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    list($29.98)
    1. Boys in the Band
    $24.98 list($14.95)
    2. And the Band Played On
    list($29.98)
    3. Making Love
    $49.99 list($14.95)
    4. Norman Is That You?
    $9.98 $4.75
    5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
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    6. Female Perversions
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    7. Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink)
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    8. M Butterfly
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    9. Common Ground
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    10. The Night of the Iguana
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    11. Serving in Silence: the Margarethe
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    12. Victor/Victoria
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    13. Nowhere
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    14. The Celluloid Closet
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    15. Personal Best
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    16. The Incredibly True Adventures
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    17. If These Walls Could Talk 2
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    18. Paris Is Burning
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    19. Philadelphia
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    20. Midnight in the Garden of Good

    1. Boys in the Band
    Director: William Friedkin
    list price: $29.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000006GST
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4845
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    A sensitive yet humorous adaptation of the stage play, this 1970 film directed by William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) is one of the first films to openly address gay issues in a matter-of-fact style that largely avoids stereotyping. Shot on one set and featuring a birthday party as the festive setting, a group of friends assemble to celebrate, reminisce, and discuss their lives and the travails of being gay, even as one friend insists he's straight. The night turns from a light celebration to a sometimes-vindictive ordeal of revelation and betrayal, as each man in turn must confess his true feelings. Performed by the original cast of the stage production, the film may feel dated to some, but it still manages to be truthful and entertaining as it explores a subject that to this day is not often addressed. --Robert Lane ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 'I don't understand any of it... I never did' ... Michael
    Mart Crowley's 'The Boys in the Band' is a minor masterpiece of American cinema that was also instrumental in thrusting gay life and issues into the American mainstream.

    Based upon the 1968 Off-Broadway play, this 1970 film adaption by William Friedkin retains all of the stage cast and most of the dialogue. The story is simple enough, Michael Connelly is throwing a party for his friend Harold when an old college roommate, who is presumably straight, arrives and throws the party into turmoil. Michael, who clearly has had a drinking problem, hits the bottle again as a result of the conflict. Kenneth Nelson gives a brilliant performance as Michael who is quickly unravelling with every drink and who begins to tear down his friends one by one. The party climaxes in a 'truth' game which proves oddly cathartic to everyone but Michael.

    Many issues have arisen over the years with 'The Boys in the Band'. Were these men mostly stereotypes? Is this work still relevant to gay life? What does it say about where we are in light of where we've been?

    Your answers to these questions may well depend on your age. For myself, when first viewing this as a 22 year old in 1987, I found it amusing but ultimately sad and upsetting. A dozen years later of being out in gay life, I have come to learn how masterful this work is and that while times have changed in many ways for the better, many of the issues that the 'boys' were dealing with back then are still being dealt with today. Issues of religious and societal intolerance and the attempt to forge a positive gay identity in an often hostile world are still very much with us today.

    I believe the reason 'The Boys in the Band' is so humorous is that the camp humor of that time was largely a coping mechanism of sorts. This is black humor at its best, showing us the brutal honesty of a situation while exposing the many absurdities in it at the same time.

    In the end Michael states 'I don't understand any of it, I never did.'... food for thought...

    Also: Pick up a copy of '3 Plays by Mart Crowley'. The story of Michael Connelly pre and post "Boys in the Band" is powerfully explored in these two additional plays. (Read the forward 1st!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must" for all Gay Men
    As a friend once put it, the first time you see it (usually in college or freshly minted out-of-the-closet) you're horrified because it is full of self-loathing queens. The second time, in your twenties or after a bit moving in the stream of gay life, you're into it because it's campy and fun. The third time, once you've been around a block more times than you can remember, you love it because it's TRUE! While certainly not to be included in any catalogue of PRIDE-ful moments (and as such was the source of great controversy in the 1970s), this is a film that touches on crucial aspects of gay identity that have remained fairly constant in the post-Stonewall period, a series of questions: sexual and emotional fidelity, pride, self-hatred, fraternal destruction, and gay friendship. Or, another way to put it and to borrow Adrienne Rich's phraseology, "lies, secrets, and silence." The telephone game is the dramatic high point of the film (don't try this at home kids, unless you're three sheets to the wind and have an old rotary phone in the garage!), underscoring the complicated histories gay men bring to their desires. For others, this is the low point of self-loathing, but I find the actors rescue the scene with tenderness and emotive power. For me, the saving grace of the film and its central message is the denouement of Harold's committment to his friendship with the hideous lush Michael, who, after suffering a night of Michael's Gin and Ton witticisms honed to a razor sharp edge while languidly flipping through "The Films of Joan Crawford" (a nice touch), and after reading him within an inch of his life, tells Michael, with real feeling, "Call you tomorrow." And who can't appreciate friendship like that? With this, the film brings to the fore the essence of gay survival, which is friendship, and for that is worthy of viewing and LOVE (and a DVD).

    5-0 out of 5 stars What I am Michael...
    Exquisite movie--beautifully directed and smart acting by the cast. It's as if not more timely now than it was then.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Leading 20th Century Work
    I think "Boys in the Band" is one of the best plays of the 20th century. It's far, far more than a bunch of self-hating queens camping it up. For one thing, look at how succinctly the playwright develops his characters with just one line: "Cheese it. Here comes the socialite nun!"

    A better way to think about the play is as a tragedy concerning the emotional life of Michael, who exemplifies so many of killer competitor types of the 20th century.

    When Harold says to Michael, "You're a sad and pathetic man. You're a homosexual and you don't want to be," he's making a larger point that what Michael is really afraid of is his own humanity, not just being seen as a big fairy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Important Film on Humanity - Gay or Not
    Mart Crowley will always be remembered for this gem of a film (based on the stage play) because of its evocative and dead-on treatment of humanity, particularly that of gay men.

    The movie, like the stage play, is set in a New York City apartment. Seven gay men (and one gay prostitute) are going to be attending a bithday party hosted by Michael. As the film opens, we are visually introduced to the main characters. We then see Michael's smart and proper apartment and know that he is preparing for the party. Michael's weekend boyfriend Donald arrives and they talk about everything from anxiety attacks to financial woes to the effects of alcohol.

    Suddenly, everything is turned on its head as Michael gets a very odd and uncharacteristic phone call from his college roommate, Alan. Alan is in town and wants to meet up with Michael, but Michael isn't sure that Alan should arrive in the middle of a birthday party for gay men. Alan breaks down and begs to see Michael. They agree on a quick drink and Michael and Donald explore how they are going to handle a straight man at a gay party.

    Thinking the doorbell is Alan, Michael opens it to find that Emory, Hank and Larry have arrived. He tells them what is going on and then Bernard, another guest, arrives. Michael demands that everyone play it cool and straight while Alan is there.

    As the party gets underway with appetizers and music, Michael gets a phone call from Alan expressing regrets about his breakdown and suggests they get together for lunch the next day. Michael is relieved and the party starts to flow even better.

    Michael, Bernard, Emory, and Larry begin a dance routine they learned on Fire Island and don't hear the doorbell. When Hank answers the door, it isn't Harold, but Alan, who has dropped by unannounced. He sees Michael and the other men dancing and there is a grand uncomfortable moment as the party comes to a screeching halt.

    Alan and Michael talk and then as Alan gets ready to leave, a fight ensued between Alan and Emory with Emory ending up with a bloody face.

    The rest of the movie is a very real, very poignant look at human nature. There is an attempt to expose someone in the closet, a look at fidelity within a gay relationship, the fear of growing old and a wonderfully crafted discussion on the nature of beauty.

    Although all of the actors in the film are excellent, Cliff Gorman as the effiminate Emory steals the show. (Gorman, incidentially, would go on to portray Lenny Bruce in the stage play "Lenny" and would receive high acclaim for his work only to be replaced by Dustin Hoffman for the movie version.)

    What makes the film work for all mature audiences is that the character portrayals are seemless. We can all see some of our own faults in at least one of the characters.

    The only drawback is that this film is not yet out on DVD, although it should be!

    If you get a chance to see this film, do so. It is a very fine piece of film that deserves all the acclaim it gets. ... Read more


    2. And the Band Played On
    Director: Roger Spottiswoode
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303073573
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4994
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    A superior, made-for-cable film, this Home Box Office adaptation of Randy Shilts's chronicle detailing the emergence of AIDS in America and the fight against bureaucracy and society for a cure is a taut, outrageous, and affecting true-life drama. Matthew Modine (Birdy, Married to the Mob) is featured as a doctor with the Centers for Disease Control at the time when the first reports of a disease plaguing the gay community were heard. Modine and his colleagues embark on an investigation that resembles a compelling detective story as they try to track the source of the disease and discover a cure. Their efforts are thwarted by an ambivalent government and a turf war between French physicians and a celebrated American researcher (Alan Alda) who seems to place his own glory above the dead and the dying. Featuring heartfelt performances from a stellar cast including Richard Gere, Glenne Headly, Anjelica Huston, Steve Martin, Ian McKellen, Saul Rubinek, and Lily Tomlin, this impassioned film stands as an impressive and important document of one of the darkest eras in modern human history, and a tribute to the spirit of those who sought to save lives. --Robert Lane ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pulling on your emotions
    This made-for-HBO movie definitely transcends the "disease of the week" genre that it's part of. Based on the book by Randy Shilts, it chronicles the struggle of science vs. politics vs. morality in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Our point of view character is Dr. Don Francis (Matthew Modine), a passionate young scientist with the Centers for Disease Control. He and his colleagues, both at the CDC and France's Pasteur Institute, seem to be the only ones who remember that there are real people dying of this mysterious disease. Dr. Robert Gallo (Alan Alda)is one of the few human "villians" of the piece, more interested in writing himself into the history of the disease than in helping anyone. Two other notable performances are those of Lily Tomlin as the tough, no-nonsense Dr. Selma Dritz) and Ian McKellan as Congressional aide Bill Krause, who as part of San Francisco's gay community, is in the epicenter of the crisis.


    Watching this movie, I got very angry. The blood banks, for example, were more worried about money than lives. One of the best scenes in the movie is where Dr. Francis stands up at a meeting and screams at reps from the blood industry, "How many dead hemophiliacs do you need?" before they do something about it. (That was a reenactment of a real outburst, not a fictional event.) An end title tells us that "By the time President Reagan made his first speech on AIDS, 25,000 people had died." Between events like these and Gallo's blatant scientific misconduct, it's hard to avoid being incensed.

    The acting is excellent, especially Modine and Alda, who even look a little like the men they're playing. Modine brings an incredible amount of passion and frustration to Dr. Francis. I especially like McKellan's character, an older gay man who is not a stereotype. Several familiar character actors show up as supporting players, and some very famous faces (Steve Martin, Richard Gere, Phil Collins, Swoosie Kurtz, and Anjelica Huston) make cameo appearances.

    If you're looking for something light and fluffy, this is not the movie for you. If you want something that will make you think, with some fine acting and a realistic script, this is for you. (Watch this, then go read Shilts' book.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener!
    Having gotten poliomyelitis in 1953, I see comparisons between the two diseases. People with AIDS suffered prejudice and lack of information of how the disease is passed just like those who got polio. There was isolation and fear with both. Polio killed as did AIDS, but Polio was not necessarily a death sentence as was AIDS (at least at first). Polio children were often pitied,especially if they were crippled. But, much money was raised from the public sector by the National Foundation to pay for braces, operations, etc. The story of AIDS is as tragic as the disease itself. It is a gripping story that everyone should know. This movie shows clearly how it happened and why money was hard to get. It certainly kept my attention throughout. All the actors did a wonderful job with their respective roles. Even Alan Alda was convincing as Dr. Gallo, the researcher. (Alda was a polio survivor.) Lily Tomlin was wonderful as was Matthew Modine, and all the rest. My advise is not to watch this movie on the same day as you see Tom Hanks' "Philadelphia" (another great movie). At least for me, I can only take so much injustice in one day. I now want to read the book by Randy Shilts.

    4-0 out of 5 stars And the Band Played Good.
    'And the Band Played On' is an excellent film about the true story of the discovery of the AIDS virus from the late 1970s' into the 1980s'. It has an All-Star cast that bring delight to the screen. More interesting than 'Philadelphia'.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lies and lying liars who tell them!
    I actually got this from a blog from Dean's World (Dean is a liberal) who nailed the problem with this movie:

    "Reagan had an excellent record on gay rights issues--to the extent that anyone at that level of office in that day and age could be said to have such a record, anyway, since he had publicly supported gay rights measures and, while he did ally with some conservative Christian forces, never once backed any anti-gay legislation and was always personally gay-friendly. While it's true that there were things his administration could have done better about the early AIDS crisis, this is true for just about everyone in the 1980s--gay rights activists, local and national elected officials of both parties and at all levels of government--responded poorly. If any of you saw that execrable HBO movie And The Band Played On, you should be aware that it gave a horribly politically slanted accounting, but the book it was based on, And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts, was a much fairer and more damning book. Shilts would never have approved that attrocious movie. The book is must-reading, for Shilts (who was gay, lived in San Francisco, and himself eventually died of AIDS) documents in excruciating detail how local government officials, gay rights activists, judges, and career civil servants in many cases conspired to keep the plague from being recognized and to prevent government from even getting involved. Shilts was unsparing in his indictment of everyone at all levels and in both parties, and if he was sometimes harsh on the Reagan administration, he was usually even harsher with others, including gay rights activists he personally knew and who were responsible for preventing government from taking direct action to stop the plague in its tracks.

    It's great reading. And a good supplement, by the way, is David Horowitz' autobiography Radical Son, because in the last half of the book Horowitz talks about how he befriended Randy Shilts and saw himself how radical left-wing gay activists fought tooth and nail to prevent government from taking any action to stop the plague or even recognize that a plague was spreading. And how gay men who tried to act against it were often attacked as liars and traitors and sellouts to "the fundamentalists." It's powerful reading.

    Oh, and by the way, there is also a consistent rumor floating around parts of the gay community that the Reagan administration wanted to put AIDS victims into concentration camps. Just so you know, that too is a myth.

    It's remarkable what some people think they know that simply isn't true."

    5-0 out of 5 stars What about region 4 in Australia?
    I have just ordered this DVD movie thru Amazon. Unfortunately, in Australia, this movie is not available to purchase for private sale in either a DVD or VHS format. This is not the only movie that is unavailable down under, but was the first on my list to purchase thru Amazon. That says it all. ... Read more


    3. Making Love
    Director: Arthur Hiller
    list price: $29.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000006GDD
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 13728
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A movie that's--sadly!--still one-of-a-kind
    When it was released in 1982, MAKING LOVE was publicized as the first film from a major Hollywood studio to take an honest look at homosexuality. Today, even in our more tolerant social climate, the movie remains just about the only film from a major Hollywood studio to take an honest look at homosexuality. MAKING LOVE is a compassionate, sensitive examination of one man coming to discover, and accept, that he is gay.

    Zack (Michael Ontkean) and Claire (Kate Jackson) are a young, attractive and successful married couple; he is a physician and she is a television producer. They have just bought a new home and talk about having a child. But Zack begins to question his sexual identity and to close himself off from his wife. Then he meets Bart (Harry Hamlin), a sexually adventurous gay man who forces Zack to come to terms with his sexual feelings.

    Although MAKING LOVE is nearly twenty years old, the only things dated about the movie are the clothing and hairstyles. There have certainly been other Hollywood movies that deal with homosexuality (PHILADELPHIA, IN AND OUT, etc.). But most of these movies seem oddly hesitant to address difficult issues or deflect them by using humor. By contrast, MAKING LOVE presents with complete honesty a man learning to accept that he is gay, along with all of the conflicted feelings and painful choices this involves.

    Barry Sandler's script is outstanding. It employs a device that today has become an annoying cliche: characters sharing their inner feelings by directly addressing the camera. But in this film, the device really works, thanks to honest writing and performances.

    All three lead actors are excellent, giving us portraits of believable, imperfect human beings who nonetheless try to do their best with the situation that confronts them. A special word of praise must go to Kate Jackson. Certainly Jackson's TV work (CHARLIE'S ANGELS, SCARECROW AND MRS. KING) never gave her the chance to play such an intelligent, fully-rounded character. Jackson is excellent and in a few scenes is so thoroughly convincing that she breaks your heart.

    Arthur Hiller's direction is understated and eloquent. And Leonard Rosenman's musical score is superb. His score helps us to recognize the movie for what it is: a tender and bittersweet love story. For example, early on there is a scene in which Zack has a painful meeting with a cancer patient and, distraught over his inability to help her, goes cruising for a sexual partner. Rosenman's musical score helps us to see that Zack's act is not cheap or sensational but instead is an attempt by a lonely, confused man to find emotional connection.

    A movie of exceptional quality, MAKING LOVE should be much better known. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for an intellegent, compassionate presentation of the many emotional issues surrounding coming to acceptance of homosexuality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Getting to the HEART of the matter!
    To say this film is still groundbreaking would be a stretch, but it still hits home. In 1982, theater goers were either exiting quickly or more wisely, staying to marvel at this film's honesty and heart and its winning performances.

    Kate Jackson, Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin turn in a powerhouse effort in this Authur Hiller film about a career successful married couple, Claire and Zack Elliot (Jackson and Ontkean) who must face the reality that their union is not all it seems. After eight years of marriage, Zack's repressed homosexuality begins to surface. Enter handsome writer Bart Mcguire (Hamlin), who innocently meets Zack in the ordinary circumstance of a doctor's visit. Bart has been around the gay scene for some time, and is quite happy in his world of one night stands and conquests....or is he?

    How all this unfolds is great viewing. "Making Love" has it's soap opera moments and is somewhat dated, but the performances and overall writing and direction overcome these slight flaws. Handsome Ontkean is dead on as the confused yet well intentioned Zack. Whatever spoken or written about this film hurting Ontkean's career is trivial, this remains his best work to date. Hamlin is almost distracting in a role that was obviously well researched complete with subtle mannerisms. Kate Jackson turns in one of her best yet tender performances in a film that remains a cornerstone in gay cinema.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WHERE'S THE DVD???
    This movie has always held a special place in my collection. It reminds me of growing up and coming to terms with life. The performances of Kate Jackson, Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin and Wendy Hiller are emotionally charged. Some may say it's an outdated film, but it never fails to bring a tear to my eye when the main characters come to accept their past and how their lives have evolved. I'll never forget seeing it at the theater.
    I remember when Zack and Bart kissed, some girl in the audience
    laughed out loud. For me, it was a very touching moment and that laughter really bothered me at the time. Thankfully, people are more accepting of gay relationships now.
    I am hoping that the studios will provide this gem on DVD soon.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Honey, I'm Gay
    A silly soap opera about a young doctor, happily married to a beautiful woman who discovers that he's gay. The homosexual theme is handled gingerly and with sympathy, but the story is overly sentimental and comes off as trite and naive. The happy ending fails to touch the heart.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A worthy early effort
    When released in 1982, director Arthur Hiller's "Making Love" was a bold venture for its time and critcally panned, probably more for its risky content than its acting. Between her TV gigs as one of Charlie's angels and Mrs. King to a Scarecrow, veteran actress Kate Jackson said she would have offered to pay for the role of a TV executive married to a doctor, played by former "Rookies" co-star Michael Ontkean. But with his wife so tied up with her work, husband Zak begins to explore a long-buried curiosity about a same-sex encounter. He finds it in studly writer Harry Hamlin, then a new face on the acting horizon. With his same-sex desires and preference unleashed, Zak has to come clean with wife Kate, and the climactic scene in which Zak confesses his homosexuality is carried with appropriate emotional shock by both Jackson and Ontkean. By today's standards, the film may seem dated and irrelevant, but it was hardly so at the time. A good script is bolstered by good acting and singer Roberta Flack's haunting theme song that was a chart-buster in '82. Beyond the film's obvious topic, it also renders a subtle lesson in the need for honesty. ... Read more


    4. Norman Is That You?
    Director: George Schlatter
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792839951
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 10553
    Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Talk about dated: This limp 1976 comedy, based on a flop Broadway play, deals with a pair of middle-aged African-American parents (Redd Foxx and Pearl Bailey), who are aghast to discover that their window-dresser son (Michael Warren) is gay and are ready to disown him for it. Though it's still a viable subject, it's treated here with a smirky sense that homosexuality is some kind of dirty joke. What's interesting is that, years later, the most sympathetic character is the son's stereotypically swishy boyfriend (Dennis Dugan). Shot on video and transferred to film, the movie is most noteworthy for the opportunity to see the late Pearl Bailey (if only in the final 20 minutes) and to watch the late Redd Foxx (in reality a hilariously filthy stand-up) in a sterilized PG setting. Foxx, at the height of his Sanford and Son fame when this was made, has an exquisite sense of timing and mock outrage; he actually puts some bite into the toothless jokes.--Marshall Fine ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Atrocious
    When Ben (Red Foxx) discovers his wife Beatrice (Pearl Bailey) has run off with his own brother, he rushes to his son Norman (Michael Warren) to unload his tale of woe--only to discover that Norman has a secret lover: the effeminate Garson (Dennis Dugan.) Needless to say, Ben does not take it well, and numerous complications follow--including Ben's attempt to get Norman over being homosexual by fixing him up with a hooker (Tammy Dobson.) Unfortunately, this description of the movie sounds a great deal more entertaining than the movie itself.

    Originally written for the theatre by Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick, NORMAN... IS THAT YOU? was an absolute disaster on the New York stage. To give the play its due, I actually saw it staged in the 1970s as a commuity theatre production--and while no one would accuse it of being anything other than a shallow farce, the cast played so broadly and in such drop-dead manner that it proved quite amusing. It is a pity the cast of this film didn't do the same. This is an atrociously performed motion picture. Red Foxx, one of the most hilarious comics of the 20th century, is about as funny here as yesterday's wash, Michael Warren (who later appeared on the television series HILL STREET BLUES to much better effect) competes with Foxx to see who can give the worst performance, and Pearl Bailey is not far behind; truth be told, only Dennis Duggan, Tammy Dobson, and a cameo by Wayland Flowers have any spark--and sadly, that is only in comparison with the rest of the cast.

    Not only is the film badly performed, it looks bad. According to film lore, this was the first big screen effort to be filmed in videotape, which was then transfered to celluloid for project purposes--and believe me, it shows. The film has the look of a bad 1970s sitcom right down to the painted skyline seen through the windows of Norman and Garson's apartment. Some films are so bad that they become funny, but NORMAN... IS THAT YOU? isn't one of them. I can sum up my reaction to this film in two words: miss it. Don't buy it, don't rent it, don't touch it with a ten foot pole. Just back away slowly and then run like the blazes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a trip out film
    this film is a trip.Redd Foxx&Pearl Bailey are good together.this film deals with issues head on.it's a funny film.it was cool seeing Tamara Dobson in it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "One out of ten..."
    Redd Fox has been left by his wife (Pearl Bailey) for his brother. Basically the plot but a whole lot more. Enter the sudden knowledge that his son has a nelly white lover (who cooks a mean prune dish), a WILD neighbor who is none other than Wayland Flowers and MADAME! A hooker dressed like Sheena of the jungle and some funny performances by the leads...and you have a cute movie! One of the few movies that shouldn't offend, (so what if the son is a window dresser? ) Besides..Wayland Flowers does part of his stage act with Madame!

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent comedy timing
    Redd Foxx portrays stereotyped father who discovers his son is gay. He is not only distraught over his son being gay but the fact that his live in lover is white. Superior comedy timing and Pearl Baileys' interaction with Redd Foxx is terrific.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Camp to the max
    Kudos to Redd Foxx for taking this tired play and making it into a delightful little movie. Despite being a low budget production and the acting being a tad choppy, the story of the gay black son's coming out is handled with utter sensitivity. Norman's other half is a total scream. Don't miss the scene with the hooker. Hilarious! ... Read more


    5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - The 25th Anniversary Edition
    Director: Jim Sharman
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004U8PA
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1657
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (291)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 'The Rocky Horror Show' Movie
    There is one reason why everyone should see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show": it is the best cult film ever made. There are also three reasons why everyone should want to watch it: 1) It is one of the only 'R' rated musicals in existence. 2) It has strong science-fiction overtones. 3) It is very funny. The movie starts Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon (before they were stars) as the recently engaged Brad and Janet. However, they are upstaged in nearly every scene by Tim Curry who plays Frank N. Furter, the mad doctor. The cast delightfully performs many memorable songs including "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and, of course, the "Time Warp". To fully enjoy RHPS, one must not be closed minded or the picture could prove to be quite offensive. Don't think it's gratuitously violent- it isn't. Merely, the situations the characters find themselves in could shock or appall overly sensitive viewers. If you think you won't enjoy RHPS, going to a midnight screening might be your best bet. The live audience participation will guarantee you a good time, despite your opinion of the actual film. So overall, RHPS is quite a good adaptation of Richard O'Brien's original concept, which always honors its roots on the stage.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DVD = Perfect format to truly experience "Rocky" at home
    I loved going to "Rocky Horror" when I was in college, but watching on home video just wasn't the same. I'm probably committing heresy but there's a reason why this sci-fi, horror, B-movie satire, rock musical didn't really make it big until theaters started showing it as a midnight movie and fans started attending in costume and talking back to the screen. The 25th anniversary DVD, with several audience participation options, really is the next best thing to being there.

    For the uninitiated, "Rocky Horror" tells the story of two clean-cut American youths, uptight Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick of "Spin City") and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon of "Dead Man Walking") whose car breaks down on a dark, deserted road in the middle of a storm--the classic beginning to many horror movies--and who seek help at a nearby castle. Castles, as Rocky fans know, don't have phones! What this castle has instead is a cross-dressing mad scientist Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry, in perhaps his finest performance), two very creepy servants, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien, who wrote the musical) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and various other hangers-on, including lovers Columbia (Little Nell) and biker Eddie (Meat Loaf). Brad and Janet walk in on a party celebrating the creation of Frank-N-Furter's muscle-bound boy-toy "Rocky." Bed-hopping chaos soon ensues, until the servants reveal their true identities and take control.

    Punctuating this wacky plot are some of the wildest rock-musical songs ever written. In addition to the classic "Time Warp," there's O'Brien's salute to cult-classic B-movies, "Science Fiction Double Feature," Meat Loaf's "Hot Patootie," and Sarandon ode to sexual self-discovery, "Toucha Toucha Touch Me!"

    So much for the "Rocky virgin" portion of the review... What makes the DVD so exceptional is the chance to experience "Rocky Horror" at home nearly like you would in the theater. The DVD has the option of turning on the audience screen comments as well as another option for viewing members of the Rocky Horror Fan Club performing select scenes before returning to the main movie. For those less familiar with audience participation, the DVD can prompt when to throw toast, toilet paper, rice, etc., light a match, put your newspaper on your head, etc.

    The second disc contains fascinating interviews with cast members, where fans can find out about their reaction to starring in this cult classic. Meat Loaf's description of not realizing what "Rocky Horror" was going to be about and running out of the theater when Tim Curry entered wearing fishnet stockings, spiked heels, a merry widow, and a leather jacket and singing "Sweet Transvestite" is hysterical. Patricia Quinn talks about how her fondness for the opening song, "Science Fiction Double Feature" made her want to take the role even though she hadn't read the rest of the script. What? Don't remember Quinn singing that number? In the stage versions she did, but the song got reassigned in the film version--and Quinn makes her feelings about that QUITE clear. Sarandon makes the interesting observation that "Rocky Horror" probably kept a lot of art house theaters in business over the years, since they could count on good revenue from the midnight movie, even if the latest regular-hours offering flopped. In Bostwick's interview, however, the actor sounds a bit like William Shatner giving his anti-Trekkie diatribe on "Saturday Night Live."

    The only disappointments on the DVD are that the outtakes really aren't that interesting and actor bios aren't provided. I would have liked to see what else the "minor" cast members did after Rocky, but that information is limited to a few lines in the companion booklet. Also, some of the audience-participation comments are nearly impossible to understand because fans are talking over each other. But then that's part of the modern-day theater experience. Even Sarandon noted in her interview that talking back to the screen has gone from the more unison catechism approach to a loud free-for-all.

    What seemed so risqué and shocking a few decades ago seems much more innocent today, but it was great when it all began and it's still great! If you've never ventured into the theater to experience "Rocky Horror," this is the best way to experience it at home.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing film.
    This is a very outrageous movie. The rock is the background to tell us a horror movie but also spiced with sex , ransvestism and above all a splendid tribute to the movies specially King Kong .
    One couple strands in an old house full of weirdos . This movie (here between you and me)could have inspired for Tim Burton in Beetle juice .
    In this decade there were great visuals films too . Sherman built a magnificent story absolutely free , intelligent and sarcastic, irreverent and bitter . You might state that Fellini's influence (dressed of english manners and clothes) is present all along the film .
    Inmediatly after its release this one acquired the status of cult movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The original is still the best!
    Don't bother with the play, or the music from the play. The original is still the best. Nobody can fill the shoes of Sarandon, Curry, etc. They originated the roles and have been associated with them for far too long for anyone else to come in try to change them so many years later and attempt to redo them. Stay with the best.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Those Gold Shorts!
    Ahhhhh...Rocky had such a lovely outline showing in his gold lame shorts. ... Read more


    6. Female Perversions
    Director: Susan Streitfeld
    list price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573623660
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 7975
    Average Customer Review: 3.43 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars COVERING NEW TERRITORY
    'Female Perversions' is a difficult film to enjoy. It's confronting, cold, claustrophobic and on the whole disconcerting. But if you're the kind of viewer who enjoys being challenged, and appreciates films that don't pander to the lowest common denominator, then you'll love this. At last a film that reveals how patriarchy operates! Not simply by pitting women against men, but by pitting women against each other. Tough questions of intimacy between women are raised and explored in all sorts of ways: between sisters, between lovers, between a mother and a daughter.

    The presence of Tilda Swinton in any film is enough of a recommendation for me - if you're not already a fan, then this could be the film to convert you. She manages to guide the viewer into some pretty dark territory - oftentimes very surreal - but it's a compassionate and uncompromising performance.

    I wouldn't say this film is for everyone, nor does it qualify as 'light entertainment'. But I do think this is an important film that both men and women will appreciate. But be warned, if ever a film had a adult themes, it's this one: the adult world is revealed in all its ambivalent glory here, so keep this vid for after the kids have gone to bed.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Lame
    Every once in awhile I like a little dose of film noir. Throw in a dark setting with some creepy characters and I'm good to go. But FEMALE PERVERSIONS fell short of the genre: it was just plain weird. Let's face it, if I wish to be confronted by surreal, one-dimensional people with absolutely no clue I can go to a professional wrestling match. Or go visit my attorney, take your pick. Yet this flick is even more meaningless than Dewey, Cheatum & Howe (my lawyer's firm), and its subsequent perversions are more demeaning than they are perverted.

    What's with the lead character in this movie? Tilda Swinton, a most fragile-looking beauty, is miscast in the lead role as a successful, aggressive attorney up for a judgeship by the Governor. She looks like a porcelain doll, and as we get to know her we find she's as unstable as the book shelf I put up the other day in my living room. She's plagued by some demented fantasies. . .or illusions. . .that supposedly have been repressed since her childhood, and for whatever reason she's into razor blades. Her boyfriend gets miffed so she has an affair with a woman. Why? She likes M&M candy. Why? Her fantasies include an overweight woman covered in mud. Why? She sleeps in a hammock. Why? She takes a bath with her sister. Why? She drives a really ugly Turbo converter. Why, oh why?

    Don't ask me. I don't know. Or care. Incidentally, Amy Madigan and Frances Fisher head a supporting cast of equally troubled souls. If there is some feminist symbolism to be culled from FEMALE PERVERSIONS it's lost on me; all I saw was a montage of mumbo jumbo. So what to do about my appetite for film noir? Ah, yes: a Three Stooges movie. That should do it.
    --D. Mikels

    1-0 out of 5 stars "Perversions are never what they seem to be."
    In the film "Female Perversions" Eve Stephens (Tilda Swinton) is a young, ambitious lawyer. She's hoping for a judgeship, when her private life turns sour. Eve's resentful sister (Amy Madigan) is picked up on shoplifting charges, and Eve's boyfriend is making grumbling noises. Under the pressure, Eve begins to hear voices and experience debasing fantasies.

    Tilda Swinton is an interesting actress. Her facial features have a blank androgynous look, and she can handle extremely challenging roles ("Orlando", for example). At the beginning of the film, Swinton seems almost unrecognizable. Her glam looks fade as the film wears on, and this is both appropriate and interesting.

    I have this nagging suspicion that there's supposed to be a deeper meaning to this film. A quote from psychoanalyst, Louise Kaplan appears across the screen at the beginning, and less-than-subtle phrases appear without rhyme or reason during the film (on Eve's pillow and on a bench). These phrases hint at some message about the roles women are forced to accept in society, and, indeed, that is the premise of Kaplan's book "Female Perversions"). However, the message, if there ever was one, is buried deeply in this film. The film seems to play with idea of being part soft porn, and many of the scenes were gratuitous, hideous, and grotesque. All of this titillation weighs the film down and perverts the plot. Bizarre fantasy sequences are pervasive and annoying. If you want to spend two hours watching neurotic, stunted, and rather uninteresting characters abuse themselves and each other (peppered with the occasional naughty scene involving fancy lingerie), then perhaps this film is not entirely without purpose. I, for one, am a Philistine in this instance and loathed the film. I would recommend avoiding this pretentious stinker at all costs--displacedhuman

    4-0 out of 5 stars Female Perversions
    At times it was very hard to follow, but I believe that is actually what the writer intended. It was entertaining and of good quality. Not really my cup of tea. I like a more upbeat storyline.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Spend your time with a good film -- this isn't it
    This self-important piece of cinematic twaddle achingly strives for artiness. Instead, it achieves only confusion and irrelevance.

    "Female Perversions" would make an excellent study for a cinematography class about how NOT to make a film. It was poorly conceived, poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed and poorly edited. Even the audio engineer didn't get it right: the audio track is low level and sometimes muffled.

    The angst that oozes from the lead character rides like a thick, noxious fog through the film. Plot situations are never fully explained or developed. The disjointed dialogue often stops and starts seemingly at will. The sex scenes are never fully consummated and are as interesting as Dr. Ruth on Valium.

    Spend your money on something more meaningingful and entertaining than this dog. ... Read more


    7. Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink)
    Director: Alain Berliner
    list price: $21.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767803337
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 9286
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    One of the sweetest films to emerge from Europe in the 1990s, Alain Berliner's Ma Vie en Rose is the story of an innocent little boy, Ludovic (played with noncloying directness by Georges Du Fresne), who wants to be a girl. Convinced that he's the product of misplaced chromosomes (he imagines the mix-up in one of many delightful daydream sequences), he sets about righting the mistake by wearing dresses and high heels and experimenting with lipstick and makeup. The otherwise friendly suburban neighborhood becomes horrified by the gender confusion, though tellingly the cruelest blows come not from the teasing classmates but intolerant adults: one scene recalls the torch-and-pitchfork angry villagers from a Frankenstein movie. Ludo tries hard to be butch, but he can't deny his nature, especially when he meets a kindred spirit: a little girl who gladly trades her dress for his pants and shirt. This bittersweet mix of innocent fantasy and childhood cruelty has its moments of sadness and crushing misunderstandings, but the overall tone is loving, filled with tenderness and culminating in acceptance and togetherness. As the family stumbles and struggles to come to terms with Ludo, they find something special within him, an innocent conviction so powerful and pure that it's infectious. Ludo may not grow up to become a girl as he hopes, but his belief is so strong it's hard to deny him the possibility. This films reminds us that, to a child, anything is possible. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

    Reviews (90)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A small gem
    A heartwarming comedy. The story of a boy age 7, who is confused as to whether he is a boy or a girl. He has a penchant for wearing his sister's dresses and playing with dolls. The boy, played by George Du Fresne is very endearing and radiates innocence, which remains despite hostility towards him from other members of his community due to his unusual dressing habits. The film has a similar type of charm to another French film 'Amelie', The lead characters in both films are quintessentially good and kind. Hollywood rarely, if ever makes films like this. When attempts are made they usually fall into the trap of too much sentimentality, too little understanding of the outsider, the oddball and the quirky.

    The film is subtitled, but there is something poetic about the French language and the viewer assimilates the background dialogue as if by osmosis. In fact I could probably watch this without subtitles, despite understanding very little French, simply because the scenes and characters are so visually captivating. The film is topical as well, with the rise of the far right in France comparable to the bigotry that the main character faces from his community, due to their strict conservative values.

    ( review by Melchizedeck )

    5-0 out of 5 stars Adverse sexuality in society (Ma Vie en Rose)
    Ma Vie en Rose is a provocative film about a young boy that urns to be a girl and the struggle that he and his family go through in order for him to find himself.

    The young boy, Ludovic, feels so strong that he is a girl that he goes to extreme lengths to prove his sincerity. He wears dresses, make up, and watches a show that is equivalent to America's Barbie. He prefers to play with dolls than army men and dances over playing sports. Though Ludovic is anatomically male, everything he does is expressed as female. He even tries to kiss another boy. This action does not make him gay. Because he believes so sincerely that he is a girl, all of his actions seem normal to him.

    The neighbors have a different idea of what Ludovic is. They call him "bent" and ban him from their homes and families. At first, Ludovic's parents are accepting and allow his behavior, but as it intensifies, they begin to worry and send Ludovic to a psychologist, who can offer little help.

    Ludovic then goes to stay with his grandmother, the only person that accepts him for him. His parents are forced to move to another town after Ludovic's father loses his job, most likely because of Ludovic's behavior. After this move, his parents start to try and accept Luovic, but with little results and Ludovic starts to try and act more like a boy. Things seem to be going well, until a neighborhood girl has a costume party and forces Ludovic to switch costumes with her. Ludovic's mother flips out and tries to hurt him. When she is pulled off of him, she wanders the streets until she sees a 'Barbie' billboard. The billboard helps to show her what Ludovic is really like, a sweet, confusioned little boy looking for guidance, and she holds him for the first time since the problems began.

    These reactions to adversity, in terms of sexuality, are faced regularly by a wide range of people. The film tries to portray them to the extreme, and does it well, making this movie on the edge of new generation of film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
    I have never seen a more beautiful and innocent movie. Everything is realistically displayed through the eyes of a 7 year old boy, Ludovic. He believes himself to be a "girlboy" because god accidentally dropped his X chromosome into the trash which ultimately turned Ludovic into a boy. The movie is heartwrenching, but remains completely innocent. The whole atmosphere is innocense. I cried so hard while watching the movie. As the film progresses, Ludovic becomes less himself, choosing things based on other people's judgements than his own. He begins to become more timid, introverted, and tortured. His spirit is killed by everyone around him, especially his mother who supported him in the beginning. His mom cuts his hair; an asset that made him feel more feminine, making him vulnerable. The most painful scene to watch was when Ludovic went down the stairs to go outside due to the havoc his sister and brothers were causing. His mother sneered at him and asked "Where are you going?" ludovic answers that he is going outside to take a walk because his siblings are too noisy. His mother glares at him and says without any heart "It's not our fault we had to move" referring to the fact that Ludovic's "girlboy" tendencies made the neighborhood turn on the family. Ludovic stares at his mother for a second, then nods gently and leaves. His sadness really resonates. Ludovic is all alone, and no one cares. His brothers allow him to be beat up in his presence by the soccer team. His mother continually bashes him verbally saying that he ruined everyone's lives, and that everything negative was his fault. it's disgusting what society can do to such an innocent, loving boy. But it's real, and that's what is sick about the world.

    i recommend this movie to everyone. you'll love it. this is the environment we let people survive in. it's disgusting how much negativity is pushed upon the fragile shoulders of little 7 year old Ludovic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ma Vie En Rose
    What do you call a girl who would rather play sports than color? What about a girl who prefers shorts to dresses? Some might answer "normal" while others will answer "a tomboy." Nevertheless, tomboys are a common phenomenom who are fortunate enough to have no social stigmas attached to them. Find a boy who prefers to dance and wear dresses, however, and you are dealing with a sick child with homosexual tendencies. The double standard is both apparent and completely unfair. Ma Vie En Rose examines the role of sexual stereotypes in today's culture while showing how certain elements in society encourage conformity and inhibit diversity.

    Seven year-old Ludovic is a boy who wants to be a girl. He likes to wear dresses and talks of marrying another young boy by the name of Jerome. Ludovic's family, who have recently moved into a new neighborhood, are embarassed by Ludovic's actions and struggle to suppress his transexual yearnings. Though Ludovic's actions are surprising to viewers, it is still more interesting to examine the panopticon his family is part of. Ludovic's father, Pierre, does not know how to best cope with his son's tendencies. Ludovic's sometimes embarassing displays of femininity threaten to derail his father's career, as Jerome happens to be Pierre's employers son (yikes!).

    Those who assume that Ludovic is gay have missed the point of this film entirely. Sexuality isn't even an issue, especially at Ludovic's age. Ma Vie En Rose isn't concerned with Ludovic's eventual sexual orientation. The film is careful to keep its focus within childhood. Ludovic likes to wear dresses and makeup. He associates these things as the traits of women, and for this reason, feels he needs to marry Jerome. In an idealistic world, Ludovic would be able to enjoy these things without giving up on his masculinity. In the real world, however, Ludovic must unconsciously choose sides. He chooses the "feminine" because the restrictions of socialization give him no other option. This film is a bright (so bright in its use of color, it would make Barbie sick) and intelligent film which instead of asking why, asks why not?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Plaintive and dishearteningly honest
    The representation of what is fantasy versus "real life" in this film serves to highlight the perception of how the transgendered main character, named Ludovic, comes to clash with the Parisian perception of what it is to be "bent." In doing so, Ludo brings his adoration of the barbie-esque Pam, his family, his friendship with neighbor children to clash with their societal vision of how gendered children should act. Some of his attempts to understand how a boy or girl should act play out as a comedy of errors with tragic results, have a significant negative impact on Ludo's life.

    This film orchestrates commentary on the way in which the genders are impressed upon children via the media and cultural indoctrination; the way in which the female is surveyed by the masculine decision makers and how women affect their world through presence and men affect the world through action (surveyors/surveyed).

    In summary, this is a difficult picture to watch without internalizing the strife the transgendered child evokes, and is a surefire way to heat up some discussion on the topic. ... Read more


    8. M Butterfly
    Director: David Cronenberg
    list price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303031897
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 5395
    Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Jeremy Irons gives another superb and underrated performance in M Butterfly, an elegant adaptation of the Broadway hit by playwrightDavid Henry Hwang. Irons plays a French diplomat in China in 1964 whofalls in love with a star of the Beijing Opera, not realizing that theentrancing performer holds secrets that will ruin his life--that thesinger is a spy for the Communist government is only the beginning of thediplomat's troubles. Though M Butterfly may seem like a departurefor director David Cronenberg (best known for horror and science fictionflicks like The Fly and Scanners), the themes of desireand self-deception fit comfortably into his oeuvre, alongside hisadaptations of difficult novels like Naked Lunch and Crash.M Butterfly, like the more popular movie The Crying Game, isa cunning examination of love and denial. Also featuring John Lone (TheLast Emperor). --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tragic and sympathetic characters caught up in history
    This 1993 film is based on the true story of French diplomat, Rene Gallimard, who carried on an affair for 18 years with Chinese opera singer Song Liling. Later, he was arrested when it was discovered he was passing diplomatic secrets to the Chinese government through his lover. However, there is a twist. Song Liling was actually a man, not a woman, and supposedly kept this fact from Gallimard through all this time.

    Jeremy Irons is cast as Rene Gallimard. John Lone, who was actually trained in the Beijing opera and who played the title role in The Last Emperor, is cast as Song Liling. He is not a convincing female but I feel this was the director's intent. The story is, after all, about Gallimard's blind obsession in his desire for the perfect woman. Both Irons' and Lone's performances are magnificent. Both are tragic and sympathetic characters caught up in history.

    The theme is also about the role of men and women as well as Communist China and the cultural revolution. Great cinematography and setting brings us to the heart of China which is going through its growing pains. Deception and betrayal are everywhere, not just between the two leading characters involved in the romance.

    I was unprepared to like the video as much as I did. It did not do well at the box office, I knew the theme in advance and felt it would strain my belief system. However, I was swept away in the story and the excellent performances and had no trouble overlooking its flaws. Of course the author took dramatic license and created a ending that played like an opera, but who is to blame him; the story itself just cried out for theatrics.

    Recommended as an interesting departure from the ordinary.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg and Irons: Masterful
    A bit of a departure for horror/sci-fi director David Cronenberg, but nonetheless one of his best films. Jeremy Irons plays Rene Gallimard, an accountant for the French Embassy in Beijing, who becomes infatuated with a Chinese diva (Song Liling), played by John Lone. After a passionate and scandalous affair, Song leaves Beijing, supposedly pregnant with Gallimard's child. Years later when he is arrested for espionage, Gallimard is forced to confront the fact that not only was his lover a spy for the Chinese ministry, but a man. Some people find John Lone's inability to completely pass as a woman problematic, but as Cronenberg explains: "I didn't want an unknown who was incredibly female and almost undetectable. I wanted a man. When Gallimard and Song are kissing I wanted it to be two men. I wanted the audience to feel that... M. Butterfly for me is about transformation.." For me, it's a brilliant exploration of the nature of curiousity and desire that necessarily ends tragically. The devastating notion that you can give up your entire life for something that is not true, that it's possible to fall in love with an idea, an image, a masquerade. Cronenberg abounds in his insights to imperialism, gender performance and the human capcity for transformation. Still, above all is the emotional intensity of this film, his best (in that regard) to date. Beautiful cinematography and exquisite acting, earns five stars for the closing scene alone. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
    I don't think anyone could have done justice to writing the screenplay to M Butterfly (based on David Henry Hwang's stage play) than Hwang himself. While it is a bit of a departure from the 1988 play based on the true story of a French diplomat who falls in love with a Chinese opera singer and the disastrous outcome of their affair, as a film it could not have been done otherwise.

    Jeremy Irons, a wonderful actor no matter what role he plays, makes for an astounding Rene Gallimard. Less sarcastic than John Lithgow, who created the role on Broadway, Irons gives new depth and intensity to the frustrated, naive accountant. The dramatic depth to John Lone's Song Liling is equal to Irons and equal in departure from BD Wong's somewhat giggly Broadway portrayal of the Chinese diva.

    A great deal of "s" words can be used to describe David Cronenberg's film, the top of that list including subtle and sexy. The tone is set, mostly, by the score--which includes traditional-sounding Chinese music and variations of Puccini's Madame Butterfly (especially the recurring theme of "Un Bel Di")--and the scenery (shot in the Far East and Budapest). The ubiquitous soft red and gold tones add to the seductive, nearly erotic edge of the film, all of which culminate at the end.

    I don't want to give any of it away, mainly because when I saw the movie I had already read and seen the play, and there is so much more meaning to realize the end with Rene, but I will say that it is moving to the point of tears. Not necessarily because of the outcome, but more in how the actors play it and how the director has realized it. If you have ANY interest in purchasing this film (especially if you have any experience with Hwang's stage play), by all means buy it. It won't disappoint.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who's French??
    Yet another spectacular tale of love and maddness with a Freudian twist by the great David Cronenberg. There are some slight flaws with the film such as a cast portraying French people, none of which sporting French accents. But I suppose thats better than trying to do a French accent and it being inconsistant. All-in-all though, a really great, really strange (though not as strange as some of his other work) surprisingly poetic movie. Definately a must see for fans of Cronenberg and Jeremy Irons alike.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Moving
    Considering that it was a Cronenberg movie, I found it surprisingly normal and accessible. I also found it thoroughly engrossing and much more emotionally satisfying than I's expected, given some of the reviews. Jeremy Irons gave his usual pitch-perfect performance; perhaps this film was something of a warm-up for his playing Humbert Humbert in the similarly themed Lolita. However, I was blown away even more by John Lone. He wasn't as convincing as a woman as he might have been, but that really wasn't the point, and when you see his transformation to his true persona at the end of the film, the sheer contrast, and the conviction to both the performances, should prove just how talented he is.
    Overall, I found an unexpected treasure here; what from the box could have been a overwraught weepy sex-drama was actually intelligent, emotionally truthful, and well made. ... Read more


    9. Common Ground
    Director: Donna Deitch
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000056HQR
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3555
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    In Common Ground director Donna Deitch (Desert Hearts) uses three stories to explore attitudes toward homosexuality in the fictional small town of Homer, Connecticut, over a period of almost half a century. "A Friend of Dorothy's" tells the story of a girl who returns to Homer in 1954 after leaving the Navy.When it emerges that she was discharged after being arrested in a gay bar, she is ostracized by everyone except the owner of a local diner, a woman who has her own reasons for wanting to help Dorothy to escape. "M. Roberts" is set in 1974, when a gay teacher (Steven Weber) has to decide whether to jeopardize his career in order to help a troubled pupil who has been targeted by homophobic bullies. Finally, in present-day Homer, "Andy & Amos" follows the preparations for a gay wedding. While protesters gather on the town commons, Amos's father (Ed Asner) has to choose between long-held prejudices and his love for his son. Thanks to a Harvey Fierstein script that combines sexual politics with humor and believable characters, this is the most successful part of Common Ground. Ed Asner's gradual realization that his son's monogamous, long-term gay relationship is more conventional than most heterosexual marriages is deftly handled, achieving a balance between message and drama that the other stories lack.

    Despite the credentials of their authors (playwrights Paula Vogel and Terrence McNally) the first two segments feel more like lectures than stories. Their impact is weakened by clumsy dialogue (Dorothy's mother actually says, "I have no daughter") and stereotypical characters. The film's message is an important one: the road to equality is built upon the struggles and sacrifices of past generations. Unfortunately Common Ground is too uneven to deliver that message with the force it deserves. --Simon Leake ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lived this life
    As an openly gay man who was routinely beaten in high school, served for eight years in the Air Force and has enjoyed a wonderful committed relationship for sixteen years - this movie rang totally true.

    The kids today have no comprehension of what we suffered and how those who came before us suffered. They can't even being to comprehend that being gay once meant prison, commitment to mental institutions, being outcast, unemployable, and being open to blackmail. Our lives were on the fringe and police abuse and exploitation were the suffrance.

    In the 1950's it was routine to have to pay off police - who could arrest you at any time. Vice cops routinely patrolled streets and areas where gays frequented, looking to make an arrest - on the basis of a glance held too long. Usually, the arrests meant severe beatings. The arrests usually mean the loss of a job, losing your apartment and losing your family.

    This film does a good job of laying out how underground we had to be in order to survive - being a Friend of Dorothy's meant a hell of alot more, just to survive. It was in many respects our underground railroad.

    Our freedoms didn't come because the hostile elements in society gave up. We have them today because every generation made the world a little bit more tolerant. Every generation pushed a little bit harder. Every generation suffered so we would have it better.

    For our straight friends, this is a testament to their willingness to help us change the world and to embrace civil rights for all. Above all else, this film is a valentine and a caution to all of us that our current civil rights can be upended and we can return to the world of the 1950's.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A good collection of stories betrayed by bad filmaking
    I hate to have to disagree with so many positive reviews, but I really couldn't stand this movie. If Jonathan Taylor Thomas, my personal crush, weren't in it, I'd have shut it off after the first twenty minutes. The script is awful, with scenes lending more to groans than tears, and the whole thing is just awfully trite. There is no strong message, no interesting metaphors, no aesthetically pleasing filmography...it's just a really long, really boring excuse to say "we're here, we're queer, and we're oppressed!"

    But if you, like me, enjoy drooling over Jonathan, then just fastforward through the first 45 minutes and you'll be all set. It's awfully frustrating, though, to see him portray a gay character when he's not, declaredly, gay. I can only dream!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it, loved it, loved it.
    Great film.

    However, I couldn't help but notice what an UGLY OLD HAG Margot Kidder has turned into! YIKES! I could hardly stand to look at her. LMAO

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Timely
    Unforunately, this video is still very relavent today. Contrary to Mr. Diamond's comments - LGBTQ youth are still beaten and murdered today and are four times more likely than their straight peers to commit suicide (Mass. Youth Behavior 2000). I was harassed severely in high school and had to transfer due to physical threats. To say that youth today do not know what it was like is just plain wrong. As an active member of several queer youth organizations trust me, we know and we are grateful. But we have our own issues that maybe you are ignoring Mr. Diamond.

    This movie is moving, and hey, JTT IS HOT!

    Mark Snyder
    20 yrs old.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
    I felt this film was very well made and acted. The stories are powerful and informitive. I would buy it again if I didn't already own it. A fantastic look at the change of acceptance over about 40 years in one small town. Lots of exceptional actors doing exceptional acting. This will entertain and can be used as a learning tool that is tactful and otherwise done in very good taste. ... Read more


    10. The Night of the Iguana
    Director: John Huston
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301977769
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4983
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (25)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Stark yet poetic rendering of Williams' last masterpiece
    This is arguably the last of Williams' great plays. On Broadway Bette Davis essayed the role given to a gusty, gutsy Ava Gardner in the film- a role Bette Midler would be ripe for today. The day scenes are shot quite starkly, grainily, realistically. The night scenes are shot in a luminous/poetic style. John Huston's direction contrasts these characters' realities with their dreams - the essence of Williams' writing. Burton is excellent as is Gardner, but the finest work is that of Deborah Kerr in her last great performance as Hannah Jelkes, a woman who has put her own life aside to aid her dying grandfather, "the world's oldest living poet," in completing his last opus. Her scenes with Burton and Gardner are exquisite.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Totally Excellent !!
    Great play ... Great acting ... Great direction ... although nobody won Oscars. Who cares? John Huston wisely filmed this in stark black and white reflecting its somber tone. Burton gives the performance of lifetime as Shannon at the end of his rope, and Kerr is fantastic, as always, imbuing a tender role with even more humanity. T. Williams' play, one of the best from America's best playwright, has everything. Conflict, strong characterization, wisdom, and of course humor. Some of the coarseness of the play has been excised (Shannon's), thus making him a more sympathetic character, but this does not hurt the movie. Huston sticks pretty much to the actual play, except for the ending, which was not in the play. However, this does not really hurt the film. Anyway, buy this film and enjoy it again and again. Your life will be richer for it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WAY Behind Schedule
    THIS MOVIE IS SO BEAUTIFULLY FILMED IN BLACK AND WHITE, IT LITERALLY CRIES OUT FOR A CRISP, CLEAN, SHARP DVD TRANSFER. LESSER MOVIES ARE ALREADY OUT ON DVD, WHILE THIS ONE SEEMS CONDEMNED TO LANGUISH IN THE ETERNAL MURKINESS OF VHS....A VIEWING EXPERIENCE TANTAMOUNT TO DRINKING DON PERIGNON OUT OF A DIRTY TIN CAN. TSK TSK.
    PUT IT OUT ON DVD; IT DESERVES TO BE SHOWCASED IN GORGEOUS QUALITY. WE ARE ALL WAITING!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is this LONG OVERDUE DVD???
    This is truly one of the most amazing films you will ever see!!!It touches on "The Truth" and something much bigger/more acknowledging than perhaps we as human beings can understand in this lifetime-and does so with a magnificence and grace much more effective than almost anything I have ever seen. Although released in 1964, the messages of tolerance to other people, restoring faith, rising above our own potential self-destructivness, and MOVING ON WITH LIFE couldn't be more poignant for todays audience (perhaps even more striking and PRESCIENT!!). I agree with one previous reviewer- that it is comparable to the emotional depth/intellectual magnitude of a Bergman but perhaps much more easily digestable for a "pop-cultured" American audience-and that is truly unusual if nonexsistnat for an American Hollywood-type film. And Yet all the magic ingredients of A Hollywood Moneymaker are here...BIG STARS: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr (all of whom in my opinon deserved Oscars for their performances here), DIRECTED BY ONE OF HOLLYWOODS BEST/MOST SOUGHT AFTER DIRECTORS: John Huston BRILLIANT AND SMARTLY WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE BEST AUTHORs/ and POPULAR PLAYWRITES EVER!: Tennessee Williams. Their looks like there will be a 2005 re-release of this film but they NEVER LIVE UP TO THE ORIGINAL and I also agree that with one reviewer who states this is a film that was meant to be seen (and is much stronger) in its original black-and-white. I WILL NOT, (and I repeaat NOT)BUY the 2005 rerelase but I would however, dish out BIG MONEY for the original 1964 release of this film on DVD. This is truly one of the most powerful and worthwhile films you will ever see with performances by all players that are equally as strong!!! SO I REPEAT, WHERE IS THE DVD OF THIS BRILLIANT 1964 GEM??? MGM-PLEASE GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story. Great acting


    Format: Black & White
    Studio: Warner Studios
    Video Release Date: November 18, 1992

    Cast:

    Richard Burton ... Rev. Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon
    Ava Gardner ... Maxine Faulk
    Deborah Kerr ... Hannah Jelkes
    Sue Lyon ... Charlotte Goodall
    Skip Ward ... Hank Prosner
    Grayson Hall ... Judith Fellowes
    Cyril Delevanti ... Nonno
    Mary Boylan ... Miss Peebles
    Fidelmar Durán ... Pepe
    Emilio Fernández ... Barkeeper
    C.G. Kim ... Chang
    Roberto Leyva ... Pedro
    Eloise Hardt ... Teacher
    Gladys Hill ... Miss Dexter
    Barbara Joyce ... Teacher
    Billie Matticks ... Miss Throxton
    Betty Proctor ... Teacher
    Liz Rubey ... Teacher
    Bernice Starr ... Teacher
    Dorthy Vance ... Teacher
    Thelda Victor ... Teacher

    If you have failed to see this film, you have missed a good one. Burton plays a defrocked Episcopal priest, Rev. Shannon, who was locked out of his church because of "sins of the flesh."

    Taking a job with a tour-bus conductor, billed as "reverend," he runs afoul of a young girl, Charlotte Goodall) (Sue Lyon) who has designs in his skivvies. Her protector, Miss Fellowes (Grayson Hall) has her own designs on young Miss Goodall, and is intent on getting Shannon fired from his "bottom of the barrel" job. Enter beautiful Ava, a widow friend who owns a lush tropical resort hotel.

    You will love this film--especially the poetry (Cyril Delevanti).

    Joseph (Joe) Pierre

    ... Read more


    11. Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story
    Director: Jeff Bleckner
    list price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767823923
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 28112
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Glenn Close won an Emmy for her portrayal of Margarethe Cammermeyer in this 1995 made-for-television film. An army medical officer in line for a career promotion during the Bush Administration, but suddenly faced discharge proceedings after admitting to being a lesbian, the real-life Cammermeyerbecame a focus of national attention on the issue of gays in the military.This sensitive production focuses on Cammermeyer's decision to fightinstitutional bigotry and the way her family and that of her longtimepartner, Diane Divelbess (Judy Davis, who also won an Emmy), rally to supportthese good people. The script by Alison Cross captures the sad irony of doingeverything right--serving one's country, taking care of the people in one's life--yet still being treated like a pariah for entirely irrational reasons.A bit of dismissible controversy arose about a discreet kiss between theprincipals, but for the most part this film is designed to win over thehearts and minds of a broad audience with its sheer humanity. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A true life story which was long overdue....
    Factual content, about an extraordinary military officer and a woman (Margerithe Cammermire), who balanced family and career. A decorated Vietnam Veteran who, (like so many before her), was publically ridiculed, spit on and forced to leave her Army, her longtime career as an officer. Colonel Cammermire was put on "trial" like a common criminal when in fact she had committed no crime other than to love another woman. I liked this movie because it told it like it is, and has been for the past several decades for gay military people. "Serving in Silence", covered a lot of content in just two hours. Gena Davis did a good job as Cammermires friend & lover, but Glen Close carried most of the film all by herself. This was a groundbreaking film and I hope to see many more like it.

    P. O'Brien

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honest, touching portrayal of lesbians.
    Some of the movies I have seen depicting lesbians are sometimes a little difficult to relate to because being "a lesbian" is completely what the film is about. This story is different where what is unfolded is a story about people. Not just the two women who have a loving relationship with each other, but their families, the support and understanding that their family offers. The fears that are real also are portrayed very honestly; Fears of being rejected, fears of losing everything. Working hard, loving your family, loving your life, really making a difference in people's lives and enjoying your work brings respect and admiration to individuals who have these attributes. This story shows, how none of that matters to the Army and some close-minded folks. The hurt that results from such homophobia made me cry as well as the struggles and triumps. I could do nothing but think of this story for days.

    This movie is for everyone. Not just gays and lesbians. Not just for family and friends of gays and lesbians. It is a ground breaking movie with love, honesty, and understanding being the main motivation for characters in this story.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Joan of Ark in B.D.U.'s
    I thought this movie was fantastic. It was well made and the story was well told. The acting was great!
    I may speak from personal knowledge of the Army's lack of willingness to grow and allow change, even when they are proven wrong. The service is one of the last hiding places for legal discrimination. This movie told the story with good attention to detail and realism. Glen Close did an outstanding job and I was impressed with the supporting cast.
    If you want to know the truth or just enjoy a great movie buy this video.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What happens when you come out?
    A dose of reality. She is booted out of the army after faithfully discharging every duty ever given her and just because she tells the truth about her feelings, even though at the time she is still married to a man, she gets court marshalled. Margarette should serve as both an warning and an inspiration to all of us. Oh yeah, she does get the girl in the end.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Conduct Unbecoming... not
    It is to the US Military's everlasting shame that they saw fit to persecute and expel a true decorated American war hero. War hero? Well what would you call an Army Nurse (24th Evac., Long Binh) who worked tirelessly to save the lives of teenage soldiers in an insanely busy surgical unit, where the word "Incoming" could mean more than the next influx of wounded.

    The movie understatedly captures how Cammermeyer (Bronze Star)and her nursing staff, and their Red Cross sisters (the Red Cross women still have no Vet status) risked their lives on a daily basis, never knowing when the next mortar round or 122mm rocket would slam into their Evac hospitals or MUSTs, or as with the 6th Convalescent Center at Cam Ranh Bay, when the VC sappers might attack directly.

    As a reality check, the first member of the Army Nurse Corps to be killed by direct enemy action was 1 / L Sharon Ann Lane, who died when a Russsian-made 8 inch diameter rocket struck Ward 4 of the 312th Evac at Chu Lai.

    8 Army Nurses died in Vietnam.

    That a true blue American woman, like Cammermeyer, who had given so much to so many should be driven out of the service that she loved because of something so pathetic as her orientation is perhaps the greatest indictment of a system that is full of double standards.

    Close and Davis were simply magnificent, and the only way in which this movie goes out to shock is by accurately telling this true tale of unimaginable injustice. The only obscenity lay in the outcome of the hearings.

    There have always been (...) in the military. Always. And there always will be. I was not one of them. I just don't like it when the bad guys win.

    There's a special place in Heaven for the women who served in Nam. All 15,000 of them. Vets every one.

    Courage knows no race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

    Col. Cammermeyer is presently researching a Don't Ask, Don't Tell project. Best of luck ma'am. ... Read more


    12. Victor/Victoria
    Director: Blake Edwards
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304196792
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 15720
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Blake Edwards's delightful Victor/Victoria may be one of the last of the great, old-style movie musical comedies--it is so good, it was turned into a hit Broadway stage musical years later. And both versions starred Edwards's wife Julie Andrews (the former Mary Poppins) in the title role--as Victor and Victoria. She's a down-and-out singer who hooks up with a flamboyantly gay theatrical veteran (Robert Preston), and together they become the toast of 1934 Paris by dreaming up a provocative nightclub act in which Victoria assumes the identity of a man in drag. So, in other words, Andrews plays a woman playing a man playing a woman ... and that's only the beginning of the sexual identity confusions that provide the fuel for this splendidly classy slapstick musical farce. (Yes, it's all those things.) James Garner, as a Chicago club owner, finds himself strangely besotted with this stylish, androgynous creature--even though he thinks Victor/Victoria is a man. Legendary Hollywood composer Henry Mancini (a longtime collaborator with Edwards) won his last Oscar for the score; Andrews, Preston, and Lesley Ann Warren, as Garner's cheeky girlfriend, were also nominated. Musical highlights include Victor/Victoria's sizzling "Le Jazz Hot" (in which Andrews shows off her incredible vocal range); another showstopper for Victor/Victoria, "The Shady Dame from Seville"; Preston's witty ode to "Gay Paree"; Warren's hilarious burlesque number, "King's Can-Can"; and a charmingly casual yet elegant side-by-side number, "You and Me," done in a small club by Preston and Andrews in tuxedos. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (75)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer delight
    For my money this is Blake Edwards' most enjoyable movie. I've viewed it perhaps a dozen times, and its combination of a peerless cast, fine songs, supremely witty script and sure-footed direction make this a real gem that I will never tire of watching.

    Robert Preston (in a role originally intended for Peter Sellers) practically steals the show as Toddy, a gay nightclub perfomer in 1930s Paris. Preston's vitality and charisma make the character of Toddy so warm, humorous and believable that he feels like an old friend by the end of the movie. What a shame Preston made so few films! (We do, however, have his memorable aoppearance in SOB - another Edwards triumph - to be grateful for.)

    Julie Andrews is perfectly cast, with her distinctive voice and seemingly ageless face and figure all contributing to a convincing portrayal of a supposed female impersonator. The rapport between her and Preston is a joy to behold, and one can only applaud their classy professionalism.

    The rest of the cast is top-notch, and the film reunites Julie Andrews with James Garner 18 years after their first movie together, the 1964 Americanization of Emily. Garner shows a fine comic touch - as always - and Lesley Ann Warren is inimitable as his supremely irritating ex-girlfriend.

    The film positively overflows with 1930s Parisian atmosphere and sophistication. In short, Victor/Victoria is a real treat that offers a little something for everybody.

    Essential viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Le Jazz Hot!
    Although he has just recieved an honorary Oscar, Blake Edwards is often looked upon as a purvayer of low comedy. Although he is the genius behind such sparkling classics as The (original) Pink Panther and Breakfast at Tiffanys, many people frown upon him for his later films such as S.O.B., Blind Date and Switch (let's not mention the post-Sellars Panthers). Victor / Victoria falls, chronologically, between the two sets of films and, in my view, is Edwards at his peak.
    Edwards directs his wife Julie Andrews (never better and that includes being a nanny and a nun), in a tale of a [woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman]. The central plot serves as an excellent backbone on which to hang a wonderfully farcical script, some hilarious set-pieces and the fantastic song-and-dance numbers (Bricuse and Mancini's score makes you wish they'd worked together more often).
    Andrews, as I say, is flawless coming somewhere between the innocence of Poppins and the lewdness of S.O.B. and giving a fantastic performance. From under her very nose though, the film is stolen by the ever-watchable Robert Preston as Toddy. Preston brings great depth and love to a part that could quite easily have been, as he is refered to in the film, 'a pathetic old queen'. James Garner commendably plays the straight-man (in more ways than one!) with a twinkle in his eye and Lesley Ann Warren hilariously chews every bit of scenery she lays her hands on.
    The script, which bears Edwards' name as a co-writer, is as witty and moving as anything written in Hollywood's 'Golden Era' and the musical elements have as much vibrancy as MGM's in their hey-day. Musical highlights include Le Jazz Hot and The Shady Dame from Seville (not to mention the riotous reprise as performed by Preston for the films finale). One-liners don't come much better than "A lot of men can't get it ... up to now, you've been fine", "You look like a raccoon" (you need to see it) and the entire scene in the restaurant that leads to the line "It is a moron who takes advice from a horse's arse" (Edwards regular Graham Stark at his dead-pan best).
    The extras on the DVD are limited to trailers and a commentary. The commentary by Edwards and Andrews is informative, if a little disappointing considering the wildness of the film and mainly consists of Edwards enjoying watching the film and Andrews making sure that all of the on and off-screen talent is name-checked.
    A real unsung gem that deserves to be seen as often as possible. Tell your friends!

    5-0 out of 5 stars JULIE ANDREWS! A LEGEND!
    I remember sitting through it in 1983 in the theatre with Mama and Grandmother. We all LOVED it. With Poppins, Maria and Gertrude; Julie`s Victor/Victoria is HER BEST effort on celluloid. Leslie Ann-Warren, James Garner, Robert Preston, Blake Edwards, Henry Mancini & Leslie Bricusse ALL excell in this comedy. It may be a trifle long and the Hercule Poirot-imitation unnecessary; but it really is the last of the GREAT MGM MUSICALS(although it was shot i England, released by MGM). The set-designs are a treasure 2 behold.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Big Riot
    There is one word that best describes this film, and it's RIOT. The film is one big and grand RIOT. The cockroach-instigated riot scene in the restaurant is memorable. Mr Edwards shot this from the outside so that we get to see a third-person view of what is going on inside through the windows. Also, look at that RIOTY performance by Leslie Ann Warren: the scene where she walks down the train aisle spurting out vehement %$&*$# should be made a classic!! Again, this was shot using a third-person view so that we see inside the train windows but never actually hear her. The film delights in its RIOTS, we get the feeling that it makes fun of its characters in this way, albeit a tender way.
    But beneath all the film's RIOTS, is a warm heart (highlighted by Henry Mancini's score.) This warm-hearted attitude transcends even through all those nightclub brawls; and I believe that without this formula, the film might not have been able to handle the issue of homosexuality so well. Excellent performances by Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston (in a delicious drag queen finale,) Leslie Ann Warren (show stealer) and the whole cast. The musical numbers are also winners. Certainly not for the Lazy Afternoon viewing, but for the Friday/Saturday night film. To those who are offended by gay contents, be warned, the film insists. This is one GAY & RIOTY film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blake Edwards - Musical Gender Bending At It's Best!
    This is most definitely musical gender-bending at it's best!

    Not many musical/comedies are produced nowadays, let alone good ones like Rocky Horror Picture Show & Little Shop Of Horrors to name a few that come to my mind.

    This 80's musical/comedy is set in 1934 GAY and I DO MEAN GAY Paree! This film is quite unparalled in the fact that Victor/Victoria was a movie BEFORE it made it to The Great White Way. Julie Andrews played Victor/Victoria in both movie and on stage.

    Great songs in - Julie's "Le Jazz Hot" & Lesley Warren's bimboesque "Kings Can-Can". The sexual chemistry is A+++ between Andrews & a sexually confused James Garner who plays "King Marchand" a Chicago club owner, who is so TOTALLY out of his element in Paris, let alone being sexually frustrated and confused over his crush on the beautiful, stylish and gay, Victor.

    Great cast, great songs and a greater storyline with lots of slapstick comedy make Victor/Victoria a classic of it's time!

    Happy Watching! ... Read more


    13. Nowhere
    Director: Gregg Araki
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0780620321
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 8883
    Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Set in L.A. over the course of one crazy day,this film surveys the emotional and sexual turmoil experienced by a multiracial, pan-sexual group of adolescents. ... Read more

    Reviews (71)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beverly Hills 90210 on acid? Sounds about right.
    I bought this movie from a clearence sale at this video store. I had never seen it before, but I thought I'd really like it because there are a million people in the movie that I love. Plus, I thought, if I really hated it I could return it.
    So, I watch it. And I end up loving it. I gave it four stars because all of the [...] scenes between Heather Graham and Ryan Phillippe got on my nerves. Other than that, it had a great script, great acting, great characters, it was just full of perfection.

    The thing I loved about it the most: It's not an average movie. It's dark, and extremely unusual. Gregg Araki is now one of my favorite writers and directors (along with Tim Burton and Darren Stein).
    Another thing that was great: You can understand where the characters are coming from, and they cover practically every teenager type from the late 90's. Valley girls, goths, geeks, everyone! It's realisitc in some sense (You know, besides the aliens).
    Seriously, I have a lot more appreciation to most of the cast members: Kathleen Robertson, Jordan Ladd, Christina Applegate, Rachel True (Even though I liked all of them before) and this movie introduced me to James Duval, who is a very good actor, and had a great character who I could really relate to.
    Oh! Another thing about this movie: The bright colors. I was really distracted by them. From the color of the val chicks dresses, to Lucifer's hair.
    The val chick scene was probably one of the most exagerrated scenes in movie history, which made it classic.
    See it! I don't recommend it to everyone, but I do recommend it to people who have ever felt confused ,or misunderstood about life, love, and more than anything: death.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Creative...interesting...whatev...
    When I first saw "Trainspotting," I thought THAT was a messed up movie that was good because of its accurate portrayal of heroin addicts and the fact that it do so was a gutsy move...which was another reason it was good. I personally feel that movies should take chances and challenge the viewers' mettle for watching, no matter how blatant or unnecessary it may seem. There is something to be said for a subtle message portrayed through the worst possible plot, script, acting, etc...it shows a willingness to accept the ridiculousness of the world in which we live. Gregg Araki has never failed to push the envelope to an extreme that sickens most people, sometimes especially the people who like his films. And I have to say...I LIKE this film. "Nowhere," for all of its colorful characters, and its unique penchant for not showing real life, but showing life through the eyes and perceptions of some really screwed up teenagers is a courageous endeavor for any writer/director, particularly one who hasn't been a teenager for two decades. I mean, Araki is in his '40's (I think), and somehow he has done what practically every other adult in the world hasn't...he hasn't forgotten what it's like to be a disgruntled, confused, self-destructive teenager on a drug trip. It shows in his writing. The plot follows the events of a day in the life of these L.A. teenagers, which ranges from typical relationship issues (interesting to note is that almost every character in this movie is bi- or homo-sexual, an issue that pops up in almost every Araki film), drug addictions, suicides, car-jacking from local skinhead gangbangers, muscle-bound drag queens, and even a few alien abductions. Sounds like a regular day to me. The script is so campy that it's actually unnoticeable that these people are using words like "gnarly" and "radical," (among other colorful composite words and metaphors) years after that language went out of style...or maybe it hasn't...it is L.A. and I've only been there once. Some philosophies thrown in either from the main character, or from the Teen Idol, or from the televangelist also add to the pathetic existentialist message this film sarcastically conveys, yet it also makes fun of those messages, just out of the film's sheer anarchic idiocy. It's actually humorous that the film can mock these messages and still get them across. Even the characters' names are pretty silly. Dark, Moses Helper, Cowboy, Lucifer, Egg, Ducky, Ski, Zero, Handjob, Jujyfruit, etc...but like the language, the names go unnoticed. Araki's direction and his script somehow derive a great deal of strength from its weaknesses. It's a film that's so bad that it actually becomes good because of it. However, this film is not for everybody. The eroticism of the film is bound to offend and annoy, ranging from interracial, bi- and homo-sexual, masturbation, piercings, bondage, and rape. While some of it is shown in a somewhat "normal" fashion, there is a splendid level of depravity surrounding these situations, and yet it is also important to note the level of nudity is kept very minimal. "Whatev..." I think this movie is innovative and has a level of genius behind it. Not for everyone, but certainly for people who need a kickstart in the chokehold that is life. I also recommend the two previous films "All F**ked Up," and "The Doom Generation," both of which are even harder to watch than this one (hey, both had to have material cut to achieve an "R" rating...that says it all).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie ever ever ever ever
    ok first of all the people that rated this movie low are probly hicks for south werever or nerds that never get out. This movie hits right at home here in cailiforia. this movie is so great on so many levels. with lots of hidden meanings. even the alien him self is a hidden meaning. i think over all i still dont get this movie . even I have seen about 6 times. this movie deals with struggling teens dark or(james duval)just wants to be loved. people have to rember when this movie was made and how many rules it acutaly broke. it took alot of guts for gregg araki to do what he did in this movie...people !don't take this movie so seriously... after all it is a inde film. it does have messages. I see were gregg was coming from. with all these issues that he put in this movie he desided to do what he Did
    just watch this movie more then once!!! best ending ever !

    1-0 out of 5 stars pondering
    I don't even know why I saw this movie. The Doom Generation is, in my opinion, the worst movie ever made (and I'm not the only one who believes this I can assure you). so why did I see Nowhere? Well I figuired that a director couldn't get it so completely wrong more than once. I was wrong. I'm trying hard to figuire out why so many people like this movie, it has so many scenes that are put in for shock factor that are just stupid. I really don't want to see a guys nipples ripped off. Oh, by the way this movie doesn't say anything about teenagers, I should know, I STILL AM ONE!. Yes I am 17 and I have never felt or experienced half of the things seen in this movie. So many adults want to make their teen years seem so dramatic that I think that some of them acctually believe that they really were like that. If you really want to see a good movie about growing up and the hell that it can be go check out KIDS. now that is a wake up call of a movie.

    1-0 out of 5 stars resist at all cause
    thought this was gonna be a good movie..by the way it looked...though you dont always get what you want...this is truly...junk...nothing good is in this movie. the big watsed cast include... Greg Araki's Doom Generation and Totally F**ked Up pal James DuVal(The Doom Generation) who bares his ass then anyone in this movie..we got Rachel True(the Craft), Nathan Bexton(Psycho Beach Party), Chiara Mastrioanni, Debi Mazar(Shes So Loevly), Kathleen Robertson(Psycho Beach Party), Joshua Gibran Mayweather, Jordan Ladd, Christina Applegate(Tv's Jesse), John Ritter(Bad Santa), Traci Lords(Blade), Shannen Doherty(Heathers), Rose McGowan(Scream), Sarah Lassez, Guillermo Diaz(Half-Baked), Jeremy Jordan, Alan Boyce, Jaason Simmons, Ryan Phillippe(Little Boy Blue), Heather Graham(From Hell), Scott Caan(Black and White), Thyme Lewis, Mean Suvari(Spun), Beverly, D'Angelo(Summer Catch), David Leisure(tv's Empty Nest), Eve Plumb, Denise Richards(Valentine), Teresa Hill, Kevin Light, Christopher Knight, Gibby Haynes, Devon Odessa and Stacy Keanan(tvs Step By Step)....they are all wasted in this movie..big dissapointment...Araki's worst movie ever..this is doomed and totally **cked up...literally..though seeing Rose McGowan as a valley girl in hot braces is nice..this movie is stupid ... Read more


    14. The Celluloid Closet
    Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
    list price: $21.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0800187245
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1899
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Author Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City) wrote Lily Tomlin's narration for this superb documentary, based on a book by the late Vito Russo, about Hollywood's treatment of homosexual characters in the 20th century. Never pointing a finger at anyone in the film community, The Celluloid Closet presents clips from more than 100 mainstream features (including The Children's Hour, Advise and Consent, The Boys in the Band, and The Hunger) that speak loudly in their respective images of gays and lesbians. The film makes a persuasive case for patterns of sexual mythology in Hollywood, such as presenting homosexuals repeatedly as tragic, helpless figures redeemed only through death or as back-street monsters cavorting in the shadows. Things change, of course, and clips from more recent films by gay and lesbian filmmakers suggest a more vital, diverse, autobiographical approach. There are lots of great interviews with screenwriters (Gore Vidal), filmmakers (John Schlesinger), actors (Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg), and others to enunciate the major themes. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Cinematic Image
    Based on the book by Vito Russo, written by Armistead Maupin, and narrated by Lily Tomlin, THE CELLULOID CLOSET uses interviews and hundreds of film clips to examine the way in which Hollywood has presented gay and lesbian characters on film from the age of silent cinema to such recent films as PHILADELPHIA and DESERT HEARTS. Throughout the documentary, the focus is on both stereotypes and the various ways that more creative directors and writers worked around the censorship of various decades to create implicitly homosexual characters, with considerable attention given to the way in which stereotypes shaped public concepts of the gay community in general.

    Overtly homosexual characters were not particularly unusual in silent and pre-code Hollywood films, and CLOSET offers an interesting sampling of both swishy stereotypes and unexpectedly sophistocated characters--both of which were doomed by the Hayes Code, a series of censorship rules adopted by Hollywood in the early 1930s. The effect of the Code was to soften some of the more grotesque stereotypes--but more interesting was the impetus the Code gave to film makers to create homosexual characters and plot lines that would go over the heads of industry censors but which could still be interpreted by astute audiences, with films such as THE MALTESE FALCON, REBECCA, BEN-HUR, and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE cases in point. Once the Code collapsed, however, Hollywood again returned to stereotypes in an effort to cash in on controversy--with the result that throughout most of the sixties and seventies homosexual characters were usually presented as unhappy, maladjusted creatures at best, suicidal and psychopatic entities at worst.

    The film clips are fascinating stuff and are often highlighted by interviews of individuals who made the films: Tony Curtis re SOME LIKE IT HOT and SPARTACUS, Shirley MacLaine re THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, Stephen Boyd re BEN-HUR, Farley Granger re ROPE, and Whoopie Goldberg re THE COLOR PURPLE, to name but a few. All are interesting and intriguing, but two deserve special mention: Harvey Fierstein, who talks about the hunger he had as a youth to see accurate reflections of himself on the screen, and Susan Sarandon, who makes an eloquent statement on the power of film as "the keeper of the dreams."

    Although the material will have special appeal to gays and lesbians, it should be of interest to any serious film buff with its mix of trivia and significant fact. The DVD also includes notable packages of out-takes from interviews that are often as interesting as the material that made the final cut. If the documentary has a fault, however, it is that it offers no "summing up," preferring instead to show only how far the portrayal of homosexuals has come and indicating how far it has yet to go. Recommended to any one interested in film history and interpretation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent film on so Many Different Levels
    Looking at the roles given to gay and lesbian characters in American cinema over the past several decades, "The Celluloid Closet" manages to simultaneously be hilariously funny, educational, and occasionally quite thought-provoking and even tragic. We see gay and lesbian stereotypes being reinforced over and over again, scenes cut from famous films because they hinted at homosexuality, etc.

    Although the initial reaction is to sort of laugh at how backwards and ludicrous the intense homophobia of Hollywood once was, there are also reactions from people growing up during those years who talk about the effect of seeing gays and lesbians in films, or the impact of NEVER seeing gays and lesbians in films. Also, as the film progresses, it helps one to see that, although things have gotten SO MUCH BETTER in many ways, they're still so far from being where they ought to be.

    This is a great documentary to watch with friends who might question what the big deal is with GLBT issues... why it's even an issue at all. It really helps one to see the importance of how popular media deals with (or chooses to ignore) minority groups and the very real impact of those decisions on people belonging to that minority group. And the fact that it's so darn entertaining makes it a fun, light movie to watch - a real pleasure!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE
    The Dvd extras alone are worth the $25.00 Made in 1995 just shortly after Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for Philadelphia (playing a gay man ). The hero of this production however is Lily Tomlin! This movie documentary was finaly made after the wirters & producers got in touch with her. Lily loved this project and got HBO to fund this movie! The basic theme in this movie is to show us how gay people have been portrade in the movies! Gay themes were Taboo! They were always taboo until the late 1960's. (However All movies were made to a strict code up to that point). So all gay themes (during the era of the Code) were between the lines! (This is the humor) After the code was lifted gays were shown mostly as the villians! ( This is the drama) This documentary was one of the best movies of that year!
    Is it dated? Not by much! It has been ALMOST 10 years since this was first released! Now we now have on TV "Will and Grace" (but after 7 years and no boyfriend give me a break). The big break in Hollywood was "The Birdcage". The next year was "My Best Friends Wedding" and "In and Out". (all money makers) Earlier that year "ellen" came out on TV but her show was cancelled a year later. In 2004 "The Stepford Wives" remake hade a gay couple. Although gays are more visable now than ever in the movies most of the time they are regulated to the "best friend" for comic relief! Not much of a change! Would I like a gay movie hero? Of course! I would also like to see hollywood remake movies that had they had gay stories to begin with! "The Lost Weekend" "Gentelman's Agreement" "The Childrens Hour" all had gay themes but were rewriiten for straight story lines or toned down! Yes "Fried Green Tomatoe's" is another but there was a kiss!

    After YOU VIEW "The Celluloid Closet" watch "Rebecca" "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Some Like it Hot"! You will be laughing!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A 1995 Documentary That is Still Relevant
    The Celluloid Closet has been out for nine years and I have only now seen it for the first time. You would think that gay themes and the presence of gay characters would be even greater now, in 2004, than when the documentary was made in 1995, and that it would seem dated. Unfortunately, it does not seem at all dated. The idea of a gay hero is still edgy and daring, and oddly enough, television, rather than the big screen, seems to be taking the lead in featuring gay characters and themes.

    The Celluloid Closet is an eye-opening look at how gays have been portrayed in American film. Film clips are interspersed with interviews and commentary by writers, producers, and actors who are gay or have played gay characters. It is interesting to see that people mocking gay men swished and minced the same way 100 years ago as they do today.

    A highlight is the deleted scene from Spartacus with Laurence Olivier as a slaveholder in his bath telling his uneasy slave played by Tony Curtis that he enjoys both snails and oysters. Strangely absent in the documentary are any mention of Clifton Webb or Cary Grant.

    I will be looking at old (and new) films in a different way now that I have seen The Celluloid Closet.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Documentary , but a bit too ideological
    Celluloid Closet is a well-done, thought-provoking documentary detailing the history of homosexuality in movies. The author(s)
    compile a fascinating list of films, many well-known and beloved, and describe how filmmakers, constrained by prevailing mores and production codes, were forced to deal with the subject creatively through innuendo and subtext. It works equally well as a history of film censorship. Only one drawback: the best documentaries are objective, letting the material tell the story, so why interview exclusively archetypal Hollywood liberal, pro-gay-rights activists? It would have been interesting, for example, to hear Charlton Heston's response to Gore Vidal's take on what "Ben Hur" is really about. Instead, we're left hanging by Vidal quoting the director: "Don't tell Chuck (Heston) what it's really about, or he'll die". (or words to that effect) ... Read more


    15. Personal Best
    Director: Robert Towne
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630026968X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3064
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ironic Movie
    I liked the movie when I saw it in the early 80s because of the break through "love" scenes and the sports theme. Right now I'm listening to a late night talk show interview with Mariel Hemmingway! I was drawn to this site because I was looking for some info on Jodi Anderson who acts in the movie. I knew her because she worked out in my gym in the 1980s and also worked there. In reality the sports part could have been based on her. In 1980 when she was 22 she won both the pentathlon and the long jump in the Olympic trials for the boycotted Moscow games. She also represented the USA in the pentathlon in the 1984 LA Olympics but was injured and withdrew. Considering the fame (and money) that USA female track athletes achieved in 1984 and later, the boycott was a tragedy for her and the other athletes most of whom are relatively unknown.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Dated babes work up a sweat
    I'm sorry I cannot agree with the majority about this movie. Maybe it's one of those 'you gotta be there to get it' things (it might have been breathtaking in the 80's) but I found this film dated and sexist. The relationship between the two girl is unconvincing and titilating. The coach/athlete thing undevelopped, inexplicable. The only good thing going for it is that it is an ok sports movie, with some nice scenes depicting training. These however were inevitable intersperced with slow motion takes of the female athletes' crotches taken from various angles, fitting for a movie heavy on the sexploitation angle. I realise that this may have been a 'breakthrough' movie, maybe depicting for the first time a pretty actress taking a leak while babbling some juvenile dribble, or helping her boyfriend hold his d...... while he takes a leak as a sign of their intimacy, but frankly, that I can do without. Perhaps the movie could have been cut down and saved but I think even then all you would be left with is a cool 'eighties' soundtrack and two girls running around a track. All I can say is at least 'Charlies Angels' wasn't pretentious!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Chemistry To Produce A Superlative Guy Movie
    This film has EXACTLY the right ingredients for being one of the best Guy Flicks of all time. First, the behind-the-scenes look at athletic training techniques is incomparable. The preparation methods are highly educational, the stretching, the warm-ups, the cool-downs -- actually seeing these activities demonstrated is invaluable for aspiring athletes. Also, the details about various events were intriguing -- setting the blocks for sprinting, determining one's "pace" for high-jumping, the muscular ballet employed for the shot put. Watching Coach Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy's "Wes Hightower") was inspirational, he obviously knew how to get the most from a team member. And the work-outs themselves were marvelous, the long runs, the hill-climbs, the post-workout massages and other physical therapy, with particular attention to specific body areas -- all of this information is extremely important for any male athlete, and should probably be viewed several times, numerous times, again and again, in order to ensure full comprehension and complete appreciation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love it!
    I can see why this movie is on the list of favorites. It was very moving and showed the extreme emotions that love causes. I would highly recommend it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Personal Best?
    Let's see: early on in the movie Mariel Hemmingway does a nude scene as a shy 15-year-old being seduced by the 35-year-old lesbian who got her stoned. It's not child pornography only because Ms. Hemmingway wasn't a teenager anymore; but she does look the part in part because she didn't get her implants yet.
    Aren't Catholic dioceses being sued because they didn't do enough to prevent the seduction of teenagers by homosexuals? And is AOL/Time-Warner ever going to be sued by someone whose seducer used this movie as a recruiting film? ... Read more


    16. The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love
    Director: Maria Maggenti
    list price: $19.98
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    Asin: 6303909000
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 18033
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    This warm romantic comedy by newcomer Maria Maggenti is a gay coming-of-age story framed by Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Randy (Laurel Hillman) is a stoner, lesbian teenager who happens to be failing math and dating a married woman. One day, fellow student Evie (Nicole Parker) drives up to Randy's gas station in a Range Rover and flips her world upside down. Evie is privileged and popular. Randy is poor, impulsive, and according to the other students, a freak. Opposites attract when the two girls kick off their friendship in detention. The flirtation blossoms after Evie introduces tomboyish Randy to the joys of Whitman and opera. Randy returns the favor by acquainting the sheltered Evie with the problems and delights of mature, taboo love. There is a beautiful scene where the two consummate their courtship on Evie's birthday while Mom is out of town. The true test of their relationship occurs during the hilarious climax when angry families and friends chase the troubled girls into hiding. --Margaret Griffis ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Pleasantly Surprised
    I'm as straight as they come, got my man and baby and everything. So I wasn't really sure how I would feel about this film.I thought,"Hey I'm either gonna love it or be really wierded out." But 'Two Girls In Love' turned out to be excellent. Even though I am straight I really related to the experiences and growing pains that Evie and Randy go through, especially the overall opposition to the relationship. No one wanted me to see my man for various different reasons and like Evie when she told her friends about her & Randy, I also lost a lot of friends because of the guy I was seeing. The bliss between the two of them all throughout the movie and the wonder/joy of your first time making love are all things that I can remember feeling so strongly with my guy. Gay or straight, this movie accurately and poignantly portrays universal themes that everyone experiences; and that is what makes this film so special. I laughed a lot and enjoyed 'Two Girls In Love' very thoroughly. I recommend it to all of you. (By the way-for all gay fans of this movie who live in California, I voted against Prop 22. I thought it was completely unnecessary and unfair.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
    I completely agree with some of the first reviews that said this movie makes you feel 'warm and fuzzy,' and it's funny too. It's just wonderful.And if you enjoyed this one, rent Trick as well. For me it was really refreshing to see a movie where the "butch" girl is also sensitive and sweet, not all hard and detached. The first time I saw this I was nervous the whole way through it thinking that one of the girls would end up getting gay bashed or something(after watching Boys Don't Cry, I was expecting anything.) Especially since they live like out in the middle of nowhere.I was VERY pleasantly suprised to find out that this movie has nothing much to chew your nails about.Also don't expect there to be much sex, there's one scene, and it's not even very graphic, at all, it's beautiful. This is awesome for anyone who's ever had a crush, or been in love. It's a great TGIF movie, so grab some popcorn, get under the covers, and enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Coming of AgeFlick
    I saw this movie YEARS ago, going to a freebie screening. I recall only that I really thought it was "sweet" in the way it portrayed the two teenagers falling in love (straight or gay). How believable it was, moments of not-so-great acting by others not withstanding, the heart of the movie, the chemistry between the two very young actresses, seemed so sincere. Having recently watched Showtime's new "The L-Word" I was reminded of this film. The actresses playing the L-Word's primary couple do a great job of portraying lesbians (with credit due to storyline & leadership), and I was so floored to find that one of these stars is "Two Girls" own Laurel Holloman. This spurred me to watch this movie again, enjoying it even more with age and an appreciation for innocence of youth, and the knowledge that these two young women have gone on to successful careers (Parker starring in Soul Food, which ironically airs after The L-Word on Sunday nights).

    5-0 out of 5 stars A ... MUST HAVE ... AYE !!!
    I was 16 as I remember when I saw this amazing film first. And gotta say it is one of the greatest movie I have ever seen. The music was also very good especially one track which reminds me Pink Floyd's Hey You from The Wall, I guess the guitar rings the same in the film but maybe I just solve the two songs into each other cause the mood of this part of the Wall (Hey You and following few tracks) is the same for me as in the film. This mood this feeling (now I relate on the film) aw this is such a wondering feeling of me. You feel something which is in opposite with the world cause of one thing ... but you feel you are right ... and maybe you are much closer to the essence of things than others ... and the feeling you are to know this is so catartic. You throw some very unnecessary thing away and this makes you feel to be really free, you feel you fly above the world and nothing gonna stop you. And you feel yourself enough strong to break out of the wall and leave the show in which you would have to play a silly roleplay and what's more and this is the point you found a true girlfriend for you and what you feel is the beautest feeling of you which ever can build up in you and you say aw that's what I want that's what I waited for and you feel some miracle is about happen to you and the miracle is your split soul comes to one part and the other just found part is her. And the most distressing feeling that you are only a half is getting away and from only thinking about who and what you found a crawl comes and runs all over your body. This film tells you about a world which if once you found you could never turn back because in this world you find the essence of you, know what I mean. This film tells you about cracking up the door and what's behind drives you to a truly credible world which fully meets the deepest of you. Sex scenes ... well exactly there is no well evolved sex scenes in obscene way but this is the best way to draw well this world. A kiss, a kiss gives the most from you to your lover and that's the beautest way to tell her: my sweet princess you are the one. And both of you feel in fact you are in the doorway of another world ... and you are just lovin and kissin yourselves into it by holdin each other's hand. And the flower of your common soul is just ridin and ridin on to grow upon your hearts. Like the fresh wind blowing a pure morning rising upon you and you, smiling hearts just keep kissin laughing and exulting to each other. And that's what this movie is all about. And highly recommended to stay tuned ...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
    This was a great movie! I am 20 years old and when I first saw this I was 16. This movie was everything I was feeling at the time. Im a butch lesbian also. I was proud to have actually seen a decent lesbian film. Boy's Don't Cry also another goodie a tragic one but none the less true in the sense of finding yourself and being who you are no matter what. This is a movie I wouldnt mind seeing a plethora of times. Bound is also a good one. Jennifer Tilly plays one sexy seductive lesbian. Whew! Give it a go. You may actually find yourself saying awww. ... Read more


    17. If These Walls Could Talk 2
    Director: Martha Coolidge, Anne Heche, Jane Anderson (II)
    list price: $9.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000053V4P
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3984
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A look at relationships over time
    There are 3 stories to this movie, with the setting being the same house for all three stories.

    The first story is set in the 1950's and shows the sorrow of having to keep a lesbian relationship secret. Vanessa Redgrave's utter destruction over the death of her partner and her being unable to show the full extent of her loss. From the hospital to the gold digging relatives, no one offers her true comfort for what she has rightfully lost and she must grieve alone.

    For me, the second story was the best. Set in the 1970's, it tells the story of a feminist who falls in love with a masculine dressed woman. The passion is overwhelming. There is a nude scene that really shows pure sexual passion. Michelle Williams potrayal of the feminist is a moving and wonderful thing to watch.

    The final story is about 2 women trying to conceive a baby. While I'm not sure about the chemistry between Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Stone, I do think Sharon Stone gives a tender portrayal of a loving woman. I found the watching of the children in the park to be a little creepy and unnecessary.

    Even if you aren't a lesbian, just the acting and the emotions of relating to other women is worth the rental or purchase price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incerdibly Touching
    I thought "If These Walls Could Talk 2" was great, with the great performances. Thank god for HBO, I've seen it many times on it, and it's sort of a guilty pleasure. I can't help but watch it everytime it comes on. I thought every story was very moving, with the perfect cast to pull it all off. I thought the first segment was very touching, but I couldn't really relate to it, so it was hard to really get into it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the second and third segments. The second segment with Michelle Williams, Nia Long, and Chloe Sevigny were fantastic. It struck a chord in me, I realized how biased the world can be towards one another. I liked the irony of one lesbian being incredibly ignorant to another, because they weren't "lesbian" enough. It revealed to me how cynical we all can be. I disagree with a lot of the reviews about the third segment, I thought it was great! It was humorous and heart-felt. It is by far, Ellen DeGeneres's best performance. Sharon Stone was so comical, which the enitre movie needed. Ellen and Sharon had great chemistry, in my opinion. The seemed very believable, from the passion towards one-another, to the commitment of trying to conceive. They were a truly loving and commited couple, which I respected very much. I recommend this movie to anyone, lesbian, gay, bi, or straight, it's a terrific movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I fell...
    in love with Chloe Sevigney (segment 2) after I saw her in this film. She's absolutely amazing. Okay, this isn't a review but I really had to add this to amazon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars If This Bathroom Could Get a Word In
    I've got the pitch for IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 3:

    Pro-choice lesbians who are politically-active athiests! Cher and Sharon Stone survive a Sam Peckinpah-styled shootout when crazed religious fanatics open fire on them for helping poor confused young girls into the local abortion clinic. When Chloe Sevigny, their adopted daughter, dies in the attack, Cher and Sharon decide to instead turn their attention to removing all crosses and nativity scenes from America.
    Just as the religious fanatics take aim at them at the last nativity scene, Ellen Degeneres appears as angel to stop the violence and magically transform all Americans into loving, tolerant gays and lesbians. The abortion debate essentially disappears since children must now be shipped into the States as the populations growth drops to zero.
    Unfortunately, none of them now believe in God or angels, so they open fire on the angel and the entire world is destroyed in a ripping special effects climax.
    You can't tell me that wouldn't be more entertaining or informative than anything in the first two WALLS films.

    I had the same problem with the first WALLS film that I had with this one: drama sidestepped to make a political statement. Most of the America isn't gay or lesbian, so the film could've been more interesting by seeing reactions to the characters' lesbianism in families and work and so forth.
    Instead, we see that lesbian relationships can be just as cutesy and bland as the most lame straight love stories.
    The horrible injustice of the first segment could've been cleared up through a simple will.
    The second was the most interesting.
    The third was like watching a Hallmark card commercial at one frame per half-hour.

    HBO has all the tools to make a daring, provocative film. Maybe someday they will.

    5-0 out of 5 stars honest, sweet, and relatable
    i thought this was a really good movie. The third part with ellen and sharon was my favorite and the part that i identified with the most. i love the part right before the love scene when ellen asks sharon why they are watching TV. i love how sharon turns the TV off. it is so cute. i have always liked 'Thank You' by Dido but this movie made me like it even more. i didn't relate as much to the second part but thought that all the actresses did a great job. the first part was sad and i'm glad that they put that in the movie. one of my favorite movies! ... Read more


    18. Paris Is Burning
    Director: Jennie Livingston
    list price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304326289
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1471
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Paris Is Burning closes with two neon-lit boys holding each other on the streets of Harlem. One looks into the camera and asks, "So this is New York City and what the gay lifestyle is all about--right?" This documentary takes an honest, humorous, and surprisingly poignant peek into one of America's overlooked subcultures: the world of the urban drag queen.It's a parallel dimension of bizarre beauty, where "houses" vie like gangs for turf and reputation ... only instead of street-fighting, they vogue their way down makeshift catwalks in competitive "balls." The only rule of the ballroom: be real.

    In surprisingly candid interviews, you discover the grace, strength, and humor it takes to be gay, black, and poor in a straight, rich, white world.You'll meet young transsexual "cover girls," street hustlers saving up for the big operation, and aging drag divas reminiscing about the bygone days of sequins, feathers, and Marilyn Monroe.

    Made in the late 1980s, this fashion-conscious film shows its age less than you'd expect. It's still a great watch for anyone interested in the whole range of humanity, or anyone who's ever been an outsider, desperately wanting something the world hides out of reach. --Grant Balfour ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Defiance and Pathos
    In the beginning of this film, one of the commentators says that he was told that he has two strikes against him: he is black and male. But in addition to that, he has a third strike: he's gay. "You're going to have to be stronger than you ever imagined," he is told. "Paris is Burning" is a documentary about gay black and Hispanic men who are tranvestites (men who dress in women's clothing) or transsexuals (people who have The Operation and become, biologically, the opposite sex). They come together and hold "balls" in which they compete in categories like "Executive Realness," "Opulence," and "the Boy Who Robbed You a Few Minutes before Arriving at the Ball." Although several of these categories seem like a satire of society at large, we are told by elder stateswoman/cynic/voice of reason Dorian Corey that "this isn't a parody or take-off. They are very seriously trying to pass as what they are dressing up as." The miracle of "Paris is Burning" is that director Jennie Livingston takes a subject that could have very easily become a freak show and allows the people in it their humanity. We learn their views of homosexuality, men, women, their hopes, their disappointments, their dreams. Some of these dreams are so unattainable it's tragic (does anyone seriously believe that a transsexual can become a successful female model and make the cover of "Vogue" magazine?). Many of the people are seriously in denial; Venus Xtravaganza, in particular, refuses to see himself as a prostitute ("I'll go out with a man...and sometimes he'll give me money so I can buy a dress and look pretty for him...but I don't have to go to bed with him 99% of the time...well, 95% of the time.")

    This is not a film for everyone. There are shots in this movie of nude transsexuals. It is definitely not for children, and if you have a problem with homosexuality, then this movie isn't for you, either. But if you do see this movie you'll realize "Paris is Burning" isn't really about men wearing women's clothes, it's about a group of people who are routinely marginalized and put down by society at large, and what they do to get a sense of community in their lives.

    I've watched this movie four times since it was released in 1991, because it says so many things: it's a commentary about materialism in our culture, about gender roles, about rich and poor people, about the media and what it celebrates, about fame and adulation. "Paris is Burning" is one of the most humane, and one of the saddest, movies I've ever seen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE GAY HOUSE BALLS AT THEIR FINEST! VOGUE-BATTLES!
    I THOUGHT THIS FILM SHOWED THE BALLROOM SCENE WONDERFULLY. IT WAS GREAT SEEING ALL THE LEGENDARY CHILDREN ON FILM. I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO ANY YOUNG BLACK GAY MALE AS A START OF PERSONAL GAY BLACK PRIDE. THIS IS WHERE VOGUEING ORIGINATED.THEY BETTER WORK.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I want this movie on DVD right NOW!
    What's up with the entertainment industry? They shovel [bad stuff] down our throats like Spy Kids 2 and Gigli, but try to find brilliant, daring movies like Paris is Burning or Hoop Dreams on DVD - forget it. You might as well try to find Barbara Bush in a tube top on Bourbon Street. Which, now that I think about it, has an demonic sort of appeal all its own. And with that Wilma Flintstone pearl necklace of hers...what a sizzling hot look! I can hear Beelzebub cackling with delight right now.

    See you in New York this August, Barbara!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, alive and well
    Reading many of the reviews I'm saddened to see that most people today don't know that the House scene, still is, alive and very well. The Los Angeles House scene, yes modeled from that of the NY scene, is 11 houses and strong, with many fierce, and fabulous balls to brag about baby. Although most of the categories have been modified and simplified with a lil' L.A. flava our balls hold true to where we first began.
    Many of the House family members display their voguing in the L.A. hip hop club scene. However our style of voguing has changed slightly, we 'chop', 'sha-blam', and 'shut 'em down' with ol' school/new school flava. Enjoying our unity as a community, a family, and as a people. See you at the next ball.
    :-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 'Reflections' Of Lives That Used To Be .......
    When I first saw this movie back in 1993, I was only 20 years old, and the first thing that crossed my mind after I saw it was "Aaahh, this is just a movie about a bunch of queens in NY, what-ever!!!" so I saw it once, and never saw it again, I didn't even pay attention to what they were talking about, I had other things in my mind back then. TEN years later (2003), now that I am 30...I decided to rent the video again, and sit down, watch it again and this time really listen to what they had to say. Now at my age, I can trully say, that this film really touched me, because these people are not just a bunch of drag queens and transsexuals, these are real people, with real feelings, hopes and dreams struggling to stay alive and be noticed. There is nothing to laugh about here. I have seen this video now like a hundred times, and it saddens me to find out now, that most of the people on this film are now dead, and their hopes and dreams never came true. My respects goes to ALL of them, because on one way or another, we are all on the same game of survival in this world. ... Read more


    19. Philadelphia
    Director: Jonathan Demme
    list price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630310696X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 12707
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (74)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Dramatic
    This movie is indeed very touching. It really brings the AIDS crisis to life and raises many questions. Hopefully one day we will have some more answers. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are superb in their roles. It is very interesting to watch as Washington becomes more accepting of the lifestyle of homosexuals and the advent of the crisis of AIDS. What is also a nice in this film is the support Andrew Beckett(Tom Hanks) feels from his family regarding his discrimination battle. There needs to be more positive movies showing family support today.

    The music of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young fit in perfectly with the scenes of the film. People often overlook Neil Young's song and normally I do not like Mr. Young's music. However, this song is truly on a par with Springsteen Award Winning song as it amplifies the mood of Andrew Becket's fuenral perfectly.

    Overall, this is one memorable movie from the 1990's and it can be appreciated by almost anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Human Beings
    The movie Philadelphia, by Johnathan Demme, displays the struggle a homosexual man infected with AIDS encounters in obtaining justice because he was unfairly fired from his job. Andy Beckett, played by Tom Hanks, seeks a lawyer to defend his case. Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington, is the lawyer who defends Andy Beckett. Miller is a character who the viewers can relate to because he is homophobic and has a great fear about AIDS. The disease was not well known in the early nineties when the film was made, and Miller expressed the same fears of the public. Joe Miller learned how to put his personal feelings aside and defend the law. Although he does not agree with homosexuality and has a fear of the AIDS virus, Miller learned to look past those emotions and defend a homosexual man with AIDS to ensure that the law was upheld through justice. Philadelphia is an excellent movie because the viewers can relate to the characters and learn from their experiences with homosexuality and AIDS.

    Joe Miller is a public defense lawyer who takes pride in his work. He is up for any challenge and rarely refuses to defend a client. Andy Beckett walks into Miller's office one day, seeking a lawyer. Miller is startled by Beckett's appearance because he looks ill and has a few lesions on his face. They shake hands, but Miller is extremely cautious about everything Andy touches. Andy Beckett introduces himself and explains to Miller that his employer fired him because he lost a serious document. Beckett wants to sue the corporation because he believes that he was fired out of prejudice. Miller asks what the prejudice is, and Andy says that the prejudice was against AIDS. Miller is afraid of the AIDS virus and does not wish to defend Andy. Andy is disturbed by Miller's refusal, but kindly departs the office.

    The doctor Miller saw directly after the meeting with Andy Beckett attempted to assure Miller that AIDS cannot be contracted through a hand shake or touch, it is only contracted through sexual encounters. Miller is still disturbed by the thought of AIDS, though, because he has a family to worry about. The fear of this disease, however, did not stop Miller from thinking about Andy. Miller is dedicated to the law and does not like to see unjust acts, but he did not know how to overcome his fear of Andy's virus. He tried to convince himself that he denied Andy because he did not agree with homosexuality, but the truth is that he could not face his fear. Many citizens of the United States had the same fear of AIDS in the late eighties and early nineties due to the rising number of outbreaks. Scientists and doctors could not figure out a cure for this and people panicked. The majority of outbreaks occurred in homosexual couples and people referred to the disease as the "gay plague" or "gay cancer". Thus, hatred formed against homosexual people. Miller displays this hatred in the movie.

    One day Miller is in the library reviewing material. He sees Andy a few tables over. A clerk is asking Andy if he would like to go to a private room after he brings him novels about AIDS. Andy does not want to go to a private room and a small argument arises. Miller walks over to Andy and starts talking to him. The clerk leaves and a few people around him move to other tables. Miller could not let his fear hold him back any longer. He helps Andy research and decides to defend him in court. A man's legal rights are more important than his personal situation. Miller puts aside the fact that Andy is homosexual, and learns to focus on his rights rather than his AIDS.

    As Miller grows close to Andy, he learns more about himself. Throughout the case Andy becomes more and more ill. Instead of being afraid of Andy as he was in the beginning, Miller is compassionate for him and the illness with which he struggles. Miller is not cautious about touching Andy or being around his homosexual friends. He learns to accept Andy for who he is and respect him as a human being. Miller sets an example for society to follow. The public needs to stop blaming homosexuals for the AIDS virus and learn about the disease. Homosexual people also need to be treated as every other human being and society needs to learn how to accept them. Miller proves that these acts can be accomplished in this movie.

    Philadelphia is a strong movie because it demonstrates two serious issues that citizens of the United States face. Homosexuality and AIDS arose abruptly and many people panicked out of fear of the unknown. The easy way out was to hate homosexuals because they were believed to be the cause of this disease as Miller did in the movie. People merely needed to educate themselves on AIDS and get to know homosexuals. They would discover that homosexuals are human beings just like everyone else and that the AIDS virus cannot be contracted through touch. Joe Miller set an example for Americans to follow in the movie Philadelphia.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Oscar Winning Philadelphia with Hanks
    March was Oscar month, and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) who showcase great Oscar movied showed ''Philadelphia'' with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington .

    ''Philadelphia'' is the powerful movie about a well educated and hardworking lawyer named Andy Beckette who contracts AIDS and is then illegally and prejudicely fired from his law firm when they find out he has AIDS.

    The movie is nothing short of Excellent demonstrating not only the cold-blooded and hypocritical members of corporte society, but the indignities and prejudices that people living with AIDS have to go through.

    The movie also brilliantly shows the courtroom tactics and lies that defendants and lawyers will use in order to win their case. The Defense (who represents the Law Firm who fired Andy Beckette) tries to make Andy Beckett's lifestyle
    and often times varying performances at work
    against him to try to bring down his reputation and his case.

    From a law point of view, the movie is Excellent.
    From a Film making point of view, the movie is Excellent.
    From a societal message , point of view, ''Philadelphia'' is Excellent.

    Jason Robards, plays Charles Wheeler, a sickening, prejudice man who resembles the most disgusting corporate boss there is: The corporate boss, who pretends to be friends with his coworkers or clients, only to stabbed them in the back later. He will do only anything to benefit himself.

    At the beginning, Wheeler pretends to be Andy's friend, heck he even ask him for legal advice on a special antitrust case called ''Highlite vs. Sander Systems''. Andy Beckett's becomes fired, from the job, once they find out he has aids, but try to make it look he was fired for other reasons. The movie also greatly shows the prejudices, and misconception people have about aids.

    However, Director Jonathan Demme does bring up some controversial areas for example Andy was a guy with many sexual partners, and so his diagnosis of the Aids Virus while dating Miguel Alvarez (Antonio Banderas) is not surprising
    at all. In fact the defense uses Andy's personal history against him very well.

    Denzel Washington plays Jospeh Miller, the lawyer Beckette eventually to try to bring his AIDS case to court.
    Miller himself, at first, displays his own prejudices against people with AIDS. When Beckette, touches items in his office, his face becomes terrified, showing his fear and ignorance that perhaps he will catch AIDS from Beckette.

    Another gritty scene that shows people ignorance and prejudice is the library scene in which Andy Beckette, is conducting researching for his AIDS case against the lawfirm that illegally fired him. The librarian in the library, first asks Andy Beckette, if he would be more comfortable in a study room, but then it becomes evident that the the ignorant librarian is telling not asking Andy Beckette to go to another room.
    Andy being, a very proud man, refuses showing his true dignity even while having AIDS.

    Joseph Miller (Washington) eventually agrees to become Andy's lawyer and this is where more powerful scenes are shown along with brilliant and well scripted performances.
    ''Justice is blind regardless of color, sex and religion.'' is the line that the Judge in the case uses to ensure the parties involved that this will be a fair case. ''Philadelphia'' gathered many Oscar Nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor leading to Denzel Washington winning for Best Actor.

    ''Philadelphia'' is not the only movie that deals with the issue of AIDS, but it is by far one of the best made.

    I Highly Recommended this movie for both educational reasons (educate people about AIDS along with the ignorant misconception people have about it), and for Journalistic and Filmmaking reasons.

    An Oscar worthy film that has to be seen.

    There is a dvd available for ''Philadelphia'' but unfortunately no, special features are given but still a great film.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Hear Springsteen's and Neil Young's songs, then press STOP
    "Philadelphia" is Hollywood's pathetic, hygienic attempt to deal with the maelstrom of controversy surrounding AIDS. It just doesn't want to offend anyone. (Even the Talking Heads's song "Heaven," heard in one scene, has its "heaven is a place where nothing ever happens" lyric rendered not so offensive.) The performances of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are noteworthy, but the film refuses to fully explore how AIDS can lay waste to a person's body, mind, and relationships. Does our main character's family and friends struggle with an admixture of hatred, disgust, pity, and sorrow for their infected son? Of course not! That would be too real for the suburban megaplex crowd and for the gay community. No, in "Philadelphia," the AIDS victim's family and friends are supportive until the end. Who's the bad guy? Well, it's our hero's employer, whose somewhat understandable fears of a ravaging syndrome (which was not fully understood in 1993) being introuduced in the workplace are portrayed as malicious. The subject of AIDS is a powderkeg, but in "Philadelphia," it seems about as controversial as cancer.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, too preachy in areas
    I finally got around to renting a copy of "Philadelphia". Honestly, I was bored and nothing seemed interesting in the video store at the time. I paid my money, took it home, popped it in, and watched for two hours. The plot is inherently well-known so I won't rehash it here. However, I do find the film to take their viewpoint in treating homosexuals as regular people to almost bashing you over the head extreme. I'm no longer a subscriber to any faith. I'm skeptical of all religions, but I still maintain a study to better understand people and show respect where I can. I respect the fact that one's personal preference in bedroom activites should not be included in workplace policy, or any other public discourse, unless mutually agreed upon. I tend to keep it behind the bedroom door. Whatever two consenting adults do is none of my business. However, if a religion states in it's holy book that the deity who inspired said holy book isn't pleased with same-sex relations, that is their belief and I respect it. Does that mean that religious people should be blindly labeled as "Homophobes"? No, only if they engage in the typical intolerance and prejudice shown to various ethnic groups the world over and apply that to actions consenting adults engage in, in the privacy of their bedroom. I've known and have worked with homosexuals in various jobs and also studied with in course during my college days, and I actually found a few to be more enjoyable and a breath of fresh air compared to some heterosexual people. I don't consider myself to be "Enlightened" (I have no time for people who claim to be anyways), but I eventually came to my current outlook in life long before I saw Philadelphia. I enjoyed the film for it's themes in removing intolerance, but the film just was a tad too preachy at times. Do I recommend it, yes, but I do know some won't change in their views no matter how foolish. ... Read more


    20. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
    Director: Clint Eastwood
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0790734680
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2962
    Average Customer Review: 3.52 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Readers of John Berendt's bestselling novel were bound to be at least somewhat disappointed by this big-screen adaptation, but despite mixed reaction from critics and audiences, there's still plenty to admire about director Clint Eastwood's take on the material. Readers will surely miss the rich atmosphere and societal detail that Berendt brought to his "Savannah story," and the movie can only scratch the surface of Georgian history, tradition, and wealthy decadence underlying Berendt's fact-based murder mystery. Still, Eastwood maintains an assured focus on the wonderful eccentrics of Savannah, most notably a gay Savannah antiques dealer (superbly played by Kevin Spacey), who may or may not have killed his friend and alleged lover (Jude Law). John Cusack plays the Town & Country journalist who arrives in Savannah to find much more than he bargained for--including the city's legendary drag queen Lady Chablis (playing "herself")--and John Lee Hancock's smoothly adapted screenplay succeeds in bringing Berendt's characters vividly to life with plenty of flavorful dialogue. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (104)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Dark at "Midnight"
    The echoes of Southern Gothic don't come much more gothic than "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," Clint Eastwood's flawed adaptation of the bestselling true crime book. While the movie only dips briefly into the genteel decadence of the upper-crust South, and the general air of Savannah, it does have its fun moments and good acting.

    John Kelso (John Cusack) has come to Georgia to cover the famous Christmas party of the wealthy James Williams (Kevin Spacey). As well as Williams, Kelso ends up befriending a bevy of eccentrics, including some happy-go-lucky partygoers and the Lady Chablis (played by... the Lady Chablis), a drag queen with a mischievous sense of humor.

    But things go wrong after the party. Williams' employee/boyfriend Billy Carl Hanson (Jude Law) is found dead after a fight with Williams -- and Williams seems like the most likely suspect. As a not-so-pleasant trial begins, Kelso sets out to unravel the mystery of what really went on that night, and what the truth behind Hanson's death is.

    The biggest flaw of "Midnight" is that it is way too short for the material it stems from -- several years and multiple trials are compressed into a matter of weeks, and many of the endearingly freaky people of Savannah are given short shrift. Only the Lady Chablis gets enough time -- the guy with the flies and poison, for example, is touched on but never dealt with.

    But as far as execution goes, much of "Midnight" is quite charming -- warm, sleepy and a little overgrown, much like the vision of Savannah it shows. Even a midnight voodoo session doesn't break the mood. And Eastwood manages to give us a charming view of the eccentricities of "Gone With the Wind on mescaline." (Exhibit A: The guy walking an invisible, deceased dog)

    Both Cusack and Spacey do an excellent job bringing their characters to life: Cusack always seems a little out of the current, a realistic outsider, while Spacey exudes grace, charm and a sort of apologetic pride. Jude Law, for the brief time we see him, does a good job as the redneck hellraiser. And who can forget the Lady Chablis? Chablis is pretty clearly having a wonderful time (playing herself, no less). The one cast flaw is Alison Eastwood, who doesn't seem to bother acting.

    While "Midnight of Good and Evil" fails to live up to its promise, it is a charming and funny look at the deep South. Well-acted but patchily adapted, this is an amusing movie if you don't expect it to stick too closely to the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A timeless piece of eccentric south
    I have lived in the south all my life. Watching this movie reminded me of how beautiful and special this place is. Clint Eastwood's interpretation of John Berendt's piece of literary art was splendid in its own right. It reminded me of how rich our heritage is. The music, the superb casting (no one can deny the talent of the great Kevin Spacey) and the seemingly endless parade of characters kept me enthralled from the beginning. It's not often a film can pull at my heartstrings, teach me something about tolerance and history, reveal such beauty and amuse me at the same time. The movie so moved me that I read the book. Although somewhat different, each form was intriguing. I have just returned from Savannah. I was constantly reminded of the story of Jim Williams as I walked the squares and felt the history therein. This filmed turned attention once again to a wonderful magical place, the South.

    2-0 out of 5 stars I liked this movie...
    ...back when it was called "The Great Gatsby!" This movie (and book) is a thinly-veiled rip-off of The Great Gatsby.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of Eastwood's best and funniest movies
    For years I put off watching this movie because of lukewarm reviews, but when I finally rented it I was delighted by its surrealistic regional irony. In fact, I was laughing out loud through much of the movie. Granted, social satire tends to rely on exaggeration and stereotype for effect, but its humor succeeds most when it portrays characters in a sympathetic rather than derisive light. This movie succeeds admirably in that regard.

    One complaint is that, as with many Ron Howard or Steven Spielberg movies, a bit of sentimental shmaltz creeps in at times, for example with the voodoo priestess character. Thank heaven at least they didn't cast Whoopi Goldberg in the role.

    If movies such as "Fargo", "Best in Show", and "Eyes Wide Shut" left you more puzzled than tickled, then this movie may seem as slow and inactive as some critics accuse. Other critics bemoan that it doesn't do the book justice: I have not read the book, but I do feel that the movie stands well on its own. So much so, in fact, that I immediately went to Amazon afterwards and purchased it. For me, anyway, this movie is a keeper.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
    I read the book when it first appeared on the bestseller list, and waited for the movie, holding my breath. The book was simply wonderful and deserved it's place as number one, but sadly, the movie was lacking. But there were some good points. Part of the fun of watching this movie is sorting out the real characters from the actors. John Cusack's role as a writer for an upscale magazine was an understandable, even essential fabrication to tie the events together with some dramatic continuity. How many people noticed Cusack's sister Ann in a brief walk-on appearance? One character that stands out, and I mean really stands out is Lady Chablis. If you watch this movie for no other reason, watch it to witness this highly unusual and sometimes hilarious real life personality who as a local entertainer still resided in the Savannah, Georgia area at the time of the DVD release. Again, for such a wonderul book, the movie didn't do it justice. One can only hope that McCrae's book, "Bark of the Dogwood--A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens" does not suffer the same fate. ... Read more


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