On screen

DVDiva: ‘All About Eve’, ‘Bazaar Bizarre’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Friday, 06 May 2011 08:33
‘All About Eve’

‘All About Eve’

‘All About Eve’

A longtime staple of the gay movie diet, the multiple Oscar-winning 1950 Bette Davis vehicle “All About Eve” (20th Century Fox) has made its way to Blu-ray to be enjoyed by future queer generations. Insightfully written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, “All About Eve” is a timeless, if campy, study of a backstabbing understudy. It’s a tale as old as the theater itself and never gets tired (see “Black Swan”).

Shot in black and white, which looks crisp in HD, and featuring humorous and revealing voiceovers from lead characters, “All About Eve” opens with Eve (Anne Baxter), receiving an acting award from the Sarah Siddons Society. But it was the performance that she gave leading up to getting the award that no one will ever forget.

DVDiva: ‘Love and Other Drugs’, ‘The People I’ve Slept With’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 19 May 2011 12:03
Jake Gyllenhaal in “Love & Other Drugs.”

Jake Gyllenhaal in “Love & Other Drugs.” – Photo: Courtesy

‘Love & Other Drugs’

Watching “Love & Other Drugs” means never having to say you’re sorry because you wanted to see more of Jake Gyllenhaal’s body. Not since he threw down in a tent with the late Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain” has Jake’s snake gotten so much attention.

A throwback to the romantic dramadies of yore, “L&OD” begins in 1996, when high-end electronics equipment salesman Jamie (Gyllenhaal) is fired for banging the boss’ girlfriend. He’s down, but not out for long. The charming and handsome Jamie scores a job with pharma giant Pfizer and puts his ladykiller shtick to good use, charming receptionists and nurses in Ohio River Valley doctors’ offices.

DVDiva: ‘Last Tango in Paris’, ‘Never Let Me Go’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:09
Last Tango in Paris

Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in “Last Tango In Paris.” – Photo: Courtesy

‘Last Tango in Paris’

With its Francis Bacon opening-credits artwork and its Gato Barbieri score, not to mention riveting performances by Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango In Paris” stands the test of time. Nearly 40 years since its release, the uncut version, now available on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, may seem tamer today but it still has the power to shock.

Paul (Brando) is a middle-aged American whose wife committed suicide in the hotel owned by her family. Jeanne (Schneider) is a very young Parisian woman who meets Paul in an abandoned apartment. He’s been wandering the streets, mourning in his fashion. Jeanne is looking for a place to rent with her filmmaker boyfriend Tom (Jeanne-Pierre Leaud). In the apartment, Jeanne’s busy opening windows, while Paul’s avoiding the light like a vampire. After exchanging a few words, excluding their names (at his request), they have sex.

TJ  Hoban is a straight man playing gay in a new Here TV series about a straight man playing gay

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:01

TJ Hoban

Almost everything about the new gay sitcom From Here On Out is designed to make you laugh. From the clever title (Here TV + Out Magazine are owned by the same conglomerate = From Here On Out, get it?) to the kooky sexual situations in which the characters find themselves. When you’re not laughing, you can gaze dreamily at eight-packed straight (but not narrow), lead actor TJ Hoban. A flawless fitness model, Hoban’s graced the covers of countless muscle mags as well as the International Male and Undergear catalogs.

DVDiva

Written by Gregg Shapiro Friday, 12 August 2011 09:52
film-trust

Liana Liberato in David Schwimmer’s new flick “Trust.” – Photo: Courtesy

‘Trust’

When it comes to being an actor/director, David Schwimmer is no Ben Affleck. But his latest film “Trust” shows signs of improvement.

Annie (Liana Liberato) is a 14-year-old high school student who wants to play on the volleyball team.  When she’s not texting, she’s making what she thinks are friends her own age in Internet chat rooms.

DVDiva: ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Tough Love’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 02 June 2011 14:54

‘The King’s Speech’

Unjustly overlooked for an Oscar for his magnificent performance in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” in 2009, Colin Firth was rewarded the following year for his portrayal of stammering King George VI in Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech.”

The film begins in 1925, when a jittery Prince Albert (Firth) has to read a message from his father King George V (Michael Gambon) at Wembley Stadium. The plot follows his transformation into a more comfortable public speaker, thanks to the help of his wife (a restrained Helena Bonham Carter) and speech therapist Lionel Logue (a fantastic Geoffrey Rush).

Eerie HBO drama 'The Leftovers' probes a post-rapture world

Written by Frazier Moore,
AP writer
Saturday, 28 June 2014 07:46

Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'

Not long ago, 2 per cent of the world’s population vanished. Quietly, instantly, with no provocation.

DVDiva: ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’, ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:21
Birdemic

Birdemic

‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’

Revenge-seeking, throat-slashing, eyeball-gouging eagles and vultures wreak havoc on a Northern California town in the name of warning humans about the dangers of climate change in writer/director James Nguyen’s low-budget, pseudo-romantic thriller “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.” Bad sound and editing, non-existent production values, video game-quality animation and amateur acting helped “Birdemic” achieve midnight-movie cult status. But there isn’t any time of day that’s appropriate to watch this disaster of a disaster flick.

Ambitious software salesman and start-up green technology businessman Rod (Alan Bagh) runs into former high school classmate Nathalie (Whitney Moore), a model whose fashion shoots take place in a strip-mall photo studio. As their romance blossoms, Mother Nature has a meltdown, leaving flocks of seagulls and crows dead on a San Jose highway and providing a heat wave in winter.

‘Ethical Slut’ launches second YouTube season

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 08 March 2014 07:46

Ben Fritz

Why is it OK, and even complimentary, to refer to a man with many sexual conquests as a “stud,” while promiscuous women are labeled “slut”?

DVDiva: ‘The Kids In The Hall: The Complete Series’, ‘Drop Dead Diva’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 16 June 2011 13:00
The Kids in the Hall

The Kids in the Hall – Photo: Courtesy

‘The Kids In The Hall: The Complete Series’

Breaking ground in ways that “Saturday Night Live” never dared, “The Kids in the Hall” not only had male stars playing female characters, but also put them in situations involving physical contact and kissing. While the gay humor was self-deprecating on occasion, it was never homophobic. That’s especially remarkable considering that the time period when they were working (1988-1995) included the height of AIDS hysteria in the entertainment industry.

Well-executed queer skits included the “Running Faggot” song, openly gay member Scott Thompson’s riff on the word “faggot,” the caped queen who prevents a gay bashing, the outing of Broadway actor Jerry, closeted TV star Tony picking up a hustler, the “Liza’s Party” movie, a couple of same-sex marriage bits and Thompson’s “gay home alone outfit.”

Gay comedian Gabe Liedman plays a gay comedian in BFF Jenny Slate’s breakout film

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:57

Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy in Obvious Child, currently in national release. Check your local movie listings. — PHOTO: Courtesy

The quirky abortion rom-com Obvious Child is about a single stand-up comedian named Donna (the amazing Jenny Slate), who gets pregnant after a one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy) and decides to have an abortion — on Valentine’s Day.

Love hurts, scars and wounds in ‘Blue Valentine’

Written by Gregg Shapiro Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:17
Blue Valentine

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams fall in and out of love in “Blue Valentine.” – Photo: Courtesy

‘Blue Valentine’

Just like the song says, love hurts, scars, wounds and marks in Derek Cianfrance’s romantic tragedy “Blue Valentine.”

There’s little doubt that this married couple – house painter Dean (Ryan Gosling) and nurse Cindy (Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams) – love each other when we first encounter them at home with their young daughter Frankie. But the unmistakable cracks are beginning to show, especially after Cindy fails to lock the yard gate and the family dog Megan gets out and is hit by a car.

Shorewood resident Miranda Levy a standout on TV’s ‘Project Runway’

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 12:21

Miranda Levy. – PHOTO: Courtesy

Miranda Levy, a self-taught Milwaukee-based fashion designer, has wowed audiences at local fashion events, including shows at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Pritzlaff Building, Flying Car MKE and numerous gala and charity events. She’s held positions as curator for Tenth Street Gallery, adjunct professor at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and color specialist for Kohl’s. As a prominent member of Milwaukee’s fashion community, Levy’s work has been showcased on the cover of M Magazine and Info Magazine, among others. 

Interview