31st Jan2014

Rush – DVD

by timbaros

images-90Rush tells the true story of Formula 1 racing car rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda and the intense rivalry between their respective racing teams, McLaren and Ferrari, in 1976. It is the best film of 2013.

Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, the English racing car driver also known for his exploits off the track – his exploits with women, sex and drugs. Daniel Bruhl plays Niki Lauda, the famous Austrian racing car driver and three time F1 World Champion who was disfigured in a car crash during a race, which, however, did not stop him from competing again. Rush is set against the backdrop of the glamourous and excitement of Formula 1 racing and in the 1976 Formula One season which featured the 1976 World Championships of F1 drivers and the 1976 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers and contested over a sixteen race series.

In the film, McLaren driver Hunt takes the World Championship by one point over Ferrari driver Lauda, who is determined more than ever to win the World Championship himself. The 1976 Formula One races took the drivers all over the world, beginning with Brazil and next to South Africa, to the U.S., Spain, Monaco, Sweden and France. From one thrilling race scene to another, with Hunt winning a few and then Lauda winning a few, Rush excitedly portrays the rivalry between both men, their ups and downs and their wins and losses, both on and off the track. This includes the many affairs of Hunt, and his brief marriage to model Suzy Miller (a fantastic Olivia Wilde), who would go on to leave him and wed Richard Burton. Lauda, on the other hand, meets and marries Marlene Knaus (a very lovely Alexandra Maria Lara), and it is not long after that he is in an almost deadly car crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix that causes severe burns to his head and body and in which Lauda inhales toxic gases that damages his lungs and blood. As a result of the crash, Lauda had extensive scarring on his head, lost most of his right ear and lost the hair on his eyebrows and eyelids. Miraculously, Lauda would return to the race track six weeks later to finish in 4th place in the Italian Grand Prix, though at the time he was still severely scarred and still bleeding from his wounds.

Directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost Nixon), with a script by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon), Rush has Academy Award and BAFTA written all over it. With excellent lead performances by both Hemsworth and Bruhl (with Bruhl having the extra edge because of horrific car crash scene), to the very good performances by both actresses Lara and Wilde, Rush will be the movie to watch and the movie to beat at all of the film awards next year. Even for non-Formula One racing car fans, Rush is a thrill a minute and expertly tells the story of the rivalry between Hunt and Bruhl. Hunt would go on to die of a heart attack in 1993 at the age 45 due to his fast and furious lifestyle, while Lauda would go on to become a television pundit and is still alive today.

 



Rush [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Natalie Dormer
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles. The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
New From: £0.60 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

24th Jan2014

Red 2 – DVD

by timbaros

images-79If you liked Red, then you will love Red 2, which picks up where Red left off.

Former CIA covert operations agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) Retired, Extremely Dangerous (RED), happy in his retirement and peaceful life with his girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), is dragged back into work to search for a new biological weapon called Nightshade.

It went missing from the Cold War during Frank and his partner Marvin’s (John Malkovich) watch, and has since resurfaced, and everyone, the good guys and the bad guys, believes that they know it’s whereabouts. To complicate matters, a hit has been put on them from M16, and agent Victoria (none other than (Helen Mirren) informs them that she has been contracted to shoot and kill them. She even dons a Queen’s crown as one of her disguises.

Meanwhile, a corrupt government official (Neal McDonough) is sending another contract killer, Han (Byung Hun Lee), who has an old score to settle with Frank, to kill them. Then, Frank’s old flame Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) shows up to further complicate matters. It is up to certified crazy scientist Edward Bailey (a Hannibal Lechter-like Anthony Hopkins), who knows a thing or two about Nightshade, and possibly knows it whereabouts, to help save the gang, as well as the rest of the world from annihilation.

Red 2 is an action/adventure/thriller as much as a James Bond film is, however, Red 2 (just like Red) has an added element – comedy – seen a few times when Sarah is not able to fire a pistol or drive a car, or the banter between her and Frank when they are caught in sticky situations. Marvin and Frank have their funny moments as well, one of them being when Marvin pretends to die and Frank is tempted to pinch his skin in the coffin to make sure he was really dead. (He wasn’t.)

Much better than the last James Bond film, Skyfall, Red 2 pulls out all the stops and provides the viewer with one hell of a 116-minute ride. Not once does the action, adventure and comedy stop. And with this all star cast of heavyweights – Willis, Mirren, Zeta-Jones, Hopkins, Malkovich, and even Parker, makes Red 2 the perfect summer film.

29th Dec2013

Lovelace – DVD

by timbaros

images-26Linda Lovelace was the star of the highest grossing porn film of all time – Deep Throat. Linda Boreman was a woman who wanted a normal life – a good husband and a kid. Lovelace tell Boreman’s story, and not Lovelace’s story.

Now in theatres, Lovelace actually tells both stories. In an unusual way of storytelling, Lovelace shows how the young and innocent Linda went from being the girl next door to the girl who would become the biggest porn star of her generation. And about halfway through the film, Lovelace rewinds the story and tells how Boreman actually saw it happen.

Linda Susan Boreman (an amazing Amanda Seyfried) lived with her parents in Florida. Her father was a retired NYC cop who worked part time as a security guard. Her mother (played by an unrecognizable Sharon Stone), as domineering as any mother could be, was very strict with Linda and always told her to  please her man. It was when Linda was 20 that she met Chuck Traynor, an owner of a bar and a very intimidating figure. Him and Linda fell in love and with increasing debt, they needed money, so Chuck videotaped Linda performing oral sex on him and showed it to a couple producers. They liked what they saw and Boreman was soon to be top billing for the movie Deep Throat. It went on to earn millions of dollars and made a star out of Boreman/Lovelace. Was she a willing participant in the film? The second half of the film says that she was not. It goes on to tell the actual story, according to Boreman (who would go on to become Linda Marchiano in 1974), the abuse she suffered at the hands of Traynor, the many times he forced her to have sex with other men for money, and how unhappy she was in the relationship (she asks her mom if she can move back home, but in this poignant scene her mom says that no, she should do as he says and to obey him, probably like she did in her own marriage). This second half of Lovelace is her side of the story in that she claims that she was not responsible for acting in porn films, that she was forced to do so and humiliated by Traynor. It goes on to show her crying at times, trying to run away from Traynor, and being forced to have sex with six men. Which half of this movie are the actual version of events? This is the question that Lovelace the film does not really answer. While it appears that Lovelace actually loved being a star and being in the limelight during the Deep Throat era, perhaps a few years down the road she regretted ever getting into the porn business (after an emotional phone call with her father who says he had seen the movie).

Seyfried is the perfect actress to play Boreman/Lovelace. With her large eyes, beautiful curly hair and 1970’s looks, Seyfried perfectly embodies the life of this confused or mentally immature woman.  Peter Sarsgaard plays Traynor with fury, anger, and aggression – another domineering figure in Boreman’s life, just like her mother. Stone doesn’t get much to do as Boreman’s mother, just give hers a couple lectures and withholds any emotion. If this were a bigger part, Stone’s performance could’ve made a bigger impact. Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale are perfect as slick hollywood producers of Deep Throat, and Chris Noth plays the investor who finances the movie. No doubt he was picked for this role because of his role as Mr. Big in Sex and the City. Rounding out the all star case is the great Debi Mazar as Lovelace’s co-star in Deep Throat, Adam Brody as Harry Reems, Linda’s male co-star in Deep Throat, and James Franco, who, of course, plays Hugh Hefner.

24th Sep2013

I Do – DVD review and David W. Ross interview

by timbaros
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In the American film I Do, Jack (David W. Ross, who wrote and produced as well) is a gay British man living in New York City and working as a fashion photographer. After his older brother’s sudden death, Jack is left to take care of his brother’s wife and young daughter. In the meantime, his visa to stay in the U.S. is running out so he needs to decide what to do. Luckily his best friend Alison (played by a charming and bubbly Jamie-Lynn Sigler) says yes when Jack asks her to marry him so that he can stay in the country. This complicates both of their lives as Jack and Alison need to appear as a real couple just in case the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service comes knocking on their door. Things get very messy when Jack meets and gradually falls for the Spanish Mano (a one note Maurice Compte). When Mano has to go back to Spain to take care of his ailing father, Jack has to make a decision that will affect everyone in his life.
Ross is a fine actor. He is very good-looking, charming on screen, with a nice smile and great hair and was once a member of the 1990’s UK boy band Bad Boys Inc. The supporting cast is also very good, including Alicia Witt as his sister-in-law, and Jessica Brown very adorable as her daughter Tara. The make or break part of I Do is the relationship between Jack and Mano. Unfortunately, Compte is not very good in his role – he doesn’t make much of an impact when on screen and it is hard to believe that Jack falls for him, the chemistry on screen is just not there. However, Ross and Director Glenn Gaylord have made a very timely film, especially now that same-sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court which in June of this year struck down the Defense of Marriage Act which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages if performed under the laws of other states. I Do is a very good tale of a gay man who has to make choices in his life, something that all of us, whether gay or straight, have had to do.
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I sat down with Ross back in March of this year to get more scoop behind I Do and David’s personal journey in making the film:
Was your script based on anyone you know?  I’ve had a few friends marry for their green cards and you hear stories all the time from people. I fell in love with someone who couldn’t get their paperwork and had to move back to the UK so it was heartbreak that really got me writing.
Does your character Jack have any characteristics of David Ross?
I think I stole little bits of me for every character. but Jack was based on me for a few drafts but took on his own life in the final draft which was a relief. i didn’t want to play myself in the film. people told me the characters would take on their own lives and they did in the end.
As you know, in the U.S., at state level, gay people can legally marry, however, this is not recognised on a federal level. What is your take on this?
it’s frustrating. people hear the word marriage and think it means the same thing in America. It doesn’t. There are over 1300 federal level rights that don’t come with same sex marriage. They’re usually really important, life changing rights. Things that you need when you least expect them. We’ve a long way to go with educating people as to why DOMA has to go and how it effects people in devastating ways.
While you were in London in March, you spoke at the House of Commons. What did you speak about?
We spoke with ParliOut. They invited me to talk bout the film and what is going on with DOMA in the U.S. We had a great conversation about where we are with equality and what we can expect in June.
Why did it take a long time to make I Do?
i just couldn’t crack the script. As the issue became more relevant in America and I became more involved with the people at the forefront of the fight for equality I knew i had to make the script less of a comedy and more effective and
emotional. As soon as I realized the tone and story structure I wrote the final draft in 48 hours.
You were in a boy band in the early 1990’s (Bad Boys Inc.). What do you prefer, singing or acting/making movies?
I love it all. I miss performing but making moves is so involved and multilayered artistically. I love acting. I love creating another person’s life and the technical aspects involved of putting that performance on film. I was involved in a lot of the decisions for I DO so everything came into play, my love of music, art, fashion, and story telling. It’s all there when making a film.
Ross, who was born in Bournemouth, fell into acting after a career as a model in the U.S. He was featured in many international commercial campaigns and several award winning stage shows. He was in the Sundance Film Festival double winner Quinceanera in 2006 and was recently awarded the “Rising Film Star Award” for his portrayal of Jack from the Philapelphia Qfest film festival. I Do has been featured in over 20 film festivals and has won a few Audience Awards. According to Ross, money to make the film was raised on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, while Ross spent hours on Twitter and Facebook raising more money, some of which came from fans of Bad Boys Inc.
Very good-looking and charming on screen and in person, with a nice smile, Ross spends his time promoting the film.
What is next for David W. Ross? He says ” I’m planning my next feature, which I plan to direct and a short, possibly filming in the summer. I’m also on the look out for acting roles that speak to me and I can get just as emerged in as I did with I Do’s Jack Edwards.”
I have no doubt he will easily succeed in whatever he does.

This review and interview originally appeared in Pride Life Magazine – Issue 12.

20th Aug2013

The Look of Love – DVD

by timbaros

 

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Paul Raymond was known as the King of Soho. He began his reign by producing saucy shows at the Windmill Theatre and then took over a club and named it after himself – The Raymond Review Bar. He also published a saucy men’s magazine called Men Only. The story of Paul Raymond and his life is expertly captured in the new movie The Look of Love. 

Raymond was famous not only for his production of nude revues but he also bought up huge swaths of Soho at a time when that part of London was very cheap, making him a millionaire many many times over.

 
The Look of Love focuses on his relationship with the three most important woman in his life: his wife Jean (played by Anna Friel), his lover Fiona (a very beautiful Tamsin Egertoon) and his daughter Debbie (Imogen Potts). Raymond is played by Steve Coogan, in a role perfectly suited for him.

 
The film begins with Raymond, who was actually born Geoffrey Quinn in Liverpool, in his early days at the Windmill, putting his nude women (which was shocking back then) on stage in various forms of artistic poses – along with a lion, thereby creating entertainment (fear, excitement) for his audiences. He gets wrapped up in an affair with one of his ‘actresses’ Fiona Richmond, while his wife Jean is at home taking care of the children. WIth his very late nights and the affair, his marriage falls apart. Meanwhile, he will do anything to make his daughter happy, and this includes creating a show around her, even though she is not much of a singer or stage actress. Unfortunately, Debbie was addicted to drugs, and her life was cut short of a drug overdose in 1992 at the age of 36. Even though Raymond had several other children, Debbie was his favorite, and when she gave him a granddaughter, Fawn, Raymond treated her as his precious little diamond.

 
Meanwhile, Raymond continued on with his womanizing ways, bedding several women at the same time and enjoying his bachelor penthouse shag pad with a retractable skylight to look up at the moon and the stars. Raymond was THE playboy of his time, he wore expensive tailored clothes, gold and silver jewellry, had chauffers take him around town, even if it were just down the street, drank expensive champagne and always had a very attractive women or two on his arms. Raymond was also known to have spent lots of his money on cocaine, not just for himself but for his friends and hangers on as well. At the time of his death in 2008, Raymond was worth $650 million and gave it all to his granddaughters, Fawn and India Rose (they now manage his property business).

 
Director Michael Winterbottom has expertly captured the many eras in Paul Raymond’s life – from the 1960’s when he was married to Jean, to the 1970’s when he was with Fiona, to the 1980’s and beyond as his empire grew, through to the death of his daughter to his extra care and attention paid to his granddaughter. Coogan, as mentioned above, is a perfect choice to play the Soho impressario Paul Raymond who is a character that is not only very interesting but was very colourful, full of life, but also a very shrewd businessman as well.

 
Tasmin Egerton as Fiona Richmond is especially good (and beautiful to look at) as the much younger girlfriend of Paul Raymond who changed her name from Julia Harrison to write a raunchy column for Raymond’s Men Only magazine. She does not get dragged down in the drug culture that persisted then, and is presented as a smart woman who was no man’s fool. Imogen Poots is excellent in the role as Raymond’s daughter Debbie. It is a very difficult role to play, but Poots pulls it off, allowing the audience to feel sympathy as well as encouragement for her, giving the film its emotional punch.

 
Credit also goes to the screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh for making this a documentary-like movie, and to the production and costume designers for giving the film its very realistic feel. For those familiar with Soho, The Look of Love was shot in and around the neighborhood, making it feel very familiar for those of us who hang out there.
 

Raymond was famous for always saying ‘Not bad for a boy who came from Liverpool with five bob in his pocket,” and with that he helped to change the landscape to what Soho would later become.

The Look of Love is now available on DVD.

20th Aug2013

I Want Your Love – DVD

by timbaros

images-15 I Want Your Love, by Travis Mathews (Interior: Leather Bar), started out as a short film in 2010 and has now been turned into a feature film. It opens up in cinemas this week and takes a pornographic look at the relationships of a group of gay men living in San Francisco.

Twenty-something Jesse (Jesse Metzger) is forced to move back to the Midwest (Ohio) as he can no longer afford to live in San Francisco. He wants to remain an artist but at the same time needs to earn a living. I Want Your Love presents the last 36 hours of his time in San Francisco before he moves back to Ohio. It also tells the stories of the relationships of his roommate and their circle of friends. These last 36 hours involve lots of sex between Jesse and various men, Jesse’s roommate with his boyfriend and then both of them later on in a three-way, and another male couple who attend Jesse’s going away party. Jesse decides not to attend the party due to the ambivalence of his move and his not wanting to say goodbye to everyone, and in a fit of emotion and confusion, starts to have sex with a very good friend and mentor, but starts short of completing the act.
The short version of this film was shown at a number of LGBT film Festivals around the world in 2010. This new 71-minute version goes more in depth in dealing with Jesse’s angst about leaving San Francisco and focuses a lot more on his friends and their relationships. These relationships involve lots of sex, graphic sex scenes that the viewer may or may not find necessary. However, the chemistry between the actors in these sex scenes is very palpable, so real, making I Want Your Love look like a documentary where the actors aren’t even aware that there is a camera in the room filming them. Mathews InTheir Room series was all about gay men in their bedrooms. I Want Your Love, which is being released by Nakedsword – one of the largest gay internet pornography companies on the Web, takes this idea one step further and presents a narrative film of gay men, not just in their bedrooms, but in their relationships with other men, emotionally, as friends, and sexually as well. This film was due to be shown at gay film festivals in Australia but was banned by that country’s film commission board. Mathew’s In Their Room Berlin film was also banned the previous year. After having watched the short version of this film, James Franco contacted Mathews in 2012 to collaborate on what would become Interior. Leather Bar – which was shown earlier this year at the London LGBT Film Festival.
Is I Want Your Love a hard or soft gay porn flick? A documentary? Perhaps. But what it isn’t is a bad film. With I Want Your Love, it shows that Mathews (who directed, wrote, shot and edited this film) has grown as a filmmaker and presents to us a highly intimate (and perhaps personal) story and true representation of gay men and their lives and relationships.
Mathews has said that “with my films I have always sought to capture honest and intimate depictions of modern gay life with everyday men.” In this film he has.
I Want Your Love is released by Peccadillo is now out on DVD –  BUY HERE
29th Jul2013

Laurence Anyways – DVD

by timbaros

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Now out on DVD, Laurence Anyways is an epic film that tells the story of Laurence, a writer and college professor, who wants to go from being a man to being a woman.

Set in the 1990s in Montreal, Laurence Anyways is about the struggle Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and his girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clement) experience in accepting Laurence’s decision and desire to change his appearance, which causes problems in their marriage.

Over the course of 10 years, we see them desperately trying to hold on to their relationship, with Fred having the hardest time dealing with the situation, even though she loves him with all her heart.

Meanwhile, Laurence slowly transitions, gradually wearing women’s clothes outside of the house. At first, Fred thinks that Laurence is gay, but that is not the case. Laurence simply feels he was born into the wrong body. Eventually, they separate, but then get back together, as Fred feels she really needs to be by his side to support him, such is the love she has for him.

She gives him makeup tips and tells him how to dress, even helping him to buy a wig. But over time she starts feeling neglected and frustrated, and her mother and sister tell her to leave him. Meanwhile, Laurence’s mother, who was never close to her son, has a hard time accepting and listening to Laurence when he breaks the news to her. Their relationship is strained at best, and it is does not help that his boring father, who is home-bound and needs constant attention from the mother, is oblivious to the family issues around him. Eventually she comes around and accepts Laurence as the daughter she never had.

At 161 minutes, Laurence Anyways is not a short film, but every scene, every shot, every word spoken is elegant. The story is extremely crisp, the cinematography very luscious, and the actors are both superb. The story is not only riveting, but the imagery of some of the scenes are in slow motion, and these scenes will take your breathe away. And the final scene, which shows how Laurence and Fred first met, will bring a tear to your eye. Their relationship, trying and tumultuous throughout, is an unforgettable journey.

This is the third film by Director Xavier Dolan, who is only 23 and a former child actor, which shows what kind of immense talent he is. His previous film, Heartbeats, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the top prize of the Official Competition at the Sydney Film Festival, all at the tender age of 20. Laurence Anyways has won the Queer Palm Award and Best Actress for Clement at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, two awards it richly deserved. It also premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2012, and recently was shown at the London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival to much applause. Dolan’s next project will be an adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard’s play Tom a’ la Ferme.

Laurence Anyways is an amazing film that you owe it to yourself to see.

WATCH TRAILER HERE

BUY DVD HERE

Review originally posted on Pride Life website -click this link to view

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