Reviews

DVD Reviews

Plan B

This debut feature film from Argentine director Marco Berger was a hit on the summer’s gay film festival circuit, winning several awards. In seeing the film, it is apparent why. Plan B is a cunning comedy/drama set in the dusty, raw, low-income barrios of modern day Argentina. It stars Manuel Vignau (Bruno), also a feature film first, and Lucas Ferraro (Pablo).

Bruno, a pot-smoking loafer has just been dumped by his girlfriend for another guy. His initial plan to win her back by continuing to sleep with her isn’t working, so this apparent straight dude comes up with Plan B — to remove his competition by seducing her new boyfriend, Pablo. Fail-safe? No. Unlikely plan? Maybe. A decent gay flick? Yes. As Bruno and Pablo begin to bond through gift-giving, sleep-overs (in the same bed, of course) and awkward straight/gay flirting, Bruno realizes that he’s actually falling in love with Pablo.

The film is sort of Shakespearean in its plot of deception and betrayal, as well as in its modest humor: Bruno is brilliantly calculating with his plan B by offering first a stick of gum to Pablo just before asking him to help practice kissing for a fake gay acting gig. Also, Ferraro’s (Pablo) performance in the “comes to fruition” scene is remarkable, and the first time Bruno and Pablo have a sleep-over, it is extremely funny in its coyness.

This Spanish language film is fairly witty and well-acted, but a little indolent in execution — the many non-dialogue scenes drag on too long diminishing some of the film’s credibility.

Release Date: Oct. 28, $19.95,
wolfevideo.com

Ticked-off Trannies with Knives

I suppose that how some movies actually get picked up and distributed is beyond my intellect … though I do have a respectable IQ … but writer/director Israel Luna’s newest horror flick Ticked-off Trannies with Knives made my eyes roll back in my head with pure disgust. Not to say its beginning did not have a certain cult-following potential. Introducing the transexual nightclub entertainers, Bubbles Cliquot, Tipper Sommore, Emma Grashun, Rachel Slurr and their mother hen Pinky Latrimm (“Mama”) in the fire-spitting dressing room reportoire that occurs when men are dressed as women was a hopeful attribute: “The Burning Bed academy of Farrah Fawcett” and “It’s like Charo spitting Fritos at me, I don’t understand you.”
Bubbles arrives to work with a black eye and after the show Emma and Tipper trick Bubbles into driving them to a rendezvous with three men at a dim-lit, secluded warehouse … duh, really? Upon entering the warehouse Bubbles realizes she’s been coerced there by the same man, aptly called Boner, who had blackened her eye, and gory violence ensues.
Sometime later, we find Bubbles waking from a coma that has left her with a speech impediment and a vigor for revenge. In the most ridiculous scene of the entire movie, Bubbles and the other “trannies” head to a remote area to learn the teachings of a samurai warrior by a goofy white man. Then they derive a plan of revenge against the three anti-transexual men that had attacked them in the warehouse.

Other than the character of Rachel Slurr, who’s a little dippy, yet witty at the same time, there is no other noteworthy aspect to this flop.

Release Date: Nov. 9, $24.95,
breakingglasspictures.com

Bear City

As the title indicates, co-writers Douglas Langway and Lawrence Ferber, transform New York into the large, lovable Bear (hirsute gay men) scene. This adorable romantic comedy stars newcomer Joe Conti as Tyler, a young, smooth 20-something with a hidden attraction for Daddy Bears. The film also stars Stephen Guarino (The Big Gay Sketch Show) and Gerald McCullough (CSI: New York).

Fed up with being on the DL with his flamboyant circuit-boy roommate Simon, who’s constantly hitting on him, Tyler finds a new “den” with Fred and Brent, a bear couple that takes Tyler in and introduces him to their community and their closest friends: Michael and Carlos, and Roger.

Boyfriends Michael and Carlos hit a bump in their relationship when unemployed Michael decides to get lap-band surgery to help his odds in landing a job. Roger, a muscle daddy bear, has a popular reputation in the community for sex-crazed parties. But the introduction of Tyler to this close-knit family sparks uncomfortable feelings and desires.
Shortly after the arrival of Tyler, Fred suggests to Brent, with underlying intention, that they should open up their relationship. Once Brent agrees, the threesome shower scene will either leave you laughing your ass off or cringing, depending on your own sexual fantasies.

The sexual tension between Tyler and Roger is immediate when meeting each other. While Tyler embraces it, Roger fights it. As a final attempt to win Roger over, Tyler, with the help of Simon, butches up his wardrobe and attitude to catch Roger’s attention at the biggest bear party weekend of the year.

For those unfamiliar with the bear community, a number of scenes will help enlighten about stereotypes and labels in a selfless, and often humorous, way. For those familiar with the bear community, I would hope you’d enjoy the colorful characters — their gossipy, bitchy and, often, very sweet natures — as much I did.

$19.99, tlareleasing.com

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