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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Closeted God Squad meets Bloke of His dreams in `Lyrically Paced Drama', 6 Dec 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Seminarian [DVD] (DVD)
The synopsis is that a closeted Seminarian, who is writing his thesis, finally meets a guy he can connect to and then decides to come out. Now you might think there are opportunities to take this story to new and uncharted waters, and that there would be an opportunity to explore some of the ethical questions that surround The Bible and homosexuality; and you would be right. The big question that I was left struggling with was why the makers decided not to bother.

It stars Mark Cirillo as the student, he is in his thirties so a better casting might have made this more believable as the struggling thesis writer, and we are never told he is a mature student, but then again I don't think he was meant to be. He likes going on line for self gratification and pretending to be straight with nearly all his friends.

Well all of that is nothing new and quite understandable. His thesis is about reconciling the love that Jesus has for all mankind with the love we feel for each other and the suffering it causes, and from a theological perspective this part of the film is fairly well fleshed out. He meets Bradley on line and they hook up, it turns out he is an emotional wreck and a bit of a loser. We then have lots of interplay with his friends, all of who have never graduated from am dram school. There is an awful lot of making phone calls that do not get answered. A lot of sitting around reading books, having strained and obviously scripted conversations and minimal music.

There are some full frontal shots but not a lot more for the more raunchy minded viewer of the gay genre. It is not very sexy, the acting is almost universally below par and it is crying out for a good edit because at 101 minutes I was itching for the fast forward. All in all this is a missed opportunity as the backward and homophobic attitudes that are portrayed are never adequately dealt with. If they had have been then this may have been a worthwhile watch, as it is it really remains barely ok hence my rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising , but a Misfire, 6 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Seminarian [DVD] (DVD)
I was quite taken with the premise of this movie and the promise of an exploration of gay/religious themes set in an educational background. Indeed, the production values are high and the performances sound but overall I have to say that the sum of the parts don't quite fit together well enough to make it memorable. Just as the actors begin to moralise/philosophise the action switches to something mundane. So despite good individual scenes, it doesn't quite click together. I gave it a second viewing hoping I was wrong, however I couldn't get away from the most basic flaw in 'The Seminarian', which is that it is boring. So though well intentioned, I can only award a couple of stars. For something similar (though lacking the religious angle) but much more entertaining and to the point, try 'Grande Ecole',from Robert Salis.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject but not the greatest film, 29 April 2014
By 
S Fox (South East England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Seminarian (DVD)
I thought this film would be really interesting and a little challenging. However I was left feeling a bit disappointed.

There were four main areas which I think caused me problems in the film. The first was that the central subject of being gay in a Christian college didn't feel like it was dealt with in any real depth. I don't think being in that position is easy and yet I felt that the script didn't really address much in the way of the difficulties which may arise. The second was that I felt that the film was poorly paced. Many scenes seemed to hold on for quite a while with nothing happening at the end which gave me the feeling that a gentle exploratory film was going to move from slow to stop at any moment. The third area that surprised and, I guess, disappointed me was that there seemed to be little in the script portraying any committed faith in any of the seminary students. Maybe in the US seminaries are more academic and less faith-based than here in the UK although my guess is that that would not be the case? Finally I felt that the ending was really disappointing and frustrating.

On the up side, the acting was enjoyable, locations were good and had a genuine seminary feel to them and the interplay between the characters was interesting and not always what you might expect.
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The Seminarian [DVD]
The Seminarian [DVD] by Joshua Lim (DVD - 2012)
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