Gay-Friendly Blu-rays

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mark Walker, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Aww. Thanks, Jason! You are right; I work in Portland.
     
  2. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    So close, Mark! We're gonna have to plan a meet up at some point!
     
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  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    A few quick notes before I get to the film I watched this last week.

    Anyone see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Yea, me neither. ;)
    There has been some comments about the "hot dwarfs" meaning Kili and Fili, and I will say I would ride in a barrel with Fili (the blond one) without hesitation. Imagine my delight when I Goggled Dean O'Gorman and found he had done two LGBT films, When Love Comes way back in 1998 and the more recent Kawa.

    [color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;]When Love Comes: New Zealand filmmaker Garth Maxwell's drama chronicles the love lives of a group of people trying to make things work between each other. Past-her-prime singer Rena Owen, returning home from America to refocus her career and relationship with manager/lover Simon Westaway, stays with best friend Simon Prast, who's having romantic problems of his own with a younger man, Mark, played by Dean O'Gorman.[/color]

    [​IMG]

    I recalled that I had seen When Love Comes and did not like it enough to buy it, which says something if Dean O'Gorman is paying a gay man and I still did not want repeated viewing. :)

    I Netflixed it again a few weeks ago, and the DVD is widescreen, non-anamorphic, and the picture quality is about that of VHS. The film is not bad, but I did not like it based on the characters and it was the wrong kind of heartfelt made for the Lifetime channel feeling for me. Your millage may vary.
    (NOTE: it is also out of print, but still currently available at Amazon.)

    Here is what I found on the second Dean O'Gorman film.
    Kawa: [color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;]Based on a novel by the creator of The Whale Rider A critically-acclaimed psychological drama depicting a family in crisis, Kawa tells the story of a successful businessman in New Zealand, as he is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he is gay. Adapted from the Witi Ihimaera novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by writer/director Katie Wolfe, Kawa stars Calvin Tuteao (Once Were Warriors), Nathalie Bolt (District 9), George Henare (Once Were Warriors), Vicki Haughton (Whale Rider) and Dean O Gorman (The Hobbit). It is tradition that Kawariki (Calvin Tuteao) become the leader of the family now that his father is retiring. A husband and father, he realizes that in order to lead with integrity, he must come out and be honest about his own life, even though it will test the boundaries of acceptance and unconditional love. Offering valuable insights into Maori traditions, family ideals and cultural values, this feature debut is rich and textured with emotional layers and stunning New Zealand landscapes.[/color]
    [color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;][​IMG][/color]

    Link to the film's trailer:

    Kawa is now in my Netflix queue and I am cautiously optimistic, even though it is a *sigh* coming out film.


    Over the December break, I also watched a series available on Blu-ray called
    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (series one), which is set in 1920's Australia.
    It reminds me of a more light-hearted, frothy version of Miss Marple only with an
    unrepentant flapper in the title role that also has no qualms bedding some of the handsome men she encounters.
    [​IMG]

    There are two episodes in series one that deal directly with LGBT characters.
    For the show itself, I found the cast uniformly charming and I look forward to catching series two.
    The cast also includes the delightful (and out) Miriam Margolyes.
    [​IMG]
    The show is fun and while it does not break any new ground, I did not really expect it to.
    I Netfilxed it and will buy when the price comes down a bit more. (I am sad that I did not pick it up when I saw it at Costco, but I don't readily buy programs without seeing them, even as fun as this looked from the cover.)

    The following is a link to series one's trailer:


    But the main point of today's post it to bring up Out in the Dark.
    [​IMG]

    I rented this film on DVD via Netflix and promptly sent it back and ordered the DVD from Amazon.
    This film, while superficially bearing some resemblance to The Bubble, another film set at the West Bank, I feel like this film got everything right that bothered my about The Bubble.

    The following is a link to the film's trailer:


    Here is the essence of the plot without spoilers:
    Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student in the West Bank, dreams of a better life. One fateful night in Tel Aviv, he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. As their relationship deepens, they are both confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept Nimer for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. When Nimerʼs close friend is caught hiding illegally in Tel Aviv and sent back to the West Bank and a terrible fate, Nimer is forced to choose between the life he thought he wanted and his love for Roy.

    While I felt moved and informed by The Bubble, with Out in The Dark, I cared about the characters first before having to address their respective Palestinian and Israeli cultures. I felt the leads had real chemistry and their characters each had flaws and blind spots that felt genuine. The supporting cast also did superb jobs in their respective roles.

    The last third of the film does have an change in tone as the film becomes something of a chase film, but that is where the plot takes us as the outside world invades the lovers' burgeoning relationship. To quote Roy's father, "You cannot forget where we live."

    With the DVD currently under $14.00 at Amazon, it was a no-brainer to pick it up.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Lots to think about with your post, Mark. Thanks for sharing these finds with us.
     
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  5. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I second the recommendation of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, a wonderful, delightful show with a pro-gay lead character, and a couple of handsome coppers to boot!
    Out in the Dark looks very intriguing. I can tell from the trailer that the acting is top-notch. Why isn't there a high-definition release yet? I'm swearing off DVD purchases due to getting burned when titles come out either on Blu-ray or iTunes HD after I've invested in the DVD.
     
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  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I've bee following(and backtracking) Essie Davis since The Slap.
     
  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Thanks, Matt. The content I provide this forum is nothing compared to the reviews you post. Glad to give something back. :)
    I hear ya, Mark. I admit I am clueless about this, though I wonder if some small independant distributors, like Wolfe Video and Breaking Glass Pictures, are releasing on the formats DVD, streaming and HD download and skipping Blu-ray, believing it is a niche format.

    If the studios are farming out titles like The Way We Were to Twilight Time because they believe there is not enough Blu-ray demand to justify manufacturing and distributing it themselves, I cannot image the concerns of unsold discs collecting dust in warehouses for film distributors that carter to the very small percentage of the blu-ray buying public that wants to own LGBT-centric films on home video.

    I also wonder if some of these distributors have deals for DVD manufacturing, but not Blu-ray. Again, clueless me. This hit me lately when Five Dances was announced as a DVD and streaming as the only available formats. Same for Bridegroom. I ended up purchasing the DVDs because I never want to depend on an internet connection to watch films I've purchased copies of.

    On a happier note, YES!, Miss Fisher's coppers are hunky, aren't they?
    [​IMG]
    And they are soo different: the sweet callow youth, Hugh, and the seasoned slightly jaded investigator, Jack. The dynamics in Jack and Phyrne's relationship is what I am most eager to see more of in series 2.
    Essie does seem pretty great.
     
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  8. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Hal? His name is Hugh. And Dot has captured his heart. (Or have you got that far yet?) And yes, there is some definite latent sexual chemistry between Miss Fisher and Detective Jack Robinson!
     
  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Hugh. Right. Very tired. Never good with names. LOOOONG day.
    Yes, I finished series 1 back before Xmas, hence the poor recall of Hugh's name. I just think of him as that adorable guy, besotted with Dot, that will do anything if Dot or Miss Fisher ask in just the right way.
     
  10. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I know! It's been a long wait since the series was first announced.
     
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  12. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Consdering we've yet to finish Queer as Folk...(yes, I know...), we'll get to Looking on disc in, oh, 2020. Doesn't mean I can't be looking forward to it, though!
     
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  13. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Just one brief update today.
    I Netflixed White Frog
    [​IMG]
    which is available on DVD, streaming and download to rent or own from Amazon here.

    This film, which includes in the cast B.D. Wong, is the story of a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome.
    It is not giving away much to say that his older brother, Chaz, was the perfect child and pride of the family. When he is killed, each remaining member of the family tries cope in different ways, which prove to not
    be compatible with one another.

    The film was fine, but I could not help but feel like I was watching an after-school special, or a
    feature length episode of Degrassi. The ending was entirely too neat and resolved too unrealistically (at least for me), even though the monologue about the white frog was moving.

    I also found it very problematic that
    Chaz's boyfriend, who loved him, does not demonstrate the level of suffering he should have been going through if he lost his love as he claims. I suppose it could have all happened off screen, but when he is revealed, the pain of his loss is, frankly, so missing in action as to be extremely frustrating to me.

    The best parts of the film were the counselling sessions with Amy Hill, which were sharp, snappy, insightful, and well done... and the scene with one teen coming out to his parent that was fresh and fun.

    Overall, I will confess I was disappointed. I was so excited to see Joan Chen and B.D. Wong in an LGBT film.

    I watched the "making of" featurette to figure out if I was missing something, and it turns out this is intended to be "young adult drama."
    (Um, okay. I guess I am 30 years too old to appreciate this film???)

    So, I would call this one a rental only.

    The DVD was free of any quality issues, the picture and sound were fine, presented widescreen.

    For more information, visit the film's website here

    Cheers!
     
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  14. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    For what it's worth, two significant and well-done films noir, The Big Combo and House of Bamboo, clearly have gay overtones, that are key to the resolution of the plots. The Sam Fuller western Forty Guns does as well in terms of the Barbara Stanwyck character. Only The Big Combo is available on BD.
     
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  15. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Thanks, David! I love film noir and had not noticed that The Big Combo is available on Blu-ray.

    Thanks for the suggestions!!!
     
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  16. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    You are welcome. All three films are well-worth viewing.
     
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  17. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Neil Middlemiss' wonderful review of The Long Day Closes Blu-ray can be found here.
     
  18. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Ron has posted the Blu-ray release announcement for Kill Your Darlings here

    Based on everything I have heard, this is likely to be a blink buy for me.
     
  19. Mark-P

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    What's a blink buy? You buy it so fast you don't even have time to blink? :lol:
     
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  20. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Kevin EK's HTF review of Dallas Buyers Club can be found here.
     

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