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1104 posts categorized "MOVIES"

Oct 17 2016
Until Proven Innocent: A Review Of SOUTHWEST OF SALEM Comments (0)

Unnamed(Image via

I am sometimes embarrassed to tell a woman the name of my blog, usually resorting to, “It's Boy Culture ... but we love girls, too!”

I've never felt less attached to the name than when I was watching the new documentary Southwest of Salem, which details the heartbreaking case of four Latinas from San Antonio, Texas, whose lesbianism almost certainly led to their being imprisoned for heinous crimes they did not commit; their story was almost certainly made possible by good ol' boy culture.

DSC00728The four women with their lawyer (Image & video by Matthew Rettenmund)

The San Antonio Four—Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez—were a tight-knit group of friends who found themselves accused, in 1994, of gang-raping Ramirez's two young nieces. The girls told a wild tale of drug-fueled, Satanic-driven group sex, an expert testified that the girls' hymens were damaged and that's all their community and the local media needed to hear.

Convicted, Ramirez pulled over 37 years and her friends each received 16. Only problem is, they didn't do it, and the crime for which they were convicted almost beyond a doubt never happened in the first place.

When one of the girls accusing the women grew up and found she could not remember anything negative happening at all, she confronted her father, a man with plenty of reason to have an ax to grind when it came to his sister-in-law. He allegedly threatened her with taking her children away if she refused to stay silent. She went on the record anyway, and he did try, unsuccessfully, to meddle with her custody.

Her admission led to Vasquez's parole, and Vasquez made it her mission to help her fellow accused. Their long, torturous struggle makes up Southwest of Salem.

Director Deborah S. Esquenazi has turned in a sobering, no-frills documentary that painstakingly details the case, which has yet to fully resolve; the women are currently free, but as the film shows, they are still fighting for justice.

Esquenazi documents how the expert testimony in the original case was not only flimsy, but later disavowed by the same expert who gave it; how the police seemed all too eager to lump the crime in with the last gasp of the now totally debunked Satanic ritual abuse epidemic (the film's only arty flourish is a sequence of footage from the Silent Era that eerily communicates the accusers' over-the-top fabulism); and how the legal system is set up to keep admissions of error extremely hard to solicit, let alone receive.

Most impressively, the director accomplishes this while telling the very human stories of the women, and of the accuser who set out to make things right years later.

She also deftly touches on the role (or lack thereof) of the nascent San Antonio gay community back in the '90s when the case first achieved notoriety, and on the roles of Catholicism and family in the women's lives.

Portions of the Q&A from the screening I attended:

There are many deeply moving sequences in Southwest of Salem—which has no shortage of parallels from which to draw in comparing the Massachusetts witch hunts of the 1600s with the way POC and LGBTQ people are still routinely treated by the U.S. justice system—including scenes of despair and of joy long withheld. For me, the most compelling scene is when an elderly, white, male, Texan judge is tasked with deciding whether a case he himself presided over may have gotten it wrong. One question he asks will chill you to the bone, and should lead any right-minded citizen to ask a dozen more questions about the efficacy of our system.

Don't miss this important film—check out its official site here and donate to the women's cause here.

Oct 16 2016
Singin' Through The Pain: A Review Of BRIGHT LIGHTS Comments (0)

4777060_orig(Image via HBO)

You may think you learned all you needed to know about the mother/daughter relationship of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher when you saw Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep play them in the film adaptation of Fisher's roman à clef Postcards from the Edge (1990)—but that's only part of the story.

DSC00721Fisher with her dog, Gary, at the NYFF (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

That's a really juicy part of the story, but still, only part of it.

Since then, Fisher—who has gotten her bipolar disorder under control—has been a devoted caretaker, best friend and immediate neighbor to her mom, one of the last survivors from Hollywood's Golden Age, and their whacky, tempestuous, deeply loving relationship is captured in all its gory glory in Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds, which screened October 10 at the New York Film Festival in NYC.

The film, directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, bravely and honestly follows what appears to be the twilight of 84-year-old Reynolds' time as a star, as a working performer and on earth.

Though she seemed as sharp as a tack and as spunky as ever when I saw her four years ago at the Cinecon film fest, she was visibly diminished accepting her SAG Award in 2015, a process captured in heart-stopping detail in Bright Lights.

Now, Reynolds seems to be almost 100% retired, and it's certainly against her will. Fisher—who says many poignant and thought-provoking things in the documentary—sums up why her mother's journey is so interesting to us all, pointing out that, “Age is hard for all of us, but she falls from a greater height,” something that's true of any great star, great beauty, greatly physical performer.

Fisher and her brother, Todd Fisher, display complete love and clear-eyed understanding of their superstar mom, who is both genuinely sweet and genuinly smitten with stardom, battling forces that led to a successful career but family strife in the past, and above all, all three of them approach themselves and their situations with admirable and infectious humor.

What can you say about these people whose family unit was torn asunder by Elizabeth Taylor—who ran off with Reynolds's husband Eddie Fisher (who appears in the film on his deathbed)—and yet who seem to reference her on a daily basis? Reynolds owned many of La Liz's most famous movie costumes, Todd Fisher has a Cleopatra poster hanging in his house.

When Bright Lights airs on HBO later this year, you'll undoubtedly find yourself more impressed than ever by Fisher's wit and grit (and her singing voice), and by Debbie's determination to remain as optimistic as her body will allow.

Just an absolutely touching and enthralling piece of work—which could also be said of the people in it.

After the jump, Debbie filmed this year for her Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar ...

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Oct 14 2016
6-PACK — Luke Evans Protecting His Gayness + WaPo Is With Her! + Pence: FECKLESS Driver + Trump Jr. Slams Women Who Object To Sexual Harassment + Happy B'Day, BJ! Comments (0)

Tumblr_n23vk9F0491qbq6reo1_500(Luke Evans GIFs via TonsOfGIFs)

*widget boy cultureNewly single Luke Evans isn't “embarrassed” by being gay, but he won't talk about it. Because privacy.


*widget boy cultureThe Washington Post endorses Hillary Clinton “without hesitation,” not just 'cuz Trump is “dreadful.”

*widget boy cultureTrump says he didn't attack Natasha Stoynoff: “You take a look, look at her ... I don't think so.”

*widget boy cultureMike Pence answers 11-year-old girl's body-shaming question with lecture about “feckless” Hillary:

*widget boy cultureDonald Trump Jr. says women should put up with sexual harassment or they don't belong in the workforce:

*widget boy cultureGuess how old Greg Evigan is?

9532a4b120fbfdacb3d86a979717845d(Image via SuperTeen)

Oct 13 2016
CRIME WATCH DAILY Explores Real Story Behind KING COBRA Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.00.33 AMHarlow Cuadra & Joe Kerekes (Video still via Crime Watch Daily)

Many gay fans already know the story behind King Cobra, the new movie starring Christian Slater, James Franco, Keegan Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.02.27 AMAllen and Garrett Clayton and featuring Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald. Now, Crime Watch Daily (for which I do some work) is going over the case in minute detail, including fresh from-prison interviews with the men who killed porn impresario Bryan Kocis in an effort to gain the services of porn star Brent Corrigan.

Boyish killer Harlow Cuadra, who was a successful escort living under the thrall of his pimp/lover Joe Kerekes, was cold-blooded enough to pose as a wannabe and audition for Kocis, getting sexual with him on his couch before seizing the opportunity to slit Kocis's throat ear to ear before stabbing him 28 times. He and Kerekes then burned the house down to cover their tracks. 

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.01.16 AM“It made me feel better inside.”

Now, Cuadra recalls Kerekes coaching him before the grisy murder:

“[Joe] held my hand and said, 'Just be strong Harlow. We're going to get through this. Don't do anything stupid.' It's the last time I ever touched him.”

Incredibly, Kerekes confessed to Crime Watch Daily that he was the one who murdered Kocis, something Cuadra has always contended—but he swiftly took it back.

Keep reading to watch the full story ...

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Oct 11 2016
6-PACK —Christian Slater Feels The Fear + Mark Burnett Won't/Can't Release New Old Trump Tapes + FL Voter Registration Extended + OMG, She Hates Hillary + There Go The Judge + The Itch Is Back! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureChristian Slater felt “the fear” of playing gay in King Cobra, did it anyway. Gee, thanks!

*widget boy cultureMark Burnett claims he has no right to release damaging video of Trump from The Apprentice.

*widget boy cultureNice try, Rick Scott, but voter registration will be extended in FL by at least 24 hours.

*widget boy cultureGod-fearing woman sticks up for Trump 'cuz God used harlots to make a point, too: 

*widget boy cultureJudge Jeanine Pirro can't support Trump without a TelePrompTer. Also, something in her hair.

*widget boy cultureGeorge Burgess scratches his balls.

Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 10.43.29 PM(Video still via Rugby AM)

Oct 10 2016
Pulling POCUS: A Chat With Sexy Singer Jay Armstrong Johnson Comments (0)

5.208545(Image by Matthew Murphy for

Beautiful out singer Jay Armstrong Johnson just released his latest album, Jay Armstrong Johnson—Live at Feinstein's/54 Below (Broadway Records)—and he's 51wUqJBamoL._SS500
celebrating with a bash at the titular venue in NYC on October 30. Word is it will be Halloween-themed, which is right up the Hocus Pocus fanatic's alley!

Jay's also an actor (you may recognize from Quantico) who's just been cast as the straight guy in a sitcom version of the popular Web series My Gay Roommate.

Check out my interview with the talented crooner and actor below ...

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Oct 07 2016
HEAT INDEX — The Men Of LAZY EYE + Backed Up + Mario Hauzenberger + Nyle DiMarco + Hot Tracks + Alex Hager + Levi Karter + Maxwell Caulfield + Speedo Boys + Casey Jackson! Comments (0)

Lazy_eyeLucas Near-Verbrugghe & Aaron Costa Ganis hook up in Lazy Eye (Movie still via T42)

LAZY FOR YOU: Tim Kirkman's sexy gay romantic drama Lazy Eye is coming in November.

Unnamed(Movie stills via T42)


MARIO HAUZENBERGER: Gets exposed in his FU Underwear!

6a00e54ef49d0a883301bb091aab6f970d-500wi(Images via FU Underwear)

NYLE DiMARCO STRIPPED: How ya doin', (Team-)M8?

GUY SCHEIMAN IS MUSIC TO MY EYES: Plus, the Lady Gaga remix is insane!


 SMILES AWAY: Celebrate #NationalSmileDay with Levi Karter:

OLIVIA HATES GREASE 2: So she sez. Even though it gave us this: 

PDVD_004Maxwell Caulfield should be a verb. (Image via Paramount)

COURTING DISASTER: Malaysia goes easy on Speedo boys who'll make you go hard:



Curls for the girls, am I right¿ #Prolly15lbs

A photo posted by CASEY JACKSON (@caseyljackson) on

6-PACK — Birthday Joy + Chelsea Clinton Goes To Church + Trump Hates Regulations, Loves Russia + Rosie O'Donnell: Ivanka's BEAUTIFUL + 50 SHADES OF MUPPETS! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureABOVE: Bernie's sweet b'day message for Joy Behar. Hillary says she's always hoped Joy would have a happy b'day.

*widget boy cultureIn Trevor Church, Chelsea Clinton finds a kindred spirit: 

*widget boy cultureTrump's advisor says they would drop 10% of all federal regulations. Trump later says 70%.

*widget boy cultureLobbyist advocated for Russia while working for Trump on his foreign policy.

*widget boy cultureLike a battered wife, Rosie O'Donnell writes of how beautiful the enabling Ivanka Trump is.

*widget boy cultureBest thing ever: A Muppets parody of 50 Shades of Grey.

Screen Shot 2016-10-07 at 11.35.59 AM(Video still via Darth Blender)