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.