Sinema review

CABLE CONNECTIONS…

TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS

This Showtime Original Movie isn’t on video yet, but you can still catch it as it plays on the cable network. A video release is due next Fall. What would you do if you had the opportunity to take a DNA test to find out if your unborn baby is healthy? Better yet, what would you do if the same test also produced evidence that the baby would be born homosexual?


That’s the dilemma facing Suzanne (Jennifer Beals), her husband Bob (Jon Tenney) and Suzanne’s family. The Golds have already had to face the homosexuality of their son David (beautifully played by Brendan Frasier), and find themselves perplexed when Suzanne informs them of the news. Mom Phyllis (Faye Dunaway) and father Walter (Garry Marshall) are not thrilled with the news, nor is husband Bob, whose company performed the controversial test. They enforce Suzanne’s decision to abort the baby. Suzanne decides to keep the news away from brother David, because she knows it would break his heart. David, who is preoccupied with the staging of an unpopular opera, eventually finds out and confronts Suzanne about her decision. This confrontation sets the stage for an explosive argument between David and his parents. When Walter confesses that he can’t stand what his son is, David turns his back on his family. David’s boyfriend, Steven (the ever hunky Sean O’Bryan, who played Nathan Lane’s boyfriend in “Frankie & Johnny”) comforts him while trying to help set things straight, literally speaking. Based on Jonathan Tolins’ thought-provoking play, “The Twilight of the Golds” manages to bring some laughter into an otherwise dire situation. It helps that Rosie O’Donnell is on hand as Suzanne’s friend and co-worker. Marshall favorite Jack Klugman also turns up briefly as Bob’s father. This is a must-see made-for-cable movie that will leave you with a lot to think about. (Not Rated/Showtime)

GENDER BENDER…

TWELFTH NIGHT

Who better to bring William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” to the screen than director Trevor Nunn, who has been the guiding light behind the Royal Shakespeare Company for over 20 years. Nunn knows Shakespeare, and he knows how to make it accessible to everyone. That’s why he’s the perfect choice to deliver this frothy gender bender comedy that’s filled with outstanding performances, witty dialogue, and exquisite period detail. Set in the 18th century, the story begins during a violent storm at sea. When young Viola (Imogen Stubbs) washes up on shore, she fears that her twin brother, Sebastian, has drowned. A stranger in a strange land, Viola immediately senses this is no place for a woman. So she cuts her hair, slips into her brother’s uniform, and slaps on a fake mustache. Viola becomes Cesario, and in no time, finds a job as a page for Count Orsino (Toby Stephens). Cesario’s first job is to relay the count’s feelings for the lovely lady Olivia (Helena Bonham Carter). The simple request sets into motion a series of complications that include Viola falling in love with Orsino, Olivia falling in love with Viola, and Malvolio (Nigel Hawthorne), Olivia’s chief-of-staff, falling in love with her. What a wicked web they weave, one that director Nunn captures with subtlety rather than high theatrics. Nunn keeps everything light, and has done a splendid job on redefining Shakespeare’s play. (Rated PG/New Line Home Video)

LAUGH TILL IT HURTS…

OUT THERE

They say laughter is the best medicine. Then I recommend you take a dose of “Out There” every night to lift your spirits. “Out There” is a three-tape collection of some of the best and funniest gay and lesbian comedians working the circuit. You won’t find these folks doing their material on “The Tonight Show” or “David Letterman.” Unless you happened to catch one of these shows live, the only way you’re going to see them is on video. The first tape in the series, held San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, made it’s debut on October 11, 1993, which coincidentally happened to be National Coming Out Day. The queen of lesbian comedy Lea DeLaria hosts the first outing, which includes some truly hilarious comics doing their best gay humor. The line-up includes the legendary Phranc, HIV+ comic Steve Moore, Pomo Afrohomos doing a skit called “Queer Value Channel”. Get it? QVC? “Out There 2” was shot at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York. It debuted on National Coming Out Day in 1994. This one is hosted by “Married with Children” star Amanda Bearse, who sets the tone for a riotous evening of hilarity. Comedienne Kate Clinton does a winning routine about having her folks over. She has to “straighten” up the apartment. Hunky Scott Silverman playing straight clubs, while John McGiven’s set features the comic doing a portion of his one-man show. “Out There in Hollywood” was released on National Coming Out Day in 1995. The host is “Kids in the Ha;;” star Scott Thompson, who dresses in drag to play a hooker getting tips from a dense Margaret Cho. Robin Greenspan relates what it’s like to be dating a female gynecologist who likes to leave her work at the office. Sabrina Matthews talks about what it was like to be a dyke when her mother wanted a debutante. A must-see for anyone looking for gay and lesbian humor that doesn’t stoop to gutter humor. (Not Rated/Rhino Home Video/”Out There” can be ordered through Wolfe Video by calling 1-800-GET-WOLFE or via e-mail at order@wolfevideo.com.)

NEIGHBORHOOD NUDES…

AMERICA’S HUNKIEST HOME VIDEOS

When I first reviewed this series back in December, I only had in my possession the bookends to this seven-volume collection. I recently got the remaining five titles in the series, and they’re just as hot (and sometimes even hotter) than the others. Spanning a four year period, these hot and hunky tapes gorgeous stud-muffins going about their everyday lives when they feel the urge to get naked, and in most cases, wet and naked. There’s more variety in these tapes, including more black men. These guys come in every shape and size, but none are hard to look at. The fun is getting past the set-up, wondering just when these guys are going to drop their drawers. One guy goes spear-fishing before he decides to head back to shore and tan in the buff. Another hunky chap begins trimming his backyard before he starts trimming off his clothes. My favorite is the drop-dead gorgeous auto-mechanic who steps into the back room to cool off with a fan. Better yet, most of the subjects captured here find themselves so stimulated that they just can’t keep a good thing down. Steve Malis is the hot host who introduces each collection. Superior productions values and that slice of life called variety makes this collection a winner. (Not Rated/Campfire Video)



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