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.
breaking glass pictures takes an extreme vacation from releasing gay-themed art house films, grisly horror films, and other edgy fare to make the adorable Disney Channel style family "In the Doghouse" available on DVD. It is adequately cute and has enough fart jokes to entertain tweens and is not too sickly sweet for adult consumption.
The following YouTube clip of the SPOILER-HEAVY "Doghouse" trailer reflects the kids v. adults themes of the movie and provides a good sense of the humor of the film.
One of the most amusing (and breaking appropriate moments) in "Doghouse" comes early in the film. A scene in which recently divorced 35 year-old mom Wendy, her roughly 13 year-old daughter Amanda, and roughly 11 year-old son Nate are wrapping up a visit with dad. The quasi-flamboyant persona of dad indicates the reason for the breakup. This character butching it up a little in subsequent scenes suggest both that the opening scene is one of the first shot and that the director makes the same observation as your not-so-humble reviewer.
Wendy soon bringing amusingly named geeky grocery store manager Dom Massey home to meet the kids only to discover that this dork is allergic to family dog Irving inspires Amanda and Nate to sabotage all future dating attempts. This scheme is relatable to any child of a divorced mother; the sad truth is that many tweens who consider the loser whom Mom brings home to be an unbearable idiot discovers on entering his or her 40s that said train wreck may represent the pick of the litter.
The kids make a surprisingly good team for siblings. Further, the candidness of Nate regarding peeing outside, being flatulent, and other disgusting matters make him a nice change of pace from more traditional sitcom-style tweens.
High school stud boyfriend Dave arriving on the scene presents the kids with dual serious challenges in the forms of the history of Dave and Wendy and the motivation of Dave extending beyond wanting to start over with the one who got away. Poor Irving becomes a pawn in this game.
The climax this time comes in the form of a mad dash that also involves Dad. The truth comes out and everyone (including Irving) achieves the apt degree of happiness.
Anyone with comments or questions regarding "Doghouse" is welcome to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.
'Handsome Devil' DVD: The Devil is in Details Regarding Price of Being Queer in a Highly Conformist Society
The many reason that the Breaking Glass Pictures June 6, 2017 DVD release of the 2016 Irish coming-of-age dramedy "Handsome Devil" is special is that it reinforces the theory of a highly insightful dude that a boarding school is a jail for kids who are sold the bill of goods that it is good for them. This is from the perspective of the beneficiary of a good education and some awesome friends at the costs of being abandoned by his parents and enduring two years of bullying by a hockey jock. (Hi Dan. I assume that you outgrew the literally nightly "midnight raids" that delighted you so much.)
Related boarding school insight from "Devil" comes in the form of the new kid at school joining that community several years after his peers. The closeness that comes after extended mutual confinement and shared adolescent experiences make it tough for the outsider.
This film further perfectly personifies the Gospel According to Unreal TV regarding Gay Pride. The spirit of that celebration is not provocative acts; it is showing that being yourself is proper and nothing to fear. Although not the "Devil," the hero/narrator to thine own self is true throughout despite the abuse that this prompts. The most blatant symbol of this is Ginger high-school boy/studious lad Ned in a sea of blond and brunette rugby jocks learning on his father and the trophy wife of said sire dumping him for another year his all-male boarding school that he is the only student without a roommate.
Ned sees this as a means to avoid his tormentors; they view this as an opportunity to call him gay and assert that he is being deprived of a roommate to spare a fellow student a "midnight raid" in the form of anal rape. Another way that Ned is not like the other boys is that his appearance is slightly awkward, and virtually every other lad is a candidate for the cover of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog.
An element of all this is that the popular lads quasi-aptly use the term gay (i.e., queer) as an insult of a misfit and only tangentially as a commentary on sexuality. The manifestation of this includes a rude in both tone and intent noise that the dumb jocks consider subtle.
The accolades for writer/director John Butler handling his subject well include earning the Best Irish Feature awards at the 2017 Dublin Films Critics Awards and Jameson Dublin International Film Festivals. Including the film in mainstream festivals and bestowing those top honors awesomely shows that we've come a long way, Baby.
The aforementioned bliss of Ned is shattered on learning early in the new school year that transfer student with a secret/rugby star Conor is his new cellie. The response of Ned on returning to his sanctuary to see a barechested Conor doing push-ups in the middle of the room is precious; the subsequent reaction of Conor regarding his strange bedfellow is almost as good. Both reflect the oh-so-true fact that even adults typically are less mature than a situation requires.
The amusing solution that Ned devises (and that makes one feel sympathy for the devil) can be considered the Wall of Jericho by classic film fans. Conor portrayor Nick Galitzine (a.k.a. Little Nicky or Beelzebloke) puts his Satanic attractiveness to good use is peering through the barrier as the first step toward dismantling it.
Andrew Scott (arguably best known as Moriarity in "Sherlock") steals the show as a subdued version of the prep school teacher that Robin Williams portrays in the film "Dead Poets Society." Dan Sherry is the youngish English teacher who takes over after the "retirement" of the fossil who is his predecessor. An early moment that establishes Great Scott has him validly embarrassing Ned in front of the class. This act clearly establishes that there is a new sheriff in town.
An intuitive Sherry coercing our lads to jointly prepare an act for an upcoming talent show follows the long reel and real traditions of making teens do what the grown ups know is good for them. This mutual effort predictably enhances the bond between the enemies turned chums.
The conflict that occurs along the way includes Conor paying a proportionally high social cost for his increasing level of closeness with Ned, Conor and Sherry discovering that they each share a secret with potentially devastating consequences, and villainous (and abusive) rugby coach Pascal stirring up trouble by pushing false issues.
As typical in coming-of-age films with a prominent sports theme, much of "Devil" revolves around an upcoming rugby tournament. The head of Conor is no longer so much in the game, and he is feeling increasingly repressed. Meanwhile, Ned is experiencing his own intense teen angst.
Everything comes to a head when the tormenting of Ned brings him to a breaking point. His outburst forces virtually effort in the film and creates the type of turmoil that is the stuff of prep school legend for decades.
It is predictable that the aforementioned rugby tournament is the climax. It is less predictable whether our boys find inner peace, their peers grow up, and the extent to which Sherry can make himself and his charges happier. One spoiler is that the film does not end up with the cast rushing the rugby pitch to groove and make out to a disco standard.
The positive elements of boarding school life require noting that Sherry represents the best aspect of that environment. The lost boys who are sentenced there almost always find a teacher who truly fills the role of in loco parentis while the ones who should be providing that support are literally and/or figuratively far far away. Someone who shows that love because they choose to is very special.
The special features include commentary by Butler and a highly entertaining and insightful Q&A session as Krakow film festival.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Devil" is strongly encouraged either to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.
The Breaking Glass Pictures July 18, 2017 DVD release of the 2017 low-budget horror film "Lake Alice" follows up the Breaking main act of showing that gay-themed films reflect EVERYONE who has love and lost or had it unrequited with proof of intelligent life regarding a well-produced student-film grade slasher flicks. The primary distinctions are that the "rabbits" are an ordinary American family, and we get to know the potential "coyotes" before rabbit season commences.
The following YouTube clip of the "Alice" trailer provides a good sense of the horror invading everyday lives that the film expertly accomplishes.
"Alice" commences with affluentish couple Greg and Natlie driving to their isolatedish year-round vacation home in the titular rural community. Adult daughter Sarah is in the backseat with boyfriend Ryan Emerson, This sets the stage for what can be considered "Meat the Parents."
Mom and Dad going into town for provisions sets the stage for introducing the natives who consider the part-time "immigrants" a necessary economic evil. The first up is the malicious sheriff who engages in his ritual of stopping their car just for the fun of it.
Next up is lonely middle-aged single man Carl, who is the kind of guy who buries you in unwanted zucchini from his garden and is vampire-like in that he takes a polite invitation to come in as a basis for putting his feet up and staying a while.
This leads to doting Mom Jane, who is nice and very down-to-earth but hopes that her 20-something son Tyler still has a chance with Sarah several years after what Sarah seems to consider The Summer of Slumming. We later meet Tyler when Mom and son arrive at the Thomas cabin in the wake of momentous news for that family.
A subsequent encounter introduces the bullying not-so-bright Deputy Reed.
Meanwhile back at the ranch house, the first signs of something being amiss are discovered footprints in the snow. In true horror-film style, the degree of menace increases as the seemingly di rigueur blizzard approaches.
Things culminate when a middle-of-the-night knock at the door wakes the family; they don't know who it is but know who its for. This leads to the entry of the monster of the film. Director Ben Milliken does an excellent job making a guy wearing a green parka with fur-lined hood and covering his face with a red-streaked Spider-Man style mask made out of what looks like a jockstrap pouch menacing.
Of course a family member going out to investigate quickly earns that person one in the back; a subsequent escape attempt nets a comparable result. The remaining two vacationers find themselves alternatively fleeing in terror, fighting off Jockface, or coming to the rescue of his or her fellow survivor.
Milliken and writer Stevie Jane Miller further provide awesome twists that include a variation on a cliche that is worth watching for. This rollercoaster ride begins roughly 20 minutes near the end of the film where many things are not as they seem.
Our dynamic directing/writing team save the best for last in terms of presenting a case of a New Norman; those who wait for the final solution with Bated breath will not be disappointed.
Breaking further outdoes itself regarding its typical truly special DVD features; this time it is a 51-minute version of "Alice" that goes beyond being a Cliff Notes version of the main feature to provide an altered narrative of the story. A prime example is a linear timeline in the main feature changing to one in which we join our story already in progress and go back to a sequence that follows a scene that Milliken and Miller entirely omit from the beginning of the film.
The Breaking Glass Pictures April 4, 2017 DVD release of the 2016 drama "bwoy" nicely expands on the gay-oriented theme of trying to rekindle the flame regarding "the one who got away" in breaking films such as the (Unreal TV reviewed) "Retake" and the (also reviewed) "Lazy Eye." In the case of "bwoy," the underlying distress is more intense and the subsequent coping technique is more extreme.
The next common element of all three films is their live-stage vibe that every good drama possesses. An attribute that is more specific to gay-themed art house films is that an inverse relationship exists between the extent to which the depictions of intimate activity are graphic and the quality of the films. In other words, film makers who know what they are doing do not need to put fully erect (and inserted) penises on the screen to get butts in the seats.
The following YouTube clip of the "bwoy" trailer reflects all of the above. The moments of online profile distortions are an entertaining diversion.
"bwoy" centers around 42 year-old white guy Brad O'Connor of Schenectady, New York. His current woes include a life that generally does not seem to provide much joy and a depressing job as a collections agent for a credit card company. He also has a slowly revealed drama regarding a young black boy Theatrically trained Anthony Rapp of "Rent" puts his stage experience to good use in portraying Brad.
Although married to a woman, Brad places an online ad in which he states that he is an older man looking for a younger one. This leads to his cyber-relationship with 23 year-old Jamaican man Yenny.
For his part, rookie actor Jimmy Brooks delivers a good Jamaican Gigolo performance. He is cute and charming and strikes a good balance between playing adoring twink and veteran hustler. He further demonstrates good seduction skills regarding giving Brad tantalizing glimpses of what comes between Yenny and his Calvins.
Yenny figuratively pushing all the right buttons with Brad as their courtship intensifies is no more surprising than his ultimately (and increasingly) asking Brad for money. Meanwhile, Brad (who is practicing plenty of deceit himself) is amassing an increasing mountain of debt and further straining an already not-so-ideal marriage to keep his boy happy.
Things come to a head when Yenny engages in what seems to be a tactic for when he gets as much as he feels that he can from a mark. The nature and the intensity of the response by Brad shows Yenny the dangers associated with toying with the emotions of another. As is the case in any modern film of any genre, a Hollywood ending is far from certain. It also includes the message of "Retake" and "Lazy" that going home again may not be impossible but requires a great deal of capital.
The special feature consists of a (sadly unwatched) Q & A with writer/director John Young and his cast.
These musings regarding the Breaking Glass Pictures May 16, 2017 DVD release of the 2015 Chinese coming-of-age film "Utopians" is a perfect first regular Pride Month post following yesterday's general article on modern gay-themed films. Producer/director/writer Scud has his cast literally and figuratively bare all regarding their actual and ideal sexual identities. "Utopians" also is notable as a film that breaks the general rule that provides that the degree of nudity and depictions of sex are inversely related to the quality of the movie.
The opening scene in which completely naked soon-to-graduate college student Hins (whom daring Chinese actor Adonis portrays with good insight) engages in equally erotic and perverse bisexual S&M play sets the tone for the rest of the film. Hins soon resumes his everyday life by attending a lecture with his steady gal.
The trouble/awakening begins with new professor Antonio Ming displaying a large slide of two naked intertwined men, asking the males in the class embarrassing questions about their sexuality, and announcing that he is gay. He goes on to discuss how the enlightened citizens of ancient Greece approached the titular perfect society through embracing both homosexual activity and sex between male teachers and their male students.
This openness intrigues bi-curious Hins to visit the professor in his office and to further bond over mutual love of a Japanese author who writes about gay relationships. An attraction to Hins and a desire to help this student realize his true self and to shed his related inhibitions prompts Antonio to invite his new friend for an afternoon frolicking on a boat with him and a group of young naked men. This outing (pun intended) includes watching Antonio have sex with one of his guests.
The seduction of Hins by Antonio reaches completion during a trip to Bangkok that also involves Antonio surrounding himself with naked young men. Hins fulfilling a promise to a repressed and already jealous Joey creates the central drama of the film.
The fully consensual sex between an adult Hins and an even older Antonio results in this pair becoming guests of the state. Scud uses the fact that either one of these lovers being female would have avoided any legal proceedings to emphasize his points regarding the attitude of society towards homosexuality.
The trial prompts further awakenings and results in Hins learning a proverbial deep dark family secret that further alters his sense of self; Scud makes the audience wait until the final scene to determine if the kid is alright after everything that he has been through.
The copious DVD extras include a 'teaser trailer' for the Scud film "30 Years of Adonis," a great Q Fest introduction of "Utopians" by Scud followed by an interview with Q Fest producer Thom Cardwell, deleted scenes, and a "making-of" feature.
An episode in the 2001-2002 13th season of "The Simpsons" perfectly expresses the true current state of Gay Pride. The titular nuclear family is attending a Pride parade when the marchers start chanting "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!" Eight year-old Lisa responds that the group marches every year and that the general populace is used to it.
The view of Lisa is consistent with that of your not-so-humble reviewer roughly since the era of the aforementioned "Simpsons" episode. The Gay Rights movement has made such strides by the beginning of the 21st century that skinny hairless boys only wearing a Speedo and rollerblades and fat hairy bearded middle-aged men wearing dresses merely show off and do not help the Pride movement. If anything, these acts reinforce the stereotypes that require Pride parades.
This criticism is presented in the dual context of Pride Month 2017 and Breaking Glass Pictures releasing gay-themed films that reflect the spirit of Pride and the related concept that quality films from this genre present universal themes. Unreal TV is honoring this through a month-long series of retweets of Breaking DVD releases.
Breaking Co-President Richard Ross eloquently expresses the above sentiments in an Unreal TV interview earlier this year. This conversation includes how the themes in the breaking films "Retake" and "Lazy Eye" of seeking closure or a new beginning with the one who got away can apply regarding any variation of romantic relationship.This shows that Philadelphia literally should throw this man a parade next June.
On a larger level, Unreal TV is on Team breaking because their films avoid gay stereotypes. The young guys are neither doe-eyed nor have over-scrubbed skin. Further, all the men accurately reflect real-life gay men in that they are average blokes whose sexuality is not the center of their lives. Further, most of them desire the same stability and happiness for which we all strive.
This reflects the universal nature of the gay experience that shows that the fact that a boy likes other boys is no basis for either fear or condemnation. Releases from breaking and similar art-house film distributors prove that sexuality truly should be a non-issue for most of us.
The tagline "everyone deserves a chance at finding happiness" for the 2016 gay-themed drama perfectly sums up the theme of this low-key tale of conversion therapy. The March 14, 2017 breaking glass pictures DVD release of the film is must-see for any family struggling with issues related to having a gay teen; it simply is a well-told story for the rest of us.
Seeing Tom "Luke Duke" Wopat as insensitive widowed dad Richard and Gregory "Gonzo" Harrison as religion-based conversion Dr. Gallagher add an '80stastic element to the movie. Dreamy 20-something Michael Grant keeps up with the veterans in his portrayal of James at 19.
The following YouTube clip of the "Fair Haven" trailer highlights the performances and shows how it delivers its message with a light touch.
Wopat and Grant have some of their best moments during the uber-awkward homecoming of James. The walk of shame from the bus to the family truck relates to being fresh out of a long-term stay at a conversion therapy facility. Richard is none too proud of his boy, and James looks as if he is returning from war.
Former piano prodigy James learns on the short ride to the family apple orchard in Vermont that Richard has spent the money set aside for tuition at the acclaimed Berklee School of Music in Boston on the operating expenses of the orchard that his father started. Richard noting with only a slight edge in his voice that other expenses included the therapy further establishes the dynamics in the Grant family. Another aspect of this subtlety is that several scenes in addition to the homecoming show that the character named Richard can be a total dick.
The aforementioned low-key vibe of the film continues with James being a typical t-shirt and jeans wearing farm boy whose drab bedroom looks like the personal space of an all-American boy-next-door. He is much more Clark Kent than high-school drama club queen. One strongly suspects that our hero has never heard of Ethel Merman or Carol Channing.
Well-placed flashbacks of the therapy provide context for the present-day activity. For example, James soon encountering former boyfriend/fellow t-shirt and jeans guy Charlie triggers a scene in which Gallagher gently asks James if he has been intimate with another man.
The scenes with Gallagher further establish that his kind and gentle approach is to counsel his "patients." He understands the nature of their desires and provides a safe place for them to discuss them and for him to convince them why they are wrong. His idea of success is to substitute homosexual desires with heterosexual ones but does not seem consider with the corresponding damage to the psyche.
Other drama comes in the form of James seeing if the daughter of a preacher man can reach and teach him. Their awkward first date and not much better subsequent interaction shows that James is trying very hard to please his father and society but that his heart is not in it. One also feels sorry for the daughter regarding the ultimate possibility of an unhappy marriage to James, who does not show her much affection and spends most weekends with Charlie under a pretense.
A related issue with its own form of repression is a struggle that many kids from rural backgrounds face. Richard feels strongly that James stay at home and devote his entire life to the orchard, but James desperately wants to be a concert pianist regardless of whether he shares his bed with a man, a woman, or no one.
The symbolism regarding the element of how ya gonna keep 'em on the farm extends to a real-life Oliver and Lisa Douglas yuppie couple who want to buy the orchard to convert it to an organic operation. The response of stubborn and old-world Richard is that apples are already organic because they grow out of the ground; James sees the offer as a way out and recognizes that the times they are a changin'.
Less subtle symbolism exists regarding this tale of sin and temptation being set in an apple orchard.
The subtlety and realism continues to the climatic final scenes. An event that forces every player to come to terms with their new reality changes the lives of each of them. Just as in real life, no one gets everything that he or she wants but achieves adequate happiness to keep going.
This discussion illustrates that, like virtually every breaking DVD release, "Fair Haven" is notable for avoiding most gay film stereotypes. One can easily image a film about conversion therapy to be either high camp or a melodrama and for James and Charlie to be doe-eyed twinks who prance around the orchard in short denim cut-offs and Daisy Duke shirts that are barely buttoned and cinched at the waist. Instead, we get the much more substantive story of a man who has already lost his wife at a relatively young age and has a son who is a good kid but has desires that Dad can neither understand nor accept.
The bushel of breaking extras this time include an in-studio music video of Wopat, 35 minutes of cast interviews that begin with Wopat discussing his childhood on a Midwest farm, and both deleted scenes and a look behind-the scenes.
Breaking Glass Pictures awesomely combines pulp noir with apt social commentary in the new film "Sins of Our Youth," which stars dreamy Lucas Till of "The X Men " franchise and "MacGyvrer" and "Hanna Montana" harmless guy bud Mitchel Musso. The soundtrack and the rich darkly colored cinematography make "Sins" worthy seeing on the big screen on December 2, 2016 four days before a December 6 VOD/DVD premiere. Watching it will annoy you that bringing it out took two years.
The following YouTube clip of a SPOILER DRIPPING promo. for "Sins" shows you most of what you need to know about this future cult classic.
This tale of teens running amok in Las Vegas with no adult supervision evokes strong thoughts of the mega-bestseller Donna Tart novel "The Goldfinch." Having "The Breakfast Club" bratpacker Ally Sheedy as the hard-drinking/blackjack dealer somewhat significant other of the never-seen father of one of the titular feral lads is a great hybrid element of the B-List star power and "Goldfinch" elements of the film.
The more general themes of blue-collar teen boy angst bring the awesome '80s Keanu Reeves indie dramas, which include "River's Edge" and "The Prince of Pennsylvania," to mind.
Till stars (and rocks) as teen boy Tyler, whose adventure begins with hanging at an arcade with best buds Scott (whom Musso plays) and Carlo and little brother David. The combination of mind-altering substances. the parents of David and Tyler being away for several days, and those boys having access to a walk-in closet full of guns prompt the boys to use heavy artillery to hunt holiday decorations. The scenes of Christmas lights, exploding plastic, and copious gunfire are a prime example of the expert cinematography.
"Sins" is also notable for the good brotherly chemistry between Till and David portrayor Joel Courtney. Their bond and related emotions seem genuine.
Young teen neighbor Bradley picking the wrong time to check out the action makes him a victim of friendly fire. This is in turn requires that our quartet decide the best course of action.
The far-from-perfect solution that these gamer stoners devise foolishly pits them against each other. The ensuing classic noir element of paranoia hinders the group from canceling their deal. The large amounts of pot smoked in this period does not help matters.
Although the tension and drama build at the large birthday party of the girlfriend (who has a significant secret of her own) of Tyler, the manner in which things go down is unpredictable. The same is true regarding the ensuing events.
The overall cool element of this is the aspect of the butterfly effect. Our excitable boys can be counted on to make the wrong decision at every turn; this in turn escalates to more mayhem.