects, this is analogous to an alcoholic wanting to put things right with someone whom that drunk seriously hurt. The intent is noble and the need for redemption is strong, but related righteous resentment remains high.
The stress of Fern leads to drama with Cecil that supports the theory that he is not like other boys; this leads to the lad experiencing dreaded trauma. It additionally involves Fern playing Nancy Jo Drew by pursuing a lead regarding the identity of Cecil.
All of this culminates in conclusions that make sense for a story set in a rural area that has a large of population of poorly educated people raised on superstition and harsh discipline. Breaking deserves strong credit for bringing this tale that does not sensationalize this culture to us city folks.
The quartet of DVD extras is equally consistent with the art-house style of "Child." Each special feature examines an aspect of the making-of the film. These include the production "process," the "story & performance," the Ozarks, and writer/director Ramaa Mosley.
Breaking Glass Pictures stays true to its commitments to distributing edgy and/or gay-themed fare regarding the DVD release of the 2014 thriller "Lyle." This one has "Transparent" star Gaby Hoffman as expectant mother Leah, who has reason to believe that something is Satanic in the state of Williamsburg (Brooklyn).
The following YouTube clip of the SPOILER-LADEN "Lyle" trailer shows the mix of indie film and big-budget thriller that makes the film unique.
The nature of the relationship between stay-at-home mom Leah and long-term partner/professional musician June most likely is the basis for Breaking adding "Lyle" to its impressive catalog; the theme of this couple being just like many straight ones in that Mom stays home with the titular toddler while pregnant with the second child and "Dad" works long hours (which strains the "marriage") and largely views Mom as a hysterical female is true to the Breaking philosophy that movies with gay leads can be just like ones in which the main characters are straight.
In typical New York City horror movie style, "Lyle" opens with our couple and their child touring a too-good-to-be-true Brooklyn apartment. Although Leah is skeptical from the beginning, June essentially tells her not to worry her pretty little head about it. The incredible deal on the place and weird landlady Karen being obsessed with getting knocked up are the primary sources of the angst of Leah.
The first indication that Leah has good reason to worry her pretty little head is that Lyle begins acting very strangely; a subsequent indication that Karen is not being truthful regarding a statement that a child never has lived in the apartment triggers additional concern.
The spidey sense of Leah goes off the charts after a tragic event involving Lyle. This prompts an investigation that uncovers evidence of prior nefarious doings in the building. All this supports the theory that just because someone is paranoid does not mean that no one is watching.
In classic thriller style, the conflict escalates to a point that Leah does not trust anyone, and all efforts to soothe her fail. This leads to a climax and ending very similar to another film in which a mother-to-be fears that evil forces have a role in her pregnancy.
Hoffman does a good job carrying most of the film; her portrayal of Leah is sympathetic and mostly believable; harm befalling a child is tough for most mothers, and feeling that you cannot trust your life partner is distressing. Throwing in a threat to an unborn baby is enough to stress out anyone.
Breaking further follows its successful formula by including a short film by "Lyle" writer/director Stewart Thorndike. This one involves the bizarre home life of a child.
'My Life With James Dean' DVD: Charming MUST-SEE French Film on Indie Flicks and Gay Boy Coming-of-Age
Breaking Glass Pictures impressively outdoes itself regarding the August 28, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 French dramedy "My Life as James Dean." The only criticism is that Breaking does not make this beautifully shot film with a solid soundtrack available on Blu-ray.
The best way to think about this one is that it retains all the style and humor of a classic French film while adding a splash of a Michael Chabon or John Irving novel. We get outrageously comical characters going to extremes to pursue overlapping passions.
The mention regarding accolades this time is that the lack of them is astonishing; one cannot imagine festivals passing this one over.
It is not surprising that relatively new indie filmmaker Dominque Choisy knows of what she speaks regarding the film screening aspects of "Life." It is surprising that a woman has the depicted insight regarding regarding young gay love.
The metaness of "Life" begins with this film having the same name as the fictional film of 20-something first-time director Geraud Champreux around whom the Choisy film is centered. Personal metaness relates to frustrating efforts to arrange screenings of an exceptional indie film of a 20-something righteous dude.
The opening scenes are of Champreux riding a bus to a small Normandy town to host a screening of his film about a man who believes that he is Dean. The comic misadventures begin with losing a modern lifeline when he arrives at his destination.
The audience next gets a glimpse at the life of a first-time indie filmmaker when no one is there to greet Geraud. His subsequent encounter with locals at a bar is the first of many "Northern Exposure" style incidents that reflect the personalities of quirky small-town folk.
Our man temporarily without a country manages to find the theater where his film is to be shown only to be told that his appearance is a surprise and that no screening is scheduled. This discussion includes commentary on the overall sad state of modern cinema in which commerce typically trumps art.
The next stop it the hotel that is the best guess regarding where the woman behind the invitation is putting up Geraud. This brings him in contact with disaffected Jill-of-all-trades hotel employee Gladys,. Her amusing lazy dismissive approach to her job is very familiar to frequent travelers.
The penultimate piece of the puzzle comes when Geraud meets box-office worker/projectionist Balthazar. This canard odd can be considered the very late-in-life brother of mop-topped tall and lanky slacker-type character actor Hamish Linklater.
Another meta moment occurs when the first moments of the fictional film mesmerize Balthazar to the extent that transference results in his falling in love with an unresponsive Geraud. This innocent small-town boy also most likely never having felt the touch of another man is another factor.
The final piece of the puzzle comes when booker Sylvia van den Rood belatedly shows up and subsequently ensnares Geraud in her personal drama that is responsible for neglecting him. This coincides with a sweet declaration of love by Balthazar.
Balthazar outdoes himself in putting himself on the line by showing up uninvited for a booty call. Being given the boot not deterring him is another notably sweet moment in the film. This is relatable to the perk of being a gay man in the form of sometimes being the pursued one in a relationship. We all desire to feel wanted and loved.
The subsequent screenings set the stage as our core group of three and various hangers-on travel through the area.
The biggest surprise comes when casual conversation with the parents of Balthazar leads to a surprise reveal that is a potential game changer. The subsequent developments reinforce that the French are amazingly much more casual about sex and nudity than Americans.
Choisy keeps the fun going to the end as Geraud helps two fugitives as he figuratively rides off into the sunset. The final scenes fully seal the deal regarding the quirky charm of "Dean."
The Breaking Glass Pictures July 17, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 character study "Moss" is a perfect example of the indie films that Breaking helps bring to the massses. This shot-on-location film about how the titular North Carolina redneck (Calvin Klein model Mitchell Slaggert) spends his 18th birthday provides fascinating insight into the lives of such folks who exist day-by-day.
The following YouTube clip of a "Moss" trailer highlights the Southern Gothic vibe of this rapidly coming-of-age story. This includes a taste of the inner monologues that comprise a great deal of the film and of the aforementioned location shooting.
The aforementioned narrative technique quickly provides the exposition that the mother of Moss dies giving birth to him and that his father claims to be philosophical regarding that loss. We further get a variation of shooting fish in a barrel.
The special day next involves Dad not diverting much attention from making the driftwood sculptures that keep Spam on the table to acknowledge either the special day of Moss or his offer of breakfast. Dad ordering a resistant Little Red Riding Hoodie to deliver a basket of prescription drugs to his grandmother causes further tension.
Moss first taking a detour to visit his meth-head buddy Blaze to get high and eat a Redneck Special for breakfast while watching VHS tapes of nature films fully gets his big adventure underway. We also learn of the extent to which some people will sell (and buy) anything at a yard sale.
Moss gets his first real present in the form of spying 30 year-old camper Mary on the banks of the river. Although he uses one of the worst-ever pick-up lines, Mary lets him inside her tent. This leads to a From Here to Mayberry moment in which these new lovers embrace on the sand as waves roll over them.
The time with Mary takes up much of the day, which ends up Moas back at Che Blaze, who has family drama of his own in the interim. The gist of the childhood of both boys provides understanding regarding why they are not college-bound.
Meanwhile, Dad is showing that he does care about his son even after learning how Moss perverts a special gesture. One message here is that not much is expected from anyone literally from that neck of the woods.
The rude awakenings the next day include Moss finding himself on a floor other than his own and discovering the degree to which he does not deserve his grandmother. The response of Dad to all this is equally surprising to those of us in more urban areas.
The message of "Moss" goes beyond seeing how the lower-income half lives. We see how any kid can fall through the cracks and the extent to which that requires them to be self-reliant and pursue any form of happiness and/or escape.
Breaking does its usual excellent job with DVD features. Writer-director Daniel Peddle hosts an amusing 25-minute "making of" documentary that shows the kismet regarding the production and how it largely is kept in the family.
The Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2017 French drama "Hidden Kisses" awesomely puts the Breaking edge on an otherwise light story of two high school boys in love. "Kisses" being a TV-Movie both explains the slight "After School Special" vibe oand further proves that the French are much more progressive and cool than Americans.
The 21st-century centric drama begins when "new boy in town" 15 year-old everyteen Nate meets a mystery boy for the titular buss in a dark greenhouse during a large party. An unknown person takes and uploads a photo in which only Nate is identifiable. The picture going viral among students, parents, and faculty simultaneously forces Nate out of the closet into a hostile environment and triggers speculation regarding the identity of the other boy.
The fallout extends to straining the previously close relationship between Nate and his widowed police chief father Stephane. Stephane still loves the sinner but is not fond of the sin and has difficulty accepting his new normal.
Meanwhile, Nate is subject to increasingly vicious bullying at school and is experiencing the heartbreak of his secret boyfriend ignoring him. This culminates in a brutal beating with an equally horrific emotional element. The latter reflects the same insecurities behind real-life gay boys and men yelling "fag" om the mere sight of an effeminate man and throwing the first punch in a dark alley behind a gay bar.
The next round of drama occurs when the rookie mistake of not clearing a browsing history results in identifying the other boy in the photo. This both forces him to come to terms with his sexuality and to contend with his enraged father, who believes both that he literally can beat the gay out of his son and that conversion therapy is effective. The related emotional abuse is equally painful to watch.
The film not being a product of Hollywood (or Logo) and this not being the '90s allow for "Kisses" to not conclude with a fairy tale (no pun intended) ending with our princes slow dancing at the prom while their smiling peers, teachers, and parents circle around them. However, both boys survive the traumatic aftermath of being outed and get a quantum of solace; they additionally get one adorable scene that provides some hope for greater societal enlightenment.
"Kisses" addresses the good news regarding this issue; boys coming to terms with liking other boys should be spared the scorn and torture of the generation before them. The bad news is that the reality is that coming out as a teen (and often as an adult) still likely comes at least with the price of nasty looks and comments behind your back.