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Zee Jai "Zee Jai" (London)

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Jess and James [DVD]
Jess and James [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martín Karich
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £8.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the trip, 29 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jess and James [DVD] (DVD)
"Jess & James" is a road trip movie through rural Argentina, with two gorgeous leads, and it's an absolute joy.

The boys have various adventures along the way, encountering eccentrics and, yes, homophobia. And they also meet a third boy, Tomás, leading to a steamy (but not gratuitous) ménage à trois.

The soundtrack is odd, like a 1970s "Doctor Who", but it's pleasing, not jarring or intrusive, and a welcome departure from the irritating Indie warbling often favoured by arthouse productions.

Better yet, "Jess & James" doesn't end with one (or both) of boys murdered in an act of homophobic violence. Thank you for that, writer and director Santiago Giralt. And thank you for an absolute gem of a film, one I'll be sure to return to, often.


Geography Club [DVD]
Geography Club [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alex Newell
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £7.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the kids, 28 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Geography Club [DVD] (DVD)
There's nothing really wrong with "Geography Club". The trouble is, there's nothing really right about it either. It's sort of just okay. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, and the stakes aren't high enough for it to be a drama.

It's bland, saccharine, toothless, the sort of gay film Martha Stewart might make. We've all seen this high school tale a million times before: the bullying jocks, the weird outsider kids, the mean girls. And most of all, the good-looking, all-American white boy coming of age who falls for the school's star football player. Sound familiar?

It's fine, it's harmless, and a safe bet to show to kids in school. But don't expect anything new or surprising.


Land of Storms [DVD]
Land of Storms [DVD]
Dvd ~ Andras Suto
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Falls at the final hurdle, 27 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Land of Storms [DVD] (DVD)
There's no question that director Ádám Császi's film looks stunning, and benefits from some attractive leads, but this isn't the "hot three-way love story" Amazon's product description promises (although a hot threeway does feature). It's primarily a film about homophobia, and homophobic violence, and (spoiler alert) it doesn't end well.

There's some discussion in the other reviews for this film about anti-gay violence and unhappy endings, much of which I agree with. All too often it feels like the easy option for filmmakers, the sudden, violent death of the protagonist. It's a tactic I'm fed up with too. No one's asking for a happy ever after ending, but does it always have to end with the bloody slaying of the gay guy? It isn't shocking, you just think, "Gee, I didn't see that coming."

Climax aside, "Land of Storms" is well worth seeing. Enjoy the trip, but don't be surprised by the dark clouds rolling in...


Chemsex [DVD]
Chemsex [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Fairman
Offered by fat_buddha
Price: £7.29

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 26 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Chemsex [DVD] (DVD)
Fascinating documentary about a world many of us are blissfully unaware of.

Documentaries should illuminate and entertain; "Chemsex" does both. Directors William Fairman and Max Gogarty skillfully guide us through the world of chemsex, describing this phenomenon through various interviewees from various backgrounds. It makes for grim viewing (not to mention a nihilistic footnote to films like "How To Survive A Plague").

Some will be horrified, some will be titillated. Sex sells, but it leaves a hell of a mess.


Soft Lad [DVD]
Soft Lad [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Brocklebank
Offered by fat_buddha
Price: £8.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft? Far from it., 26 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soft Lad [DVD] (DVD)
Soft Lad has a lot going for it, including a fantastic cast who give it their all.

Daniel Brocklebank is a convincing villain, and Jonny Labey a cute romantic lead. But kudos to Craig Stein and Suzanne Collins, who dazzle in their supporting roles. Stein is mesmerising, as is Collins. I'd pay to watch either of them read aloud from a bus timetable.

Writer and director Leon Lopez (sidebar: he's incredibly sexy. Google him) originally wrote this as a play, and at times it feels like one (hardly a bad thing, in my book). His film is surprising, charming, sometimes shocking, and overall a highly rewarding watch. This isn't a new story, but in his hands it feel like one. I can't wait to see what he does next.

The DVD also contains a short film by Lopez - The Definition of Loneliness - a sweet, thoughtful piece which alone is worth the price of the disc, and a fascinating interview with the gorgeous Lopez and the equally yummy Stein.


Make The Yuletide Gay [DVD] [2009]
Make The Yuletide Gay [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Keith Jordan
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £4.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wooden, laboured and dull, 25 Dec. 2015
They try really hard, and their heart is in the right place, but this isn't even an average movie.

First, the positives. The two lead actors (Keith Jordan and Adamo Ruggiero) are cute and do a good job. Alison Arngrim is great as the slutty housewife neighbour (yes, there's one of those). And for a low budget feature, the production values are good - there aren't the usual problems of poor sound etc.

That's it. There isn't a lot else to cheer about. This isn't a funny movie. I love innuendo, and there's plenty of it here, but everything is agonisingly laboured, the timing always off. You can see every "joke" coming from a mile off.

The film isn't even sure if it wants to be a comedy. Tonally, it's all over the place. The main story is a tortuous coming out story. Note to the writer: it isn't the '90s anymore. This story - or, at least, this telling of it - is hopelessly out of date, something some nice, middle aged suburban queens have put together on weekends. What was the pitch - nice white college boy has to face the agony of coming out to his nice white parents (who aren't even written as conservative or Christian). Really?

At just one hour and twenty-four minutes, Make The Yuletide Gay still felt overlong. I was desperate for something unexpected to happen, and when it was clear that wasn't going to happen, I was just desperate for it to end... Like that boring relative who overstays their welcome, or that gift that makes you go "meh"...


Tumbledown [DVD]
Tumbledown [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Hallowell
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £5.59

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tumble, down, 1 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Tumbledown [DVD] (DVD)
Somewhere in this agonising train-wreck of a movie there's an interesting idea. But it's explored with such plodding, wooden ineptitude that its impact is rendered impotent.

Tumbledown is 80 minutes long, but it feels much, much longer. I found myself fastforwarding swathes of material where nothing was happening. The acting is stilted, the plot barely moves, and the direction is self-indulgent. There's nothing to redeem this joyless shambles - it's virtually unwatchable.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2013 6:39 PM BST


Faggamuffin
Faggamuffin
by John R. Gordon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not miss it, 5 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Faggamuffin (Paperback)
It's been a long time since John R. Gordon's last novel, Warriors & Outlaws. Is "Faggamuffin" worth the wait?

Here's a clue: It was put on the stage in London - long before the novel was even published.

"Faggamuffin" joins John R. Gordon's previous works - "Black Butterflies", "Skin Deep", and "Warriors & Outlaws" - as the definitive account of what it means to be black and gay. But here's the really important thing about "Faggamuffin": it's a gripping page-turner. Set aside its impressive literary credentials - the searing, undeniable truth-telling, the 'message' - and you've got an electrifying plot in which our protaganist, Cutty, flees homophobic violence (and the murder of his lover, Sonny) in Jamaica, pitching up in London at the flat of acquaintance (and mini drug baron) Buju. Cutty and Buju's lust - and love - becomes an all consuming fire, and the novel deals with the fall-out from that, with Cynthia, Buju's girlfriend, standing by with a fire extinguisher.

(By the way, the moment Cutty and Buju finally come together should go down in history as one of the most exciting, sexiest, moments in literary fiction. Trust me: you'll shout, "WTF?")

This is a sexy, deeply moving novel, an unlikely love story forged out of the hell this world has created for some of us. Ever wondered what it's really like to be a gay Jamaican? Hearing, secondhand, about the horrors endured by our brothers in that part of the world is one thing, but actually living them through Cutty is another. The novel subtley reminds us that, but for the grace of God (as it were), you or I could be Cutty, and asks us to consider how we might deal with the impossible circumstances Cutty finds himself in. Because let's face it - most of us reading Faggamuffin won't be under the cosh, will we?

Getting under Cutty's skin is a privilege, the trade-off being that we get to see ourselves through the eyes of one who doesn't have the freedoms most of us enjoy. Particularly effective is Cutty's response to London's gay village, Soho. Through Cutty's eyes, we witness the apparent freedoms enjoyed by London's gays, and thus see ourselves as those less fortunate see us. But Gordon takes it a step further; later, when Cutty hears of the violent homophobia that still exists in Britain, Cutty's vision of a tolerant, liberal paradise is shattered. Cutty sees that Britain really isn't much better than Jamaica: here, the violence is simmering just beneath the surface. That reader who might smugly have gone along with Cutty's initial summation is forced to remove their rose-tinted glasses.

The cast of (mostly West London) characters are expertly drawn by Gordon. As you'd expect, leads Cutty and Buju are lovingly drawn, allowing the reader to love them, and thus find themselves engulfed by their unexpected romance. The boys in Buju's click are all interesting, carefully drawn characters, rather than the irritating one-note stereotypes they could easily have been. Even potentially unsympathetic characters are rendered human: cock-blockin', manipulative Cynthia could easily have been a one dimensional monster in less skilled hands, yet instead evokes a surprising degree of sympathy.

Ultimately, you could call "Faggamuffin" sexy, searing, thoughtful, romantic, exciting, brutal, and much more, but there's just one thing you need to know: this is a story like no other, that had my heart, mind and pulse racing - sometimes, all at once - and it's the best novel you'll read this year.

Do not miss it.


Doctor Who - Paradise Towers [DVD] [1987]
Doctor Who - Paradise Towers [DVD] [1987]
Dvd ~ Sylvester McCoy
Price: £6.60

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taken to the cleaners - by fans, 21 Sept. 2011
There's an awful lot to like about Paradise Towers, a story whose reputation precedes it.

But don't listen to the po-faced fans - Paradise Towers is a cracking yarn with plenty going for it.

The idea of a high rise gone wrong - with murderous robotic cleaners, cannibalistic pensioners, and wild girl gangs - is a strong one. Equally strong is the design - Paradise Towers itself looks fantastic, and the Cleaners are particularly striking.

It isn't perfect, but the odd bit of miscasting isn't the end of the world. The girl gangs (Kangs) are more stage school than street smart, but hey, that's why we have the ability to suspend our disbelief, if we chose to.

Paradise Towers gets better with age, and if you can overlook some superficial flaws, there's a real gem waiting to be found. And if the last shot doesn't have you welling up, even just a little, then you really are a misery...
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2013 11:36 AM BST


Release [DVD]
Release [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Brocklebank
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £5.09

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Release [DVD] (DVD)
There's little to like about this mean, slow, and unrewarding film. After the excellent Shank (from the same team), this effort comes as a complete letdown.

Dull - and frequently misjudged - characterisation, a half-baked script and bizarre production design (the "prison" is a joke) are just a few of its problems.

Avoid - unless you want a lesson in how not to make a movie.


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