29th Nov2016

Testosterone (Theatre)

by timbaros
Testostorone Production Photos by Rhum & Clay Theatre Company  Photo Credit: Richard Davenport for  The Other Richard info@theotherrichard.com

Testostorone Production Photos
by Rhum & Clay Theatre Company
Photo Credit: Richard Davenport for
The Other Richard
info@theotherrichard.com

Kit Redstone – a female to male transgender actor – explains what it’s like to enter a men’s locker room for the first time in the new play Testosterone.

The play, at the New Diorama Theatre near Warren Street tube station, is a semi-autobiographical look at Redstone’s coming out as a man and what it’s like to do so in such a testosterone heavy environment as the locker room. The show also briefly delves into Kit’s previous life as a woman, as well as the first time he received testosterone – at the doctors office. Told with a bit of drama, and humor, it’s a story that Kit is brave enough to have written and again to tell on stage. But Kit doesn’t just tell his story, he relives it, cleverly, with the locker room as a device to explain the whole male heavy environment that he now belongs to. The show, successfully, looks at how masculinity is so prevalent in a locker room environment, and questions whether it is real or is it a facade? Alongside thirty-something Kit are three other actors who display their manliness (not literally), and masculinity; two jocks (Matthew Wells and Julian Spooner) and the fabulous singer/drag queen Daniel Jacob (also known as Vinegar Strokes). They help Kit to tell his story as well as perform in fantasy sequences that move the story along which helps the audience to better understand Kit’s journey. It’s a straightforward, and brave, telling of Kit’s transformation and the new world he lives in.

TESTOSTERONE
Tue 22 Nov – Sat 3 Dec @ 19:30
Saturday Matinees @ 15:30
TICKETS
£15; £12.50 concessions

New Diorama Theatre
15-16 Triton Street

Regent’s Place
London NW1 3BF

BOOKING INFORMATION
For the best tickets, book online at www.newdiorama.com
To book by telephone, ring 020 7338 9034

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26th Nov2016

A United Kingdom (Film)

by timbaros

thumb-image2The story of an African King who meets and falls in love with a British office worker is told in the middling film A United Kingdom.

Why do I use the term ‘middling’ to describe this film? Because it’ just that – middling – it goes through the motions – it tells a story like someone who is reading a book in monotone voice – there’s not much life or excitement to it.

If it wasn’t for David Oleyowo who plays Seretse Khama, ‘A United Kingdom’ would not be worth the watch. He is electrifying as Khama, a future king of African nation Bechuanaland who, while in London studying in 1947, meets plain and simple office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), and they instantly fall in love (the scene where they set eyes on each other for the first time looks very staged and thereby unrealistic). But their love was not meant to be, Khama’s uncle, who was the king as Khama’s father had passed away, forbade him from marrying this pasty white woman – and she looked nothing like the women from his tribe whom Khama was expected to marry.

But there were not only problems from his side, Ruth’s father was very disappointed in her choice to date, and eventually, a black man – he didn’t approve of the relationship. But this was the least of their worries. The British government stepped in to meddle in their romance – they attempted to prevent the couple from getting married in the church fearing that their marriage would destabilise the British government’s relationship with it’s colonies in Africa. When Khama and his new bride Ruth do go back to Bechuanaland, he then returns back to the UK to get the British government to recognize his marriage, however, they then forbade him from going back to his homeland while Ruth, all alone except for the tribeswomen who eventually came around and accepted her, gives birth to their first child. Their interracial marriage was one of the first for it’s time, and for some reason not many people have heard of this historic relationship until now.

But A United Kingdom, directed by Amma Asante (Belle), tells the story like a playbook. It’s as if each scene was shot just as it was written, then the filmmakers went on to shoot the next scene, while failing miserably to make the scenes look believable and have emotion to them at all. And it’s Pike’s performance that also brings down the movie. She was excellent as the spurned girlfriend in Gone Girl, but as the romantic lead of a very important story about a love affair that almost changed the world, she just can’t carry it. She just doesn’t have the facial emotions nor the likability of a woman that a future king would risk all just because he’s in love with her. This film is based on extraordinary events, but the film itself is in no way extraordinary.

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26th Nov2016

Jason Bourne (DVD)

by timbaros

gallery4-5719055980b79-1Matt Damon is back and is better than ever in the new Bourne film appropriately titled ‘Jason Bourne.’

This is Damon’s fourth outing as the rogue CIA agent (Jeremy Renner stepped in to star in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy), and he comfortably steps back into Bourne’s shoes, a role Damon made his own back in the first of the series – 2002’s The Bourne Identity. In the new film, directed for a third time by Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips and Green Zone), Bourne is seen in several countries around the world, attempting to find answers about his past, while at the same time still being tracked by CIA chiefs. Among them is Tommy Lee Jones who plays CIA director Robert Dewey (Jones looks like he’d rather be elsewhere). With him is CIA Agent Heather Lea (recent Oscar Winner Alicia Vikander), who’s not given much to do except hunch over computer terminals tracking Bourne’s every move. But ignore the scenes that take place in the CIA headquarters as it’s the shots of Bourne in various parts of the world where the film really kicks ass. In Greece, Bourne is reunited with agent Nicolette Parsons (Julian Stiles) who has been in hiding but it takes a drastic turn for the worse and it takes Bourne to Berlin, Istanbul, London and lastly Las Vegas where he finally meets up with Dewey and Lea in a final scene that feels contrived and a bit ridiculous. In between Bourne’s running all over the world is a subplot involving a social media wunderkind (Riz Ahmed) who has entered into an agreement with Dewey to provide data for the CIA, a plot line that’s a bit irrelevant and unnecessary. It all makes for one head spinning action adventure movie.

Greengrass displays excellent directorial technique in the action sequences and less so in the scenes with Jones and Vikander – their performances are quite stiff. So the action that takes place in Greece (which is really Malaga), Paddington, and especially in Las Vegas are where the film excels. These action scenes are fast and frantic, involving lots of quick editing and camera work, with expertly staged car crashes and bystanders caught up in between it all. Vincent Cassel pops us as an assassin out to get Bourne, but we really don’t get to know much about him and why he’s on the CIA’s side. But poor Vikander and Jones, both Oscar winners, who take a huge back seat to Damon’s rough and ready and on the run Bourne. Could we see more of him and less, or none, of them in the next one?

 



Jason Bourne [DVD + Digital Download] [2016] (DVD)

Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, once again joins Damon for the next chapter of Universal Pictures' Bourne franchise, which finds the CIA's most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows. Jason Bourne, now remembering who he truly is, tries to uncover hidden truths about his past.
New From: £5.64 GBP In Stock
Used from: £3.73 GBP In Stock

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22nd Nov2016

La Soiree (Theatre)

by timbaros

6-la-soiree-leicester-square-david-girard-credit-brinkhoff-moegenburg-jpgThe best show in Central London is now playing for a limited time only in Leicester Square – it’s La Soiree!

Back in London for a 7th time, La Soiree is a theatrical experience that will wow and shock you – it’s circus, vaudeville and burlesque all rolled up into one in a show that’s funny, mesmerizing, and very enjoyable. In the especially-built venue that is the Spiegeltent right in the middle of Leicester Square, it’s a show in the round, in a velvet draped salon of carved wood, polished mirrors and the feeling of having stepped into another world, and where every seat has a good view of the shenanigans the performers get up to. Grab a drink at the bar and have fun watching these amazing performers:

-Denis Lock is a bubble-making master. He makes bubbles in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including a carousel – he really needs to be seen to be seen!
-Songstress Acantha Lang, from New Orleans, sings intermittently throughout the show – her vocals are large and high octane! She’s a diva and she owns it!
-Captain Frodo is a hilarious comedian who is able to put his whole body through two small tennis racquets – it’s contortionism at it’s very best!
-The very naughty and funny Ursula Martinez – she finds hankies in the most unusual places – enough said!
-Daredevil Chicken is a man and woman duo who do incredible costume changes and are able to toss bits and pieces of bananas into theirs (and audience members) mouths. They are side splittingly funny!
-Jarred Dewey likes to swing, on a swing (he’s a trapeze artist)! And he does it with very little clothes on.
-Hamish McCann, while shirtless, performs a jaw-dropping pole act that makes it look like he’s literally walking up a light pole. He makes it look easy.

For two hours you will be entertained, and your jaw will drop, not only at the amazing feats these performers accomplish, but also because it is all very hilarious and raucous.

So step away from the busy and blustery streets of London into this plush cabaret venue where you will have a really good time!

Christmas in Leicester Square
Friday 11 November 2016 to Sunday 8 January 2017

Tue-Thurs: 8pm

Fri & Sat: 7pm & 10pm
Sun: 7pm

Christmas Schedule varies – please check website:
Box office:
www.la-soiree.com
0207 492 9942

LA SOIRÉE NEW YEAR’S EVE LISTINGS INFORMATION

Tickets from £120 if purchased by 26th December 2016.

Doors from 8pm. Performance time: 9pm

Run Time: 2 hours including interval

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22nd Nov2016

Shared Rooms (DVD)

by timbaros

alec-manley-left-and-christopher-grant-pearson-right-in-shared-rooms-courtesy-of-wolfe-videoThe story of a set of three couples grappling with life, love, and children is told in the new gay comedy ‘Shared Rooms.’

Set in Los Angeles, these three couples are all somehow connected to each other. There’s married couple Laslo (Christopher Grant Pearson) and Cal (Alec Manley Wilson) who live in a very cozy home and make fun of their friends with children – always telling themselves that ‘they are not that couple’ who ‘always have to arrange play dates for their children.’ And then there are roommates Julian (Daniel Lipshutz) and Dylan (Robert Werner). Dylan travels 36 weeks out of the year for work, so Julian rents his room out to strangers on LGBTQBnB while he’s away. But Dylan comes home early from a business trip to find a stranger named Frank Turner (David Vaughn) in his bedroom, so he has to share Julian’s bed, a thought, and fantasy, Dylan has had for two years! And finally third couple Sid (Justin Xavier) and Gray (Alexander Neil Miller), who casually meet up on an app called Manfinder. They instantly connect, while Sid shares with Gray a deep dark secret about his past, and lucky for us, they spend all of their time together naked.

These men all happily share their lives, and their rooms, with other men, during Christmas, however, there is drama lurking in the background. Houseguest Frank Turner is in town to look for his long lost kidnapped brother, and Cal’s gay nephew Blake (a very good and natural Eric Allen Smith) arrives after having been kicked out of his parent’s house.

‘Shared Rooms,’ by writer and director Rob Williams, is cleverly written and very cute and funny. It’s like watching a gay version of ‘Modern Family’ – everyone is a bit dysfunctional yet sweet and charming in their own way. Everything wraps up a bit too easily at the end, culminating in a New Years Eve Party where everyone has found what they were looking for (if only life were that easy), but it’s a funny and cute journey to get there.

Now available on DVD & VOD via Wolfe Video

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20th Nov2016

Panic (Film)

by timbaros

image-17-11-2016-at-18-38Andrew (David Gyasi) is afraid to leave his apartment, but when the attractive oriental neighbor in the building across the street from his apartment disappears, he is determined to overcome his fears to find her.

Due to an altercation that resulted in him being knifed, music journalist Andrew conducts his work, and affairs, in his home. But when Amy (Pippa Nixon), a married woman he meets online, comes over for a hanky panky session, she’s witnesses through the window a man beating up a woman, a woman who Andrew is infatuated with. Andrew is concerned for her safety, and he wants Amy to go with him to tell the police, but she’s doesn’t want to (her husband will then find out she was at Andrew’s flat), so it’s up to Andrew to investigate her disappearance himself. This means overcoming his fear of leaving his flat, which he ultimately does, which then takes him to a seedy underworld of Chinese gangsters and human trafficking. His life gets threatened but will he be able to locate the woman while at the same time not getting himself killed at the same time?

‘Panic’ is writer/director Sean Spencer’s striking feature film debut. It’s a very good debut – Spencer keeps the suspense going throughout the film – especially when Andrew is navigating his way in London’s underworld. Shot over eighteen days in East London, with some scenes shot in unbroken takes, ‘Panic’ gives us a fictional account where migrant labor and the criminal world intersect. Fine acting and an excellent score by Christopher Nicholas Bangs perfectly set up the scenes of confusion and paranoia, scenes that are part of Andrew’s, and perhaps ours, daily life.

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18th Nov2016

Lazy Eye (DVD)

by timbaros

lazyeye_reunited_000078A flame from the past contacts an L.A. graphic designer which puts into doubt the relationship he has with his husband in the new film ‘Lazy Eye.’

FIfteen years ago Dean (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) and Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis) were boyfriends in New York City. But after their breakup, Dean moved to Los Angeles to start a new life. But out of the blue Dean receives an email from Alex and Dean, after working up the courage, and giving it some thought, invites Alex to come visit him in California. Dean still has feelings for Alex (now both in their late 30’s), feelings that actually never went away, and Dean gets excited with the thought of seeing Alex again. Dean tells Alex to come and spend the weekend with him at his house in the desert near Joshua Tree.

So when Alex arrives him and Dean pick up right where they left off, jump right into bed. But fifteen years is a long time for them to have last seen each other, and unfortunately sex is the only thing they have in common. And you see Dean forgot to tell Alex that he is in a long-term relationship with another man, who happens to be in Australia for work. This puts a strain on their weekend and then there’s more drama when Alex suggests him and Dean get back together again, permanently.

‘Lazy Eye’ ( a really poor name for a film this good – the name comes from the beginning of the film when Dean has to get bi-focals because he’s got a lazy eye) is a gentle, easygoing and lovely story about two men who were, or were not, meant to be with each other (we’ve all been there!). Subtle and quiet direction by Tim Kirkman (who also wrote the clever screenplay) and great music by Steven Argila (and great scenery of the Joshua Tree area of the California desert) make ‘Lazy Eye’ a nice crystal clear viewing, perhaps on your own or with an ex.

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12th Nov2016

Burning Blue (DVD)

by timbaros

empire_state1la-et-burning-blue-movie-review-20140606In 1995, I saw a play in the West End called ‘Burning Blue’. It was a brilliant telling of a story about the relationship between two gay men in the U.S. Navy in the 1980’s. It was brilliant, memorable, and award-wnning. A new film version of the play has just been released and it’s quite the opposite.

The play was written by David Milne Greer and is based on his experiences as a U.S. Navy Aviator in the 1980’s. The fictional story is about an investigation into a naval accident that turns into a gay witch hunt and is based on Greer’s knowledge of the treatment of gay men in the U.S. Navy. Two Navy fighter pilots – Daniel (Trent Ford) and Will (Morgan Spector) – live and work aboard a Navy destroyer in very close quarters with other servicemen. But an accident that involves Will gets investigated by the higher ups and puts their unit under intense scrutiny. Complicating things is the arrival of a third pilot Matt (Rob Mayes), and him and Daniel end up falling in love, causing Matt to leave his wife. But this type of behaviour was not accepted during the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ era; homosexuality in the Navy was just not allowed and there were serious consequences for out gay men. Needless to say, Daniel and Matt’s relationship can’t endure the Navy’s ant-gay policy, and then suddenly theirs, and Will’s, lives are changed forever after another accident kills one of the men.

You would think a film about this timely subject would expertly crafted and well told. Well, it’s not. The pacing and acting of the movie is just horrible; scenes go on for a longer than what they should, the acting (unfortunately), is stiff and wooden, and quite a few of the dramatic scenes are funny. ‘Burning Blue’ has the look and feel of a ‘Murder She Wrote’ episode, and it lacks the drama and intensity of the stage play. ‘Burning Blue’ only gets 1 star – for tackling the theme of gay love in the military – but it tackles it very bad.

Now available to watch on digital download on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Xbox, Sky Store and Vubiquity.

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06th Nov2016

Nocturnal Animals (Film)

by timbaros
50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

50805_AA_4609_v2F
Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.

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06th Nov2016

Beautiful Something (DVD)

by timbaros

brian-sheppard-as-brian-in-beautiful-soemthingFour gay men, all with issues in their lives, experience a night of mystery and sex in the beautifully told Beautiful Something.

Writer Brian (Brian Sheppard) is sexy and picks up guys in bars and on the street – but they love him and leave him. Then there’s Jim (Zack Ryan), a wannabe actor who doesn’t realize that the man he lives with really really loves him. And that man is Drew (Colman Domingo), a tortured and passionate artist who uses Jim as his muse and model. And then there’s Bob (John Lescault), a wealthy talent agent who is chauffeured around town picking up men but not necessarily for sex. It’s one night in Philadelphia, and these mens lives intertwine in search of meaningful connections on a night when anything is possible.

After a one night stand that for some reason goes horribly wrong, Brian goes for a walk and meets Jim, who’se just had a bustup with Drew. They are immediately attracted to each other and have sex in the house that Jim shares with Drew. Drew, meanwhile, is so involved in his art work that he’s doesn’t realize that Brian and Jim are downstairs getting it on. But this is not enough for Jim, and after Brian leaves and not wanting to stay home, Jim goes for a walk and is picked up, and intrigued by, Bob. They share a meal only after Bob tells Jim that if he’s an actor he must get out of the car. So Jim lies to Bob and they have dinner and eventually go back to Bob’s palatial home. Meanwhile Brian looks up an old flame, and Drew wonders what is really going on in Jim’s head. All this drama takes place in one sublime night, with the sprinkling lights of Philadelphia providing a romantic and perfect backdrop to the movie.

Beautiful Something beautifully explores the need for us gay men to seek out romance and adventure in the hopes of finding something, anything, meaningful. Director and writer Joseph Graham successfully captures a night these men, nor us, won’t forget. With excellent and realistic performances throughout, Beautiful Something, inspired by real-life experiences, will put a twinkle in your eye and the optimism of love in your heart.

Available on DVD & Digital HD on November 7th, 2016

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