Search This Blog

Monday, April 27, 2020

'Top 3' DVD: Animated Tale of Young Gay Romantic

The TLA Releasing March 10, 2020 DVD release of the cute and charming 2019 animated film "Top 3" is an amusing tale of the course of the first relationship of a young gay romantic. This amusing creatively drawn movie from Sweden with love tale clearly shows that love may not be enough to keep us together.

Anton, who is a student in his early 20s, has a habit of composing the titular short lists. These include things such as whom to tell the first time that you do not go home for Christmas, excuses for not going out on a Friday night during a low period, and the notable things to not do on your last night with your future ex-boyfriend. 

Anton experiences love at first sight on meeting younger-man David at the library near the end of the undergraduate studies of our hopeless romantic. This leads to a sweet courtship despite the resentment of Anton's hag Miriam.

David turning Japanese when his mother moves to Tokyo is the first trauma that causes drama for our leading queen, This leads to a summer of love at the rural home of the grandmother of Anton. This honeymoon period ending is the second bump in the relationship of these nice young men. 

Although these guys presumably have plenty of happy endings, the primary obstacle to them enjoying happily ever after is their different outlooks. Anton speaks for many of us all along the Kinsey Scale in stating that he does not want David to make a significant sacrifice today only to deeply resent his highly significant other a decade from now. 

This being a Swedish film and (presumably) not being one that airs on Logo results in there not being a guarantee of a Hollywood ending. It is guaranteed that the boys (and many viewers) will be older and wiser. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

'Is Anybody Listening' DVD: Timely Documentary on Empathetic Support

The Indiepix Films DVD of the 2014 documentary "Is Anybody Listening" sadly has become highly relevant in our dystopian times that being under house arrest has greatly exasperated. The film discusses the non-profit Listen to a Veteran that "Anybody" writer/narrator Paula J. Caplan operates to give veterans a listening post in the form of open pair of ears and a shut mouth. The overall concept is that veterans know that even civilians with the best intentions in the world cannot understand serving in combat or even being a member of the armed forces. 

The following Indiepix trailer for "Listening" expertly conveys the solid theme and tone of the film.

Listen is the result of Caplan realizing after several retellings over many years that she merely was hearing her father tell the story of his experience as the leader of an all-black group of soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Her valid reasoning is that picturing her father going through that is highly traumatic. One of those soldiers participating in "Anybody" adds a great deal to the film. 

Caplan, who is a psychologist, also understands that veterans are unfairly stigmatized. She states that the conventional false wisdom is that anyone who wants to join the military does so out of a desire to kill. The rest of this inaccurate story is that having to kill and experience the other negative aspects of military life creates a mental illness. The stable and articulate veterans who participate in "Anybody" show that both perceptions are false. 

One especially likable veteran discussing the impact of military life hits a highly personal note that is relatable to most of us. A friend has kindly stated as to my concerns regarding the perception of my behavior during a long period of torment that I was reasonably acting in response to an unreasonable situation, The epilogue to this is choosing my current home because it on a corner lot facing away from other houses; I drive into the attached garage and have nothing to do with the neighbors. 

The bigger picture as to all this is that many of us avoiding "listening" to what we do not want to hear and that all of us need a caring judgmental person to take that hit. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

'Holiday' DVD: High Times' Vacation

The striking images and related spectacular cinematography in the Breaking Glass Pictures DVD release of the 2018 drama "Holiday" alone justify adding this film to your home-video collection. It also makes one wonder why Breaking does not spring for a Blu-ray release. 

The festival love for this entertaining tale of the trophy girlfriend of an abusive drug lord includes numerous top honors. These accolades include Best Picture at the 2018 Austin Fantastic Fest and Best Director at the 2018 Nordic International Film Festival, 

The following YouTube clip of a "Holiday" trailer does not do the style of the film justice but does provide a strong sense of the misogynistic elements and the counter-balancing theme of material girls with blonde ambition considering the boy with the cold hard cash to always be Mr. Right despite the cost of the relationship.

Early scenes have our heroine (pun intended) Sascha getting called out on a damsel-in-distress routine on the cusp of the extended titular vacation with aforementioned pusher Michael, This trip is to pimped-out villa in Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera, Their travel companions are the business associates of Michael and the significant others and children of those legitimate businessmen. 

Although lounging in the sun, playing games at the arcade, and clubbing is fun, Sascha soon learns the same lesson as her "sisters" that anyone who "marries" for money pays a high price for enjoying the lifestyles of the rich and loathsome. This includes having to put out on demand and dealing with a man whose temper (and temperament) essentially precludes finding someone to stick around out of love.

One of the best and most telling "Holiday" scenes has a bored Michael sitting in the bitch husband chair at a jewelry store while Sascha shops. This kept woman selecting emerald earrings aptly provides her a sense that she is not in Kansas anymore. Another way of looking at this is that it shows the intersection of her grasping greed and the combination of the lust of Michael and his desire to have a status symbol other than a tattoo on his arm. 

More drama enters the picture when Sascha strikes up an unsanctioned relationship with a yachting type. Handsome and kind sailor Thomas shares an intimate moment with Sascha, and both of them want more than a one evening stand. This prompts a jealous Michael to lure Thomas to the villa under false pretenses. The feral aspects of that evening show the true natures of both men.

The climax follows when Sascha plays a booty call gone wrong on Thomas; this leads to her becoming a girl interrupted who truly is dazed and confused. This adds to the morality tale aspect of this beautiful and compelling film. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Real and Reel World Relationship Lessons as to Coronavirus Isolation

A highly personal aspect of the coronavirus isolation alone warrants this rare detour into Blogland on this review site.

I literally was laughed off the stage while reading an essay that very closely predicted our current nationwide lockdown in a college class a "significant" number of years ago. Mixed feelings as to being proven right are akin to admitted guilty pleasure regarding an abusive college roommate who currently has his 100 or so fast-food franchises shut down; I unequivocally feel badly for his workers.

Equally predictive, a few real and reel incidents are relevant to the increased amount of time that those of us in committed relationships spend with our highly significant others. This began with asking a 70-something friend when he planned to retire from the shop that he owned. He replied that he still worked because his wife had retired, and he wanted to give her an adequate break from him each day, 

This conversation roughly coincided with watching a DVD episode of the sitdoc "Curb Your Enthusiasm" about the daily life of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David; David inspired George Costanza.

Freshly separated fictional wife Cheryl tells Larry that she likes "Seinfeld" Larry better than post "Seinfeld" Larry because he was not home nearly as much when he was working on his "must see" series. That leads to a discussion of a little Larry being the right dosage of that man.

This also relates to a newspaper article several years ago about married couples buying a B n B with high hopes of happily running it together only to massively crack under the combined pressure of  keeping the business viable and being together 24/7. The college-era personal experience this time is offering ad hoc help at the Notchland Inn in the New Hampshire White Mountains when the owners offered dinner theater in the form of a combination of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "The War of the Roses." Current guests still tell the tale of hearing shouting and airborne utensils from the kitchen.

A final perspective is a friend stating years ago that he stayed home from work one day only to have his cats stare at him the entire time as if to say that he was not supposed to there at that time.

Returning things literally and figuratively close to home, I have been fortunate enough to work from home for a "significant" number of years. My highly significant other is an executive, who traditionally has worked at an office but has operated out of our kitchen for the past few days. That may last six weeks. 

Living in a 2,100 SF single-family home provides good personal space even during this lockdown; my joke that one of us may end up burying the other in the basement before home arrest ends may be a reality for couples with far less living space. 

When we first moved in together, I would have a few hours of alone quiet time before my highly significant other came home; a new job 90-minutes away resulted in me and our cat having the place to ourselves a few nights a week. I am considerate by nature, but not having to think about someone much of the time has become second nature. At the same time, I still am encouraged to call virtually all of the shots. 

I still enjoy exceptional accommodations as to maintaining my normal routine; at the same time, I feel self conscious about things such as watching really bad On Demand fare because it provides both variety and a sense that I am not entirely throwing the payment (which would not go down if I cut the cord) for television service. 

I additionally want to be a good "spouse;" Newly adopted Marlo and I were just vocally playing with the cat toy named Mr. Mousey (Mr. Elephant is way under the bed) when my highly significant other received a business call. Our literal cat-and-mouse game quickly ended without an iota of resentment. 

On a related note, I would feel badly for a client calling only to hear "Gilligan's Island" in the background. I did offer to watch television in the bedroom and was told that it is not necessary.

The bottom line this time is that someone being one of  the most important persons in your life does not mean that either of you want the other around all the time. Wanting "Seinfeld" Larry is understandable.