Saturday, June 25, 2011

Totally Not Gay: Top 5 Homoerotic Movies

Get an image in your mind of the following: Shirtless men. Deep, smoldering glares. Ripped bodies glistening with sweat. Fierce embraces. Bulging... muscles. What came into your mind? (Wow, poor phrasing there.) Chances are, it's either gay porn or action movies. After watching Fast Five earlier this year (among many, many other movies), I'm not even sure there's a difference anymore. I've long since stopped being able to tell if the titans of testosterone in action movies want to fight or just screw. I don't think I'd even be fazed if Sylvester Stallone made another Expendables that erupted into a gay orgy halfway through. Except any male fan of these movies will always say, "Dude, it's totally not gay!"

Anyway, all that got me to thinking about the time-honored tradition of homoeroticism in action movies. Surely, some lonely Film Studies student has written a 150-page dissertation on the subject, probably titled something like Tango in Cash: A Survey of the Homoerotic in American Action Movies. If not, someone should write it, STAT. I don't have that kind of time though, so you'll just have to settle for a Top 5 list for now. Enjoy, if you're into that sort of thing.

Honorable Mentions: Any buddy cop movie ever, any boxing movie ever, just about any Schwarzenegger or Stallone movie, and, of course, Road House (1989). Not to imply that there is anything gay about Dalton (R.I.P.), but, I mean, c'mon:

5) Fast Five (2011), starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
This is just the latest installment in modern cinema's most prolific study of homoeroticism amongst the gearhead set. I mean, take a look at this. And this. And let's not forget to mention this criminally underseen spinoff. The latest installment ratchets (get it? a ratchet is a tool you would use on a car) it up a notch with the addition of The Rock, however. What used to be Vin Diesel and Paul Walker staring each other down, sweat-drenched and ready to throw down (note that I could have said "come to blows") now adds The Rock and his Steiner-esque biceps to the mix. Diesel and Johnson (how are these not gay porn sobriquets? (why "sobriquets"? because it sounded gayer than "nicknames")) have a fight scene toward the end that is the stuff of homorerotic legend. It even starts with the line, "You're going down, Toretto!" Check it out (pic hyperlinked):

4) The Lord of the Rings (all of them), starring Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd
If you played a drinking game where you had to drink every time a Hobbit did or said something homoerotic, you'd be smashed about an hour and a half into Fellowship. I'm not sure what it is about hobbits. Maybe it's their capris. Or the fact that two of them tickle-raped Boromir (never mind that he looks like he liked it). Then there's the whole Frodo/Sam thing. Douche chill! Finally, there's the giant hobbit orgy that, as far as I remember it, took up about the last forty-five minutes of Return of the King. Here it is. Judge for yourself:

3) The Transporter (2002), starring Jason Statham
Every man has his "If I were a girl..." list. Statham's on mine (along with, obviously, Steve Nash). I blame this movie (and subsequent sequels). America was already familiar with Jason Statham: British Gangster (Snatch) and Jason Statham: White Guy Who Does Martial Arts (The One). This was America's first introduction to Jason Statham: Gay Action Hero. (If you don't believe me, ask the director of the second movie). In The Transporter, Statham is shirtless at nearly every opportunity, usually stripping without even the slightest provocation (he's a real pro though -- he pushes the tension to the last possible moment before stripping). And, of course, there's the infamous oil scene. Enjoy -- I know I did:

2) 300, starring Gerard Butler, David Wenham, Michael Fassbender, Dennis Rodman (at least, I'm pretty sure it was him)
I'm pretty sure I don't even need to say anything about this one. (But you know me: I will anyway.) Anyway, this is probably the first movie that came into your mind (there's gotta be a better way to say that...) at the beginning of this post. I don't even know where to start with this one. I guess the Xerxes picture above is as good a place as any. I could also link to about a thousand pics of abs, spears held phallically, the aforementioned smoldering gazes, or I could just link to proof that the actual Spartans were into tummysticks. So yeah. This movie was just about a Madonna song away from being all the way gay. Wait, what? Someone already had that idea? Say no more. Suspicions confirmed:

1) Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Tom Skerritt
Has to be. The best bad movie of all time and the most homoerotic movie of all time are one and the same. I'll let the pics and video do the talking (warning: may include captions):

I like what I see. Maybe don't wear your Hanes next time.

This ain't gay shit. This is man shit.
Don't act like you're not impressed.
"You know where I'm gonna put this?" "Yeah."
And, of course, the volleyball scene. Need I say more? (Don't worry, I won't... much.)

These are just the ones that stand out (up?) for me. I'm sure there are countless others. Let me know what I missed... besides your musk. Which is totally not gay. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 in Film: One-Sentence Reviews

As if you couldn't tell from past entries, I'm a compulsive list-maker. I am constantly keeping tabs on things in my head -- Top 10 this, Top 25 that, etc. I even made a list of my favorite sandwiches once. One thing I usually do throughout the year is keep a running tab of all the movies I've seen in that particular year. I try to rank them as I go in relation to each other. As I was busy updating my 2011 list, I figured I might as well review them. But then I thought, "That's a lot of work." I haven't really seen that many movies this year, but writing even a few hundred words on each them seemed daunting. Then I though, "Hey, I'm lazy, it's the Twitter Age, why not just fire out a quick sentence on each?" So that's what I did. Enjoy -- it's simple and easily digestible, just like a sandwich! BEWARE: Persistent and egregious violence committed against punctuation below.

Movies ranked on a very subjective Excellent-to-Total Crap scale:

Excellent (*****)
None so far

Great (****1/2)
None so far

Very Good (****)
Paul - Made for fanboys, by fanboys; funniest of the year so far.
Fast Five - Perhaps most homoerotic movie since Top Gun -- in a good way.
Everything Must Go - Will Ferrell tries his hand at drama, is still funny, which makes the movie work.
Bridesmaids - NEWSFLASH: Women can be funny and crass too (something Kristen Wiig fans already knew).
Take Me Home Tonight - Funny, touching, nostalgic -- would-be That '80s Show adaptation decent.

Solid (***1/2)
Unknown - I'd watch Liam Neeson kick ass and take names in anything -- and I mean N-E-thing.
X-Men: First Class - Even with its flaws (useless side characters, MacAvoy's preening, etc.), still way better than anything Singer or Ratner put out.
The Hangover Part II - Yes, it was a complete rip-off of the first and, no, it didn't need to be made, but you're delusional if you didn't laugh your ass off.
The Adjustment Bureau - This had the chance to be Blade Runner-good... maybe in the hands of a more experienced director.
Source Code - Thoroughly solid genre fare, but that's it.
Kung-Fu Panda 2 - How did this not have some sort of ridiculous subtitle like Attack of the Cranes or Electric Bamboogaloo?

Mediocre (***)
The Mechanic - See entry for Unknown, replace Neeson, Liam with Statham, Jason -- watch for plot holes though.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Completely unnecessary yet entertaining enough.
Thor - Scenes in Asgard = good, scenes on Earth = zzzzz's -- do the math and the result is "meh."
Your Highness - This had soooo much potential as a brilliant fantasy genre parody, but it just wound up being a mediocre stoner comedy.

Kinda Sucked (**1/2)
Scream 4 - Actually started off fairly decent, but the wheels came off in the third act.
Sucker Punch - Zack Snyder should never, ever, ever, ever be allowed to work with actors again -- dug the style and atmosphere though.

Sucked (**), Awful (*1/2), Terrible (*), Crap (1/2), Total Crap (0)
None so far

WTF (???)
The Tree of Life - Cop-out: This is what happens when hubris goes unchecked (as it so often does).


That's it so far. I'll keep it updated throughout the year. Feel free to agree or disagree or agree to disagree.