Saturday, February 28, 2015

Branden Blinn's REMARKABLE SHADES OF GAY opens theatrically at New York's Cinema Village

The second movie attempting to ride the marketing coattails of 50 Shades of Grey (the first was the faith-based film Old Fashioned), REMARKABLE SHADES OF GAY -- a new "omnibus" movie offering nine short tales of gay and bi-sexual life from a filmmaker named Branden Blinn (aka William Branden Blinn), who directs each episode, often writes or co-writes it, and occasionally edits, and usually helps produce, as well -- takes us back to an earlier era of gay movies but does it using all the accouterments of modern filmmaking. These would include actors who can handle dialog well and moment-to-moment truth, the use of decent video equipment coupled to a sensibility that harks back to television sitcoms of an earlier day.

Mr. Blinn, pictured at left, loves happy endings, whatever the particular tale might cover -- from parenting and dying to the closet, threesomes and seducing would-be straight men. (Collectively, these tales would seem to indicate that there is hardly a straight man around who isn't champing at the bit for some good, hot cock. File under: happy endings at any cost.) So, don't come here hankering for real life. But if you're in the mood for feel-good fun featuring a whole lot of hunky guys (everyone in nearly every episode is good looking) involved in inventive but unbelievable situations, here's your movie. Despite its title, expect no bondage in the film, although, unlike 50 Shades...,  this one does features occasional full-frontal, and Mr. Blinn's final episode even takes in a couple of budding erections. So, yes, you'll probably want to stay through the end. Herewith, a short run-down on what to expect in each episode:

Thirteen or So Minutes involves two young men who claim to have been straight and who've suddenly enjoyed male-on-male sex for the first time. One wants to embrace this, the other, not so much. A little tsuris and a lot of talk ensues....

Chased introduces us to two (yes, presumably straight) friends who, as they leave a bar, get into a argument with another group of guys and must hightail it on the run. This evidently sets their testosterone to raging, and later they must come to terms with the consequences of their sudden -- and extremely unbelievable -- amour....

Never or Now offers a kind of gay homage to a certain famous scene from Bob Fosse's All That Jazz, as an old and dying man in a rest home/hospital, as soon as his wife leaves for a few hours, picks up the phone and hires a hustler to visit him. Cue loads of kindness, tinkly sentimental music, and your oh-so-typical hustler who doesn't even demand his money. Sweet -- and, gosh, such uber-realism!

Triple Standard tackles guys and sports, via a gay couple, one of whom refuses to come out of the closet and, further, gets overly macho and nasty when another male dares to joke about his sexual preference. So what's his poor lover to do. You'll find out. Hint: Things just might be OK....

Without a Mom offers up a gay couple who've raised a strapping and straight hunk of a son who is suddenly having girlfriend problems. Gosh, one of the dads wonders, maybe he shoulda had a mom instead? In a movie like this one? Don't bet on it.

Life lesson after life lesson -- gay variety -- is taught us during the course of this film, and many of these lessons seem to have to do with men who profess zero interest is sex with another male -- and then suddenly come around to seeing the light. So it is in Toeing the Line, in which, during the course of coffee in a local hangout, one hot guy comes on to another by letting it drop that, yes, he a has a very big dick. Size matters, and before you can say Show Me, Please, we're off and running. This one's nicely acted but features utterly improbable behavior taking place in a public coffee shop.

A la Carte takes on a threesome -- husband. wife and the twinkie whom hubby has brought home to screw them both. Age and intergenerational sex matter here more than size, but doncha know that everything gets resolved in lightning speed and to everyone's satisfaction.

Size matters again in Truth or Dare, as two boy/girl couples decide to play the titular game one evening. But funny how girl-on-girl action just doesn't seem to raise the collective temperature the way that boy-on-boy stuff suddenly does. This one may make you laugh, at least.

Mr. Blinn saves his hottest visuals for the closing story, in which ageism and infidelity rear their heads -- and have absolutely no negative effect whatsoever. The filmmaker's rose-colored glasses simply refuse to lose their hue, no matter what, and there is nothing life can throw at these participants that can't be managed with a good long kiss and some hot sex. If only. But I have to say that Blinn, shown below with a couple of his actors, makes it all seem like lots of fun. If you're in the right mood, you might be seduced, too.

Remarkable Shades of Gay -- self-distributed and running two hours and six minutes -- began its theatrical premiere yesterday, February 27, in New York City at the Cinema Village. But you can bet it'll be available eventually on DVD and to stream.

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