Matthew's Movie Notes, part 1

I have this friend.

Everyone say hi to Matthew. (Hi, Matthew!)

He's a grad student at an unnamed large university in the northeast, and he's known me since I was ... crap, let's not get into how long we've known each other.

Suffice it to say, somewhere in our teens, we discovered we were kindred spirits. For quite some time now, he's been sending me one-liner movie reviews on netflix, and my general reaction is usually a snort of laughter. I haven't done anything with the emails, but I haven't deleted them either. He has since agreed to let me repost some of his movie comments here, so I present the first installment in Matthew's Movie Notes...

Boys Life 2

Netflix: "In the wake of its successful predecessor, this quartet of films continues the topic of life as a gay male in America. "Must Be the Music" offers a frank depiction of urban gay youth; "Nunzio's Second Cousin" finds a gay cop getting even with some homophobes; "Alkali, Iowa" chronicles a homosexual, Midwestern teen who unearths his dead father's secret; and "The DadShuttle" centers on the communication breakdown between a father and his gay son."

Matthew's rating: **
Note: Apparently one plank of the radical homosexual agenda is the right to do some terrible acting in poorly-written short films. Don't tell James Dobson!

Escape to Canada

Netflix: "In 2003, Canada simultaneously legalized gay marriage and decriminalized marijuana, making the often derided country a sudden beacon of liberal cool. Montreal filmmaker Albert Nerenberg investigates his homeland's quick and tenuous ascent to the hip stratosphere. Variety calls Escape to Canada a 'proud, benevolent, mischievous and altogether winning portrait of a country.'"

Matthew's rating: ****
Note: Canada has legalized gay marriage, decriminalized marijuana, and refused to send troops to Iraq. How did the U.S. ever let one of its states get so far out of line?


Netflix: "The Who made history with this campy cult classic -- the first-ever filmed "rock opera" -- which tells the tale of Tommy (Roger Daltry), a boy who loses the ability to hear, speak and see after the tragic death of his father. Despite his losses, Tommy becomes a pinball champion and religious messiah, only to have his followers betray him. Tina Turner, Elton John and Eric Clapton all turn in performances in this outlandish production."

Matthew's rating: ****
Note: This movie is fucking insane. A glorious failure so maniacally overwrought it makes "The Wall" look low-key. Plus Tina Turner belting the shit out of "Acid Queen" and Ann-Margaret's camel-toe too.

Crazy Love

Netflix: "This documentary from director Dan Klores chronicles the disturbing true story of an obsessive relationship gone awry in 1950s New York between Burt Pugach, a married lawyer, and his twentysomething mistress, Linda Riss. In a shocking reversal of the traditional "woman scorned" formula, it was Pugach who came unglued when Riss broke up with him -- and the subsequent fallout made headlines across the country."

Matthew's rating: ***
Note: It's like the old adage says: If you love someone, throw acid in her face and blind her. If she comes back to you, she's yours forever.

American Carny: True Tales from the Circus Sideshow

Netflix: "World-famous carnival personality Todd Robbins and documentary filmmaker Nick Basile (The Man Who Knew Belle Starr) take viewers on a strange and fascinating journey through the unique world of the American sideshow. In addition to eating glass and hammering a nail through his nose, Robbins introduces viewers to one-of-a-kind carnival legends, including Ula 'the Pain-Proof Rubber Girl' and Xenobia 'the Woman with a Beard.'"

Matthew's rating: ***
Note: Another entry on my list of things I never needed to see, but have now seen: A guy dangling a bowling ball from a ten-inch barbell RUN THROUGH HIS NIPPLES.

Flag Wars

Netflix: "A gripping look at a complex issue, this documentary explores the upheaval that occurs in a primarily African-American working-class neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, when it becomes gentrified. While longtime residents struggle to survive, an influx of white, gay newcomers face their own set of issues. The economic and political clash between two historically oppressed groups brings out prejudice and insensitivity on both sides."

Matthew's rating: ****
Note: Interesting chronicle of a gentrifying neighborhood in which neither side ends up looking particularly noble. What I don't get is why ANYONE -- black or gay -- would want to live in Columbus, OH.