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Dr. Kildare: Tyger, Tyger: Part 2 (1964)
A Two-Part Episode Stretched Too Thin
The second part of "Tyger, Tyger" is frankly a little dull and padded. At one point, people set up a movie projector and we watch surfing movies for what feels like minutes and then later, Kildare, Pat and a group of surfers sit around a campfire while Kildare croons a song.
The one thing going for this episode is Yvette Mimieux's excellent performance (she gives her all to her numerous grand Mal seizures). There's also beefcake and cheesecake when Mimieux dons a bikini and Chamberlain gets into tight white bathing trucks to go surfing. (Robert Logan and Clu Gulager provide excellent eye candy on the beach too.)
But, there's very little development of Anjanette Comer's alcoholic character over the length of two episodes. At first, she seems to be auditioning for the part of Neely O'Hara in "Valley of the Dolls" and she lets out at least three blood-curdling screams that any screen queen would envy. But, there's nothing for her to play here.
The excellent Clu Gulager is also left with nothing to do after it looked like he was being set up as a love rival between Kildare and Pat Holmes. He shaves his beard and then there's no big scene between his character and Pat.
There's so many scenes of surfing stock footage it almost makes you think they bought ten minutes of footage and were going to show every minute of it.
Cagney & Lacey: School Daze (1988)
This has to be the funniest episode of CAGNEY AND LACEY. Both Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless give wonderfully funny performances. This episode will have you laughing out loud. Chris and Mary Beth have very different attitudes at a mandatory refresher for their precinct at the police academy. The class reunites Mary Beth with her arch rival Det. Harry Dupnik (Dan Lauria) with surprising (and flirtatious) results. Doris Roberts has fun as a suspect's mother and Gless and her gay neighbor (Barry Sattels as Tony Stantinopolis) have a great slapstick scene involving a turkey. This was the final of four episodes written by Allison Hock.
La mala educación (2004)
Sensational movie: a perfect 10
Almodovar's latest film is a tantalizing, hypnotic and sexy mixture of VERTIGO, MEMENTO and MULLHOLLAND DRIVE. It's Almodovar's meatiest and most complex script in years. Although you may be confused early on as you're trying to figure out whats going on, its all revealed later and very satisfyingly. Gael Garcia Bernal is outstanding in his multi-dimensional, multi-character performance. Alberto Iglesia's music is wonderful--a homage to Bernard Herrmann.
The film is rated NC-17, which has more to do with the MPAA Board's homophobia than anything else. Sure, its a sexy drama with elements adult plotpoints, but had the sex scenes in this film been between a man and a woman, rather than two men, this would have easily gotten an R rating. All of the sex scenes are artfully filmed (there is no frontal nudity) and even the subplot concerning a pedophile priest is handled with care.
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
At last out on DVD--in two versions
The DVD release of MYRA BRECKINRIDGE has both the original X-rated theatrical version and special edition version. Raquel Welch provides the commentary track for the theatrical version and on the flip side, director Michael Sarne does the commentary on the special edition version. Both versions run 94 minutes. According to my DVD counter, the "special" edition is only three seconds longer. The brief extra footage is the inclusion of a shot from a Laurel & Hardy movie. Myron (Rex Reed) is dreaming of being seduced with food by MaryAnn (Farrah Fawcett in a see-through teddy) while he masturbates. When he comes, the "special" edition has B&W footage of a carbonated beverage exploding in Oliver Hardy's face.
The only other difference is Welch's opening lines in the movie where she addresses the camera saying, "Myra Breckinridge is a dish. And don't you ever forget it your motherf**kers, as the children say today." The theatrical version bleeps "mother" (according to Sarne's commentary, it was bleeped because actress Jean Peters--married at the time to Howard Hughes--objected to the phrase, not "f**kers" which she said she used all the time, just the phrase with "mother" attached, therefore they cut "mother"). Its followed, amusingly, with a B&W film clip of Robert Montgomery saying, "Don't you 'Mother' me!"). When you watch the "special" edition, the word "mother" has been redubbed back in (sloppily)--but, strangely enough, when you watch the "special" edition with Sarnes' commentary, its bleeped again!
Welch's commentary is actually illuminating and greatly helps make sense of the mixed-up movie. She's also filled with great, catty stories about working with Mae West, the lack of direction from Sarne and her good relationships with John Huston and Rex Reed. Looking at the movie 30 years later, Welch is actually the best thingin the movie--she's filled with energy and self-mockery and brazenly unafraid to tackle the role of a transexual.
Bob & Rose (2001)
Problematic but just try to stop watching it!
The 2001 6-part series (each episode 45 minutes long) is finally coming out in the us on DVD. This was writer Russell T. Davies's follow-up to his QUEER AS FOLK. Although the gay male lead, Bob, continually says "I was born gay, I'm gay now, I'll die gay, I'll have a gay gravestone." but still he falls in love with (and has sex with) the female lead, Rose.
As the previous poster said, the problem with this is that there are misinformed people out there who believe that sexuality is a choice and that gays and lesbians could just CHOOSE to go straight. But, movies dont have to be politically correct and no one can fault Davies's commitment to gay enlightenment (his creation of Bob's mother as a fierce PFLAG mom certainly doesn't allow viewers to believe that this switch happens every day). The comedic and dramatic storyline concerns Bob's bewildered state of mind when he discovers that while he's totally gay, he's also in love with a woman and finds that one woman sexually attractive.
The miniseries is NOT saying that gays and lesbians can change their orientation through willpower. This is a specific story about one specific character, who is as baffled by this turn of events as are all his friends. So, should Davies not write a compelling story just because it could be taken out of context and used against us? Considering that innocent Bible verses are taken out of context and used as clubs of hatred, I guess NOTHING is safe. So, enjoy the characters and the story.
The cast is sensational; the editing is lightning quick like the original British QAF and the writing and direction is top notch. There's no way you'll be able to stop watching until you've finished all six episodes.
Its just a shame that the music soundtrack to the US DVD has replaced virtually all the songs that were on the double CD issued when the mini series ran in the UK in 2001. When will producers pay for the rights to the songs in both the US and UK? This same flaw effects the QAF dvds--which contains different music than copies of the original UK version did.
Big Guns (1987)
The all-time top selling adult gay video of all time
What's more amazing than the fact that this is the all-time bestselling adult gay video of all time is that it's actually a superb production. This 1987 William Higgins classic is a showcase for Mike Henson (who's in virtually every segment), but also offers star turns by Kevin Williams (his scene with Henson offering a free massage is a steamy classic, with John Davenport watching the action on a concealed video feed) and Jeff Quinn really shines (working hard to make a wooden John Rocklin look passionate). The playful threesome of Henson, Mike Ryan and Jeff Boote are spontaneous, erotic and thorough. The savage Chad Douglas is his usual aggressive self with Kevin Wiles in one of his best captured scenes. The film's sequel, HOT RODS: THE YOUNG AND THE HUNG PART 2 (confusingly titled because its not a sequel to Higgins's THE YOUNG AND THE HUNG) picks up with the last scene of this film, with a paint ball outing that leads to fun. William Higgins really is the master of well-produced, professionally shot and tightly-edited erotica. If there's only one adult gay video to buy, this would be it.
Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)
Star-studded, literate adaptation
It's a shame that this spectacular TV movie (which originally ran in two 2-hour parts) is only available in a much abbreviated 2 hour version (actually this is the version released in theatres in the UK and abroad, while the full version played on US TV) from the cheapie distributor Goodtimes. Hopefully, the full version will one day make it onto DVD (the way it took quite a while for the original SALEMS LOT two-part TV movie to get released on tape and dvd, when it also was only available as a 2-hour abridgement). Written by Christopher Isherwood, this literate, beautifully filmed retelling of the Mary Shelley classic is a must see.
Clever, on-the-mark drag parody of Charlie's Angels
If there's any justice, this short (50 minute) feature will find an audience on video. Made on a shoestring budget, this exuberant and razor-sharp comedy spoof of the TV show CHARLIE'S ANGELS boasts imaginative costumes, glitzy sets, a polished, witty and on-target script, and energetic performances. With split screen effects and deliriously uncanny musical cues, this is a tremendously fun parody that doesnt outstay its welcome. The cast is wonderfully funny (Sherry Vine, Mistress Formika and Candis Cayne are the crime-fighting trio; the wonderous Jackie Beat is their riotous foe; and Craig Chester is her semi-retar---slow son). The clever dialogue is delivered with savvy relish and the plot twists and turns are funny, engaging and actually make sense.