Monday, September 20, 2010

Shelter - Gay Boys Do Surf

It is always a delight to find a gay themed film with a fresh look on romantic relationships between young gay men. In Jonas Markowitz's third directorial Shelter , we find love in the surf, sand and beach front homes of southern California.

Meet Zach, played by a convincing Trevor Wright, a budding artist, dutiful uncle, reliable best friend, with a working class foundation whose homosexuality is awakened when his best friend Gabe's (Ross Thomas) older brother, Shaun (Brad Rowe), a writer now living in Los Angeles returns home to recover from a recent breakup.

Zach's art and world is driven by his home life -- the perfect picture of the American dysfunctional family with his sister practically giving 20 year-old Zach custody of her 5 year-old son Cody. Nevertheless, Zach and Cody are the new American family completed with Shaun's arrival and confidence.

Shaun and Zach form one of the best unions in the history of gay cinema. They are honest, vulnerable, considerate and open to explore just as they do with the waves of the ocean. The camera loves these guys and they give their characters depth and humanity that no script could ever spell out so brilliantly as they portray them.

Shelter is such a refreshing film. Shelter is that film people will question its homosexuality because it does not act gay. People need to know and realize that all gay men are not the stereotype most Hollywood types plant in your mind and their movies. Shelter is easily one of the best gay themed films ever.

Seek shelter immediately.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inception - Time to Wake-up

Besides the soaring temperatures of summer, the other thing I am eager to usher away are those horrible loud insipid summer blockbuster movies.

To that end, it is only appropriate that I present Inception. Inception was billed as the smart, plot driven, guilty pleasure of summer 2010’s star riddled, studio tentpoles, blockbuster $200 million productions. Last week I caught Inception in New York City. $13.00? When did the tickets go up? Thirteen dollars does not even guarantee you a great sit, especially during the heated summer months.

Back to Inception, I always enjoy the acting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. British and buffed, Tom Hardy is great. As usual, Leonardo DiCaprio is fine acting his way through every Hollywood film he stars in. And Leo is the star - front and center of nearly every frame of Inception. Marion Cotillard, well she is the new “go-to” international actress for a multi-layered favored wife role. Director Christopher Nolan has definitely solidified his cinematic style – which excludes Blacks (people in Africa are not Black they are Africans - in America, Mr. Nolan, where you make movies those black people are Black).

While there are so many angles to dialogue on Inception, I will just focus on – show it, don’t say it. This is a film. It is a film about dreams and reality. This is the very foundation of cinema. From the very first scene until the very last scene the characters are constantly acknowledging, analyzing, discussing, dissecting dreams and telling the audience that this is a dream within a dream and the characters are having and involved with dreams within their own dreams and others’ dreams.

In the end, Inception falls fast like one of those dreams where you awake just before the crash. It is a let down because we understand early on to follow the various dreams and reality. The film is not very clever nor smart and the special effects are suburban – a truck full of sleeping celebrity actors going over a bridge in slow motion? Really? $150 million to dream? Wake up!

All I can say is bring on the Fall art-house, film festival pick-ups, international cinema gems, urban sleepers, cine-bio-pics and random Oscar worthy sifted studio “indy” flicks.

Goodbye summer and riddance mindless flicks of summer 2010!