(*homocinematically inclined)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dearest Reviews: Bad Boys

Up for review: the latest adventures of a pansexual mutant superhero and the scandalous escapades of a bisexual Hollywood pimp.....

Deadpool 2:
What made the original Deadpool so entertaining was that it not only tweaked the nose of every cinematic superhero convention in the book, it was also surprisingly softhearted. The sequel is back with, smartly, more of the same, although the strain of keeping that snark-to-sweet balance shows more and more despite the efforts of Ryan Reynolds and his (on- and off-screen) partners in crime (now including Josh Brolin as Cable, his second Marvel villain role of the year, and Ricky Baker himself, Julian Dennison, as a hot-headed orphan with a revenge streak). While the action becomes ever-increasingly over-the-top (at one point, our hero is literally ripped in half), most of the jokes lean heavy into Reynold's (by now overly-) familiar "ain't I a naughty boy" shtick, which, let's face it, is growing old with the star now in his 40s.
(6/10) Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood:
Meet Scotty Bowers, former Marine and WWII vet who found his fame and fortune in post-war Hollywood as a service station attendant on Hollywood Boulevard not by pumping gas but by pumping... movie stars. A fateful meeting with Mr. Miniver himself, Walter Pidgeon, led our hero Scotty to becoming a very successful procurer (as well as practitioner) of male and/or female companionship for all sorts of Tinseltown elite, mostly of the closeted variety. Be prepared for shocking revelations about the secret sex lives of everyone from Hepburn & Tracy to none other than the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (for whom Scotty reportedly set up bisexual orgies for on a regular basis). It's all very sordid and at times crass (I admit to flinching when he offhandedly states that he "fucked Bette Davis"), and one can't help but question the veracity of such an abundance of sexual shenanigans, even when  the likes of Gore Vidal have backed him up.

Somewhere, under the rainbow

The bulk of the film, however, is devoted to recent interviews with Scotty himself, now a 95-year-old hoarder married to a woman who is still, even after the publication of his memoirs, "Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars", largely in the dark about the bulk of her husband's past (to be fair, she doesn't want to know... do you blame her?). Gay actor Stephen Fry is among the scant collection of talking heads, on hand to offer some historical context of the time when being gay could ruin careers, sprinkled among scenes of Scotty visiting his former "staff" and picking up old toilets off the side of the road. Director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) touches on themes of "faded glory in La La Land" but never quite develops them, and frankly, with at title like Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, one would expect far more of the latter than we end up with.
(6/10) Available on DVD November 6th.

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Halloween Costumes 2018


Fall has fell, the leaves are changing, Michael Myers is returning again... Yes, it is Halloweentime, and once again you haven't a clue what to wear. But never fear, for whether you’ll be out looking for tricks or treats (or both) this All Hallow’s Eve, Movie Dearest has got you covered with the latest creepy and kooky movie-inspired costume ideas:

For those that are feeling super:

Black Panther


Ant-Man and the Wasp

Or the Incredibles, too

For those who have been waiting for months to trot out these late-2017 inspirations:

The Amphibian Man from The Shape of Water

The Cast of Coco

LaVona Golden from I, Tonya

Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson from Lady Bird

The Bearded Lady from The Greatest Showman

For those who want to be Crazy Rich Asians:

...but only if you're actually Asian

For those who were really inspired by this year's documentaries:

Mr. Rogers from Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg from RGB

The Triplets from Three Identical Strangers

For those who want to be Toni Collette from Hereditary:

Scared Toni Collette

Scary Toni Collette

Batshit Crazy Toni Collette

For those who want to be a diva:

Cher in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Lady Gaga in A Star is Born

Edna Mode

And finally, for those who want to be a little gay...

Simon from Love, Simon

Or a LOT gay:


Monday, September 24, 2018

Dearest Reviews: An Odd Couple


The latest from the brilliant auteurs behind such cinematic quirkfests as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moonrise Kingdom and Shortbus:

Isle of Dogs:
Outside of Tim Burton, no other filmmaker working today has such a unique visual style as Wes Anderson, who returns to the medium of animation (specifically stop-motion animation) nine years after his fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox. This time it's an original story (boy, is it), an odd yet endearing dystopian adventure yarn about a boy in search of his devoted dog, who was shipped off to the titular location when all canines are banned following an outbreak of a mysterious disease. In addition to creating a world only-just-slightly askew from our own, Anderson imbues it with a sly, deader-than-deadpan humor, perfectly delivered dryer-than-dryly by an all-star cast (including Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton), gamely voicing a motley crew of mutts and mongrels. Unrestrained by physical limitations, Anderson really blossoms with animation, and the results, while maybe not for everyone, are eminently more watchable and far more entertaining than most other studio-funded toon features of late.
(8/10) Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties:
First, let's get one thing out of the way: that teen movie-ish title is stupid and misleading and hardly has anything to do with the plot, so don't let that deter you from checking out this quirky charmer from director/co-writer John Cameron Mitchell, which is ultimately more Rocky Horror Picture Show than American Pie. Loosely based on a Neil Gaiman short story, this sci-fi punk romcom takes you to a 70s-era London where the young misfit Enn (Alex Sharp) and his mates stumble into, well, an alien orgy, where he meets Zan (a fearless Elle Fanning), a comely visitor from another planet who is fed up with her group's cult-like ways (and its impending deadly rite of passage). Mitchell's film isn't quite as hip as it clearly wants to be, but any movie that features color-coded rubber costumes designed by Sandy Powell, an unexpected bisexual threesome and Nicole Kidman as a cockney has-been punk goddess is worth checking out in my book.
(7/10) Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.