Hugh Jackman Les Misérables

REVIEW: ‘Les Misérables.’ Life’s Tough. Yeah, Well.

It should be noted right from the start that I am an unusual Ghey, but a typical filmmaker: I am entirely contemptuous of musical theater.  Having said that, more often than not I have enjoyed the few Broadway or West End productions I’ve been to over the years immensely.  It can be rocking great entertainment, but so can a magic show or figure skating or Cirque du Soleil.

To give you an idea of how bad it is with me, the few episodes of Glee that I’ve watched (most of its first season, actually), I fast-forwarded over the musical numbers.  I cannot sing a whole show tune, just bits and pieces of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” because it has that mawkish Christmas carol quality that makes you all emotional, although you don’t know why.  In fact, the more melodramatic and successful musical theater songs seem to have a lot in common with carols.  I’m sure this has to do with some common key, or chord, or melody that brings out the weepies.  I’d like a musicologist to explain the phenomenon to me one day.  No rush, though.

In a way, show tunes are the Negro spirituals of the Gheys.  They sing of our hopes, our sufferings, our dreams of appearing in fierce outfits high-kicking in front of an adoring audience, of finally being accepted as the fabulous creatures we really are, of being Liza and Judy and Patti.  I personally might not feel any of that, but I certainly get it, and appreciate the important cultural role musical theater plays in Homolandia.

Sacha: Comedy Fuck Up for Make Benefit Glorious Studio of Paramount


by James Killough

I said on Monday that I would never see The Dictator, not even if I secured my favorite seat, C-22 in the handicapped section at the Arclight Hollywood, which is exactly where I saw it from last night.  I am allowed to go back on my word because my evil twin Andrew Sullivan flip-flopped about Obama last week, so now it’s all the rage.

Let me clarify, however: flip-flopping actually means something completely different to Gheys than changing your mind.  I assure you that I will never go to that point.  No, really.  Sullivan may engage in the gay version of flip-flopping to his heart’s content, but this total top’s sphincter remains puckered shut, never more so since seeing The Dictator.

Trailer Trashing


by James Killough

If I had gone by the trailer alone, I would never have seen The Avengers, just as I never saw Thor or Captain America.  These films aren’t made with me in mind, so why should I shell out sixteen bucks even for my favorite seat, C-22 in the middle of the handicapped section at the Arclight Hollywood?  Much as I love movies, that would be the definition of dysfunctional behavior.

Michael Fassbender: Android perfection. Photo: Sebastian Kim 

I was just going to let Eric Baker review The Avengers until it became clear almost two weeks ago that it was a juggernaut that was going to make film history, and that suddenly turned it from an ordinary early summer blockbuster into an event this blog had to cover.

Ashton to Ashes


by James Killough

It hasn’t been a good year or so for my ideal younger man, Ashton Kutcher.  This breaks my heart because I do wish him all the best, in a concerned, fatherly way.  First came his split with Demi, then his stint on Two and a Half Men, a show he is being credited with killing, although I see that more as a kindly act of euthanasia; I agree with Charlie Sheen: TAAHM kinda sucks.  Now he has managed to outrage some members of the Indian community by appearing in “brown face” in an ad for PopChips, and he has been roasted alive on Twitter, a social media platform he in no small part helped to build.

This poses something of a conundrum for performers in general and the people who create material for them: at what point does satire become offensive and racist?  Are actors, comedians specifically, only allowed to appear as their race or, in the case of repeat-offender Sacha Baron Cohen, as something other than their real sexuality?

This is Not a Review of "Hugo"


by Eric J Baker

To paraphrase French surrealist painter René Magritte, This is Not a Review of Hugo. Except I’m not being ironic or existentialist. I’m issuing a warning and a promise: This is not a review of Hugo.

And this is not Sacha Baron Cohen. Not yet, anyway.

It’s not even a review styled after those of our own James Tuttle, whose write-up on The Immortals had me laughing out loud the other day. See, there’s a dearth of shirtless hunks in Hugo, which is good since it’s a kid’s movie, but it’s also bad since shirtless hunks is mostly what Tuttle talks about in his movie reviews. I’ll just say Scorsese’s new film is elegant and fluid, rather less grimy than Taxi Driver, and stocked with a mix of actor’s actors (Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer), cinema legends (Christopher Lee), and promising young talent in Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz, neither of whom annoyed me. Which is almost a miracle, since I don’t like kids that much, unless they are marinated in a sweet-and-tangy apricot glaze and baked at 350° for about 2 hours (or until golden brown).