(*homocinematically inclined)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reverend’s Reviews: Hot DVDs for a Cold Winter Night

As temperatures typically hit their lowest in many parts of the country and the amorous spirit of Valentine’s Day permeates the air, February is a good month to curl up on a couch or in bed with a good, romantic movie. There are several new and worthwhile DVD releases for same-sex couples to consider in your pursuit of a “hot” time.

Bangkok Love Story(now available from TLA Releasing) is an engrossing, provocative tale of a hit man who unexpectedly falls in love with the male police informant he’s been hired to kill. I can’t resist quoting the plot description on the DVD’s back cover: “An indelible bond is forged when the vulnerable assassin (Maek, played by Arucha Tosawart) is nursed back to health by handsome, married Iht (Chayawart Sangthong). But as taboo feelings of desire swell between the swarthy new lovers, their relationship is discovered.” Uh-oh.

Set in and around the title city, Bangkok Love Story is by turns violent, sexy and touching. I can’t help but liken it to Brokeback Mountain … if that cowboys-in-love classic had been set in modern Thailand and directed by Martin Scorsese. The lead actors are very attractive, so much so that the film’s finale — in which their characters are shown years later as old men — is thoroughly unconvincing.

The plot of Whirlwind(available today from Wolfe Video) is more unsettling, but the movie is no less populated by hot-looking actors. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Atlanta LGBT film festival, Whirlwind focuses on a group of longtime friends in New York City who find their relationships torn asunder by a conniving newcomer.

Bryan West (Hairspray) stars as one-half of the committed, monogamous couple that becomes the interloper’s main target. David Rudd plays the sinister Drake, who is perhaps the most sociopathic queer yet depicted realistically. Directed by Richard LeMay (200 American) and written by Emmy-winner Jason Brown, Whirlwind could well scare any couples who find themselves “on the fence” this Valentine’s Day into monogamy.

Lest I neglect the ladies, the lesbian romance Drifting Flowerswill be released by Wolfe Video on February 3. This trilogy of poetic tales has been called a “complex queer drama and the most irresistible butch lesbian character of the year” by Written and directed by Spider LiliesZero Chou, Drifting Flowers likely has more than enough romance, identity crises and girl-on-girl action to keep you and your honey warm all winter long.

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.

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