JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Straight Men and the Men Who Love Them (Directors: Jorge Ameer, Zach Voytas, William Branden Blinn, Adrian Benjamin Burke, Jean Carlos London) - July 22, 2008

Straight Men and the Men Who Love Them

3.5 3.5

Volume 2

107 minutes of teasers and short films looks at all kinds of male relationships.

Showing what he's got

Jorge Ameer

Voyeurs will be revved up by a sexy man (John Shaw) seductively (and oh so alone) stripping to his skivvies, then suddenly truncated at the fur line (“No ordinary dream” in the musical accompaniment sums it up well).

Zach Voytas
U.S. Teaser clip

A couple of rehearsed shop entries mixed with a pair of, er, bloodletting cutaways bring extra meaning to compare and contrast.

Dealing with your boss

Courtship at the Office
Jorge Ameer
Three stars

How do you react when your boss sends you an anonymous bouquet of roses, then presents a bunch in person during what was supposed to be a business presentation? How do you deal with the fact that both of you are male? The initial kiss was ducked, but all was revealed in your reaction to the seemingly innocent line, “Let’s see what you got,” that was made to shift the awkward declaration back into the arena of commerce. TBC

Midnight Snack
Jorge Ameer
Three and one-half stars

An independent filmmaker’s fantasy of participating in an orgy populated by the main characters from Caligula comes true as a booze-loving couple celebrates their 6th wedding anniversary by picking up then drugging down the cutest man on offer in their favourite bar. Bound and gagged watching his Nero wash down Samantha’s homemade cookies with milk at the witching hour, Paul (a.k.a. Caligula) must throw a convincing boner or face gruesome dismemberment. Ah, to be seventeen again …

Sealing the deal

Thirteen Minutes or So
William Branden Blinn
Five stars

“You liked it?” Two young men (Nick Soper, Carlos Salas) have just passionately “sealed the deal.” Neither has made love to a man before. William Branden Blinn has crafted a beautiful work of dialogue between the surprised, confused but—ultimately—radiant men whose afterglow is mixed with the reality of society as they knew it and what their new world is soon to become. Those on the precipice or those who’ve already slipped over the edge of “forbidden” love will be refreshed by his honest, moving portrayal of the heady heat of self-discovery.

The House of Adam
Jorge Ameer
One and one-half stars

No luck here. With a lame script (Jorge Ameer), stilted acting (everyone) and a first kiss from nowhere, Adam’s future adventures seem too implausible to care about. The only saving grace could well come from director of photography, Joseph White, if he’s able to capture enough of the gorgeous scenery to keep our minds off this unbelievable tale.

Robert Kerbeck and Norm Lewis as Clay and Reggie

William Branden Blinn
Four and one-half stars

William Branden Blinn takes the notion of “getting to know himself” into an emotional knockout thanks to his deft writing/understanding of love and the near-ideal performances from Robert Kerbeck and Norm Lewis. Kerbeck plays Clay, the hornier-than-thou sex-monger who delights in doing his bride-to-be, Casey (Maria Galante) anywhere, anytime. But just as the heat wears off from a kitchen humping that metaphorically dislodges the about-to-be-sent wedding invitations, Casey comes to her senses: “I can’t go through with this,” she bemoans and slips off her ring.

It falls to Lewis as Reggie (Clay’s best buddy) to bare his chest and his soul, perilously risking a friendship as he physically, then mentally confronts Clay with his shallow “taking” attitude led almost exclusively by selfish desires rather than collective wants and needs. Many insecure males may well misread Reggie’s deep-tissue massage of his perplexed pal and their own embrace of reconciliation and knowledge. Would that we all have friends as honest as that.

I'll call you

A Soldier's Choice
Adrian Benjamin Burke
Three and one-half stars

Buff boy Damon (Matthew Steffens, who wears his boxers with obvious pride) is in search of both Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now (he hasn’t had sex for a week!). Car cruising quickly nets the New Yorker John (Mike Lavoie)—a 10-year marine who loves serving his country more than satisfying his private gun. The most promising thing about the instantly infatuated couple is John’s insistance that there be no sex on their maiden night.

True to his promise (“I’ll call you,”—so often the last words heard) they go out on a real date: dinner and everything. Sadly, John’s furlough is cut short (and Damon is left stood up in more ways than one) as Afghanistan is suddenly calling and the career soldier must abandon possible love for a war that few queers support. A tad preachy in spots, it’s a wee tale for our dangerous times.

Jean Carlos London
Panama teaser clip

A fascinating premise from Jorge Ameer. What would happen when two long-lost friends meet in a holdup and are the only ones present …? JWR

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