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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 March 2014
This is not one of the best of the Boys On Film series, in fact it's one of the few that have no shorts that completely take you with them. As if proving the adage about judging a book by its cover, the packaging is one of the most attractive, on both sides of the box, but the whole series is very good in this regard - given the eye candy in the films, it isn't surprising. The central figure with the facial hair is in one of the most genuinely provocative and disturbing films (The Strange Ones), as he seems to be involved with a younger teen in a relationship where all is not well in any case. They stop off at a motel and the boy is very indiscreet in talking to the owner by a swimming pool. He is not very likeable; the man seems more so, but then ... I can't say I liked this film. It is one of the darkest, but there are others, as the title Bad Romance implies.
Two Israeli films are quite provocative and interesting, and well shot: Watch Over Me goes in a supernatural direction that mixes interestingly with a look at homophobia in the military. It is quite subtle and imaginative. The Traitor is very intimate, and far from pleasant; a man announces to his lover that he is leaving the next day, then they have sex. I couldn't really understand why they would do this, but accepting that they do, it is quite good, if disturbing.
The Korean Just Friends also has some disturbing elements, even though it is a comedy that starts and ends with singing ... two boys try to maintain their love through the maze of military obligation and an overbearing maternal presence. It is often quite sweet, but a bit too wilfully naive.
Curious Thing starts the collection pleasantly with a gay/straight near-couple, with a voice-over of various men talking about similar real-life relationships they have had with straight men. It is quite original but doesn't dig deep enough. In Cake and Sand they are both gay but there is no sexual desire. Somehow this fails to draw you in, perhaps because it feels too disjointed.
Mirrors is quite poetic, but could have done with better music. It stars Xavier Dolan who has become so prominent behind the camera, as a teen on summer holiday and his observation of the sexual goings-on around him. But with the banality of the music and low-key setting, veering to arty shots (the shadow on a pale wall of foliage blowing in the wind, for instance), the whole thing is a bit underwhelming.
Communication feels like an unconvincing soap opera.
The best two, along with Watch Over Me, are The New Tenants and Cappuccino. The first won an Oscar for Best Short Film. It is only incidentally about gayness, as the tenants of the title are a gay couple who have problems in their flat because of the previous tenant who has left a trail of resentment and damage in his wake. It means they get a string of bizarre or threatening people bursting into their flat. It is pretty good, although it is really at the level of its ingenious plot that it works best, plus a surprising final few minutes. Cappuccino is the sexiest film here; a bit like North Sea Texas in tone and subject, it shows the teenage travails of gay love for a straight boy in an unoriginal scenario that nevertheless has its good moments, not least of which is the shower fantasy shown on the back of the box. The subject was better done in the more developed The Disco Years from a few years back.
In spite of being less than enthused I did think these films were often interesting, if ultimately failures - others may find more actual pleasure in them.
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on 16 February 2012
Some of these short movies should never have been accepted for DVD, in my opinion. I was left frustrated by most of them and it seemed, unlike the other series, that a feeble search was on to take anything that they could get because of a lack of commitment or similar. I will not be buying any more of these Shorts until they become professional. As to the writers? What was in their head, never conveyed any clue to us. A random story only they could make out. On the plus side, a few did stand out and were excelellent, but they don't make up for the waste of time of the others.
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on 28 September 2013
Another great dvd in the series of gay sort stories. Ten more words are required to submit this so I added this sentence.
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on 26 November 2013
I was expecting more gay content. I did not like most of the short films. I put the DVD in the garbbage.
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on 2 April 2012
I wasn't that impressed with this collection of shorts. Few of them kept my attention. But for the price of the DVD? I've seen some of the Boys Life series and found them to be better. Its just above the cost of a rental so I didn't lose much.
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on 3 January 2013
I really didn't enjoy this DVD much, which was a pity as I liked the rest overall. Maybe because these stories were a bit darker that the rest of the series?
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on 2 October 2013
As with the DVD THE MISSION< THIS ONE BOYS ON FILM, we will have to give it the same review at the moment, as we have not had chance to watch it
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on 28 November 2011
The dvd is a series of short films.
Unfortunately despite being short only one or two carry the audience with them - a couple take ages to go nowhere.
A disappointing DVD compared with others in the series.
It seems that whoever selected the films spent too long considering their "arty" properties and forgot about the audience.
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on 28 October 2011
This collection of short films were interesting but this is not a DVD I would rave about. A little disappointing.
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on 2 November 2011
Stick with this for the first couple of shorts are really sacharine and definately seen before, but then the selection gets really really good . Wont give any of the plots away but there are a couple that really make you think. If only full length films could be this good .
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