WINDY CITY TIMES
by Gregg Shapiro
This article shared 2684 times since Wed Sep 12, 2001
The Monkey's Mask ( Strand ) : Pretentious and dreadful Australian film noir that borders on soft-core pornography, most notable for having Kelly McGillis ( of Top Gun and Witness fame ) playing a bisexual poetry professor named Diana. When student, budding poet and bisexual nymphomaniac Mickey ( Abbie Cornish ) goes missing after a poetry reading, lesbian gumshoe Jill ( Susie Porter ) takes the case. This anemic dyke drama attempts to skewer poets and lesbians with a dull point and ridiculous dialogue. The Monkey's Mask is monkey business, pure and simple. On a scale of 1 to 10: 2 ( Landmark Century Cinema )
Funny Girl ( Columbia ) : When was the last time you saw a movie that had an overture and an intermission? With the theatrical re-release of the restored version of this 33-year-old classic Hollywood movie musical, you now have the chance to see one. Barbra Streisand won an Academy Award for her portrayal of singing comedic stage star Fanny Brice..."a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls." The best part of the re-release was getting to see now legendary scenes from this movie, such as the roller skating number ( "I'd Rather Be Blue" ) , the pregnant bride ( "The Beautiful Reflection" ) , the private dining room, the train/taxi/tugboat ( "Don't Rain On My Parade" ) and Swan Lake, on the big screen. Unfortunately, Omar Sharif is terribly miscast as Nick Arnstein, the gambling addict who was the love of Brice's life, and the movie becomes sluggish during the times that it focuses on the couple's less than blissful domestic life. Still, Funny Girl is a reminder of Streisand's gifts as both a singer and an actress, and gay men and lesbians of all generations can respect her subsequent ascent to divahood ( although the "My Man" finale is a feminist's nightmare ) . You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll walk out singing. When was the last time that you left a movie doing that? On a scale of 1 to 10: 7 ( Landmark Century )
Hit & Runway ( Lot 47 Films ) : Co-scripted by Jaffe Cohen ( of Funny Gay Males comedy troupe fame ) and director Christopher Livingston, Hit & Runway crosses Woody Allen with Kiss Me Guido with average results. Straight film-school student Alex ( Michael Parducci ) meets nebbishy gay playwright Elliot ( Peter Jacobson ) when he finds the script that Elliot left for Joey ( Kerr Smith ) the actor/waiter who waits tables in the Little Italy cafe owned by Alex's family. Alex convinces Elliott to collaborate with him on a screenplay that he is writing for a major action-movie star named Jagger Stevens ( Hoyt Richards ) . Alex and Elliot's unlikely friendship is the source of a couple of good laughs, but there's not much here to warrant a full-length feature or the time watching one. On a scale of 1 to 10: 5 ( Three Penny Cinema )
Rock Star ( Warner Brothers ) : In mid-1980s Pittsburgh, Chris ( Mark Wahlberg ) is the lead singer in Blood Pollution, a tribute band for legendary, but fictional ( loosely based on Judas Priest ) , heavy metal group Steel Dragon. After clashing with his band-mates, he is replaced. In true rock star fantasy style, two of Blood Pollution's groupies succeed in getting a copy of one of the band's videotaped performances into the hands of a member of Steel Dragon and the rest is heavy metal history. You see, Steel Dragon's gay lead singer Bobby ( Jason Flemyng ) , has been ousted by his homophobic band and manager, and after an exhaustive search, Chris has been chosen to replace him! Long-suffering girlfriend/manager Emily ( Jennifer Aniston, who looks like she'd rather be home in bed with husband Brad Pitt ) comes along for the transformation of Chris into Izzy and the bumpy rock star ride. This heavy metal horror show heaps on the homo-action: a same-sex kiss between Emily and another woman, and a kiss between band-employee Tanya ( Dagmara Dominczyk ) and Chris becomes cause for alarm when it is discovered that she is a pre-op transsexual, but it's done to terrify, not titillate. What else would you expect from Stephen Herek, the man who directed The Mighty Ducks, Critters, and Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, among others? On a scale of 1 to 10: 2.5
All Over The Guy ( Lions Gate ) : A somewhat disappointing romantic comedy about two gay men...Eli ( Dan Bucatinsky, who also wrote the screenplay ) and Tom ( Richard Ruccolo ) ...who are introduced by their straight best friends...Jackie ( Sasha Alexander ) and Brett ( Adam Goldberg ) ...and struggle to make a go of a relationship. While Jackie and Brett's relationship quickly develops into something that ends in marriage, Eli and Tom are constantly insulting each other, making scenes, and only end up having sex twice. Both men blame their parents ( Eli's are psychotherapists and Tom's are alcoholics ) for making them the kinds of people that they've become...Eli's neurotic and Tom has a drinking problem, and both men have intimacy issues. Did I mention that, while both men are attractive, neither of them is especially likable? In fact, the most genuinely pleasant character in the whole movie is a woman named Esther ( Doris Roberts ) , who works at the health clinic where Eli gets tested for HIV. She offers Eli a sympathetic ear and sage advice. While I'm grateful for the increase in gay characters ( nice and not so nice ) in movies, is it too much to ask for the movies to be entertaining and have substance, as well? For my money, I'll go see Big Eden again. On a scale of 1 to 10: 5.5 ( Wide release )
This article shared 2684 times since Wed Sep 12, 2001
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