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    Looking: The Complete Series and The Movie (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 1st, 2016

    The most remarkable thing about Looking might have been how thoroughly unremarkable it was. The HBO dramedy — which followed the love lives of three gay friends in San Francisco — sidestepped any sort of headline-grabbing sensationalism. However, Looking was often low-key to the point that it bypassed being funny or particularly entertaining. The latter point was a bigger issue early on since the show’s naturalistic tone made Looking more engrossing as the series progressed and deepened its roster of characters. You can see for yourself how the show got better as it went along now that HBO has released the entire Looking saga — two seasons and a movie — in one handy Blu-ray set.
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    Freeheld (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 9th, 2016

    The story is the star in Freeheld, which chronicles a same-sex couple’s fight for equality. The film is based on the Oscar-winning documentary short of the same name and follows Laurel Hester, a New Jersey cop with terminal lung cancer, as she attempts to pass her pension benefits to domestic partner Stacie Andree. Despite being a modest production, Freeheld was able to enlist some top-drawer acting talent. Unfortunately, it also attracted a risk-averse team of filmmakers who tell Laurel and Stacie’s story in a thoroughly rote and uninspired manner.
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    The New Girlfriend (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 27th, 2016

    Being a woman’s hard work.”

    Femininity — the quality and essence of being a woman — is at the forefront of The New Girlfriend, a gender-bending and genre-bending offering from French director Francois Ozon. The film is a curious mix of farce, rom-com hijinks, frank sexuality, and serious drama about loss. The formula isn’t always cohesive, but it makes for an intriguing twist on the old “boy meets girl” story.
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    Looking: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 6th, 2015

    The most remarkable thing about Looking might be how thoroughly unremarkable it is. This is a double-edged sword for HBO’s dramedy, which follows the love lives of three gay friends living in modern-day San Francisco. The series sidesteps the headline-grabbing sensationalism that accompanies many other shows that prominently feature gay characters. (Looking at you, Ryan Murphy.) On the other hand, Looking is often low-key to the point that it bypasses being funny or particularly entertaining. What the series does have on its side is a naturalistic tone that makes the show more engrossing and immersive as the first season progresses.
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    The Normal Heart (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 26th, 2014

    “Could you please reduce your level of hysteria?”

    There is a lot of yelling and a lot of outrage in The Normal Heart. The film chronicles the confusing, terrifying onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in the early 1980s and how a group of gay men (and one intrepid doctor) in New York fought to draw attention to the deadly disease. Their efforts are alternately frustrating and futile, which leads to a higher decibel level for much of the movie’s second half. Thankfully, The Normal Heart is shrewd enough to note that there’s more than one way to make a point.
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    Kissing Jessica Stein (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 9th, 2014

    After dating an endless string of duds and dolts, Jessica Stein has finally found someone smart, funny, kind, compassionate and attractive enough to meet her impossibly high standards. Much to Jessica’s chagrin, however, it turns out her ideal match is a woman. Kissing Jessica Stein, the 2001 independent romantic comedy created by stars Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen, is equal parts insightful and frustrating. You have a new chance to see for yourself now that the film has made its Blu-ray debut.
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    The Birdcage (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 5th, 2014

    Did you know The Birdcage is the all-time, highest-grossing movie in the U.S. that features a gay lead character? It’s true! Given the drastically increased pop culture visibility of the LGBT community in the 18 years since its release, it’s a bit of a surprise the film still holds that distinction. On the other hand, I’m not too shocked because I’ve been laughing at this funny farce since it first came out in 1996. So I was delighted to see it finally make its long-overdue Blu-ray debut.
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    Kiss Me

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 26th, 2012

    Mia is a successful architect who has recently become engaged to her boyfriend Tim. While attending her father’s own engagement party she starts a flirtation with her soon-to-be sister in law. From there, a full on romance blossoms that looks to tear apart all she had established with her fiancée, and the rest of her family.
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    The Real L World: Season Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 21st, 2011

    It’s willing suspension of disbelief time, folks, as this reality show chronicles the soap-operatic lives of a group of young lesbians. Cari and Kacy want a baby – will they find the appropriate sperm donor? Romi and Kelsey are are having trouble with their sex life. Whitney is having all sorts of girl trouble, while Sajdah (whose name oddly does not end with “y” or “i”) is seeking her first relationship.
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    Cinema Pride Collection

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 26th, 2010

    As the name suggests, this is a collection of ten movies on LGBT themes. In chronological order, here’s what we have:

    The Children’s Hour (1961): Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn are the headmistresses of a girl’s school, and their lives are turned upside down when one ghastly little child accuses them of being romantically involved. It is clear, though, the MacLaine would very much like to be. This was director William Wyler’s second stab at adapting Lilllian Hellman’s play, and this time was able actually to deal with the play’s central issue, rather than disguise it as he had to
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    Serveuses demandées

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on June 8th, 2009

    The main plot of the film is that of a young woman from Brazil named Priscilla, whose student Visa expires and is lead into working as an exotic dancer. The title of the film comes from the ad posted by the pimps and promoters of exotic dancers “Waitresses Wanted.” The film is bookended by the profiles of all the dancers featured in the film, all of whom are from a different nation, all beautiful, and all arrived in Canada with different careers in mind than to get involved with Columbian pimps or Russian mob lords.
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    The Lair: Season Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on April 1st, 2009

    For anyone not familiar with here! TV’s series The Lair, let me bring you up to speed. The setting is a picturesque little town on an island somewhere on the East Coast. What makes this town so picturesque? Well, there’s its lush greenery, its sweeping ocean views, its many gorgeous houses, and there is also the fact that it seems to be entirely populated by attractive young gay men (the lone straight guy in town was culled in season one when he was murdered by his girlfriend who is now in jail – oh, and he was a bad man who abused her, so he had it coming I guess). Of these gay men, several are played by actors from gay porn (in an uncanny twist, the dead straight guy was played by an actor from straight porn). In fact, the local sheriff looks like he may have played the lead in the gay porn version of Sylvester Stallone’s Copland. And if he hasn’t he should think about it. I even have the perfect title for it, though it is unprintable here.
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    The Lair – Season One

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 28th, 2007

    What happens when the reviewer who did Dante’s Cove decides to tackle its vampiresque cousin, The Lair? (Besides scheduling more sessions with his psychiatrist) You get somebody who starts understanding what makes up the Here! network. We’re homies, we break bread together. Just don’t expect me to wear my pants that low nor participate in your late night parties. I got an image to uphold. Season one of the Lair provides something that no other show on the Here! network has proved to this point. A show where there is actual dialog and something more than a cheap excuse to show lots and lots of male on male action. Welcome to the Fang Bang.
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    Lesbian Sex & Sexuality

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 4th, 2007

    Sometimes when you sit down to review a dvd, you are treated to a fantasy. However, sometimes that fantasy isn’t all it seems and leaves you with a blank expression and curious feelings of being unfulfilled (kinda like that marriage I had). Anyhow, I took the dubious task of reviewing Lesbian Sex & Sexuality, a television show that is on the here! network who also bring you such fine shows such as Dante’s Cove. (okay; so I gave Season 2 a 2 out of 5, who’s counting?) The show is very simple and has a very provocative premise. That premise is to take a mostly uncensored (I’ll explain later) look at the secret and rarely explained world of lesbian sex. All kinds of subjects would be explored from fantasies to erotic dancers to the ever popular porn films. No stone and no position would be left untouched. No girl either. Men, well…anyhow the show is broken down into six half-hour episodes across two discs.
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    Dante’s Cove – The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on June 2nd, 2007

    I must really love this job. That’s the only explanation as to why I keep reviewing for this site. Then I get across my desk a copy of Dante’s Cove – The Complete Second Season. (I guessed I missed the first one). On the cover they show three quite buff men (in the background two women, hey that’s Tracy Scoggins), all with pants being a little too low. Uh-oh. *flips to the back*; oh geez is that two men kissing, *sigh*, it is. From the here! network for openly gays and lesbians comes the guilty pleasure show; Dante’s Cove, a soap opera that let’s just say really pushes the envelope.
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    Shortbus

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 9th, 2007

    In a New York forever conscious of the shadow of 9/11, we follow the sex lives and tribulations of a group of gay and straight characters. There’s the gay couple whose relationship is hitting a rocky patch. There’s the professional dominatrix who is finding it more and more difficult to face her work. And there’s the sex therapist who’s never had an orgasm. Her quest for same brings her into contact with the other characters, and to Shortbus, an eccentric sex club.


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    School of the Holy Beast

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 8th, 2005

    After a wild night with a man she just met, Yumi Takigawa enters the convent of St. Clore as an apprentice nun. She hasn’t joined out of religious conviction. Her mother was a nun here, and died under mysterious circumstances when Takigawa was born, and she has come here to find out what really happened. She encounters all the necessary ingredients of a nunsploitation movie: lesbians, a lustful priest, plenty of whippings, lashings of torture, and tons o’ blasphemy

    Watching this 1974 film (based on a comic series) is to realize that the terms “over the top”, “blasphemous”, “delirious” and “outrageous” are sorely inadequate.
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