Monday, February 28, 2011

Movie Monday: Were the World Mine

I've been a bit disappointed in several of the movies I've seen recently, which is why I was absolutely thrilled to find this little gem of a movie from 2008.

Summary courtesy of IMDb:

If you had a love-potion, who would you make fall madly in love with you? Timothy, prone to escaping his dismal high school reality through dazzling musical daydreams, gets to answer that question in a very real way. After his eccentric teacher casts him as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he stumbles upon a recipe hidden within the script to create the play's magical, purple love-pansy. Armed with the pansy, Timothy's fading spirit soars as he puckishly imposes a new reality by turning much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby-jock of his dreams. Ensnaring family, friends and enemies in this chaos, Timothy forces them to walk a mile in his musical shoes. The course of true love never did run smooth; it's a bumpy ride.

So, the premise is a little fantastic - a magic potion to make someone fall in love. I think its uniqueness, and the fact that this premise exists in a movie that has a contemporary setting, is part of what I enjoyed about it. The dialogue isn't quite seamless, but the entire cast are well-suited to their roles. Tanner Cohen is sweetly hopeful as Timothy. The slightly-batty drama teacher is perfect, as is the gym teacher.

The movie carries on the grand tradition of so many tales that warn us to be careful what we wish for, and does it with music and Shakespeare and a little bit of fairytale. I give it 7/10.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Uncle's Wedding

My Uncle's Wedding is a children's book about Andy, a little boy who is getting ready to participate a happy occasion - his Uncle Mike's wedding to Steve. Click the link above for a reading, and for information on how to purchase.

Girls Walks Into a Bar

This movie featuring ZQ and others will be released March 11 online.

Anyone else wonder when ZQ finds time to sleep?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Monday: Redwoods

Yes, I'm still in my self-imposed exile from the web. Thanks to the miracle of scheduled posting, however, I can still bring you this week's Movie Monday review, 2009's Redwoods.

From IMDB:

An unfulfilled gay man in a stagnant relationship finds his life changed forever when he meets a struggling writer visiting the Redwoods Country.

I really, really hesitated before reviewing this story. Before I could review it I had to ask myself whether I wanted to use this forum only to highlight decent movies, or whether I should give my honest opinion on the stinkers, too.

My decision on that point should be readily apparent when I recommend you pretend you've never heard of this movie. Really, the only halfway decent thing about it is the scenery, and there isn't nearly enough of that to justify sitting through this. The dialogue is terrible. Brendan Bradley, who plays the unfaithful partner, is wooden and stilted throughout the movie. He and Matthew Montgomery have zero chemistry. Bradley's character, Everett, has a son with his partner. The son, Billy, has what appears to be a sensory integration disorder, such as autism or Asperger's. The relationship Everett has with Billy could have been explored more deeply, could have been one thing that actually gave Everett's character some life and realism, or made him even vaguely sympathetic. Instead, it fell completely flat.

And after all that, there isn't even a satisfying ending. On the subject of star-crossed lovers, I'm a great believer that a happily-ever-after isn't an absolute necessity - IF your story is strong and the acting is stellar. However, others have portrayed this idea to a far greater degree of success: Brokeback Mountain is evidence that an ending need not be happy, to have tremendous impact or to cap off a truly great movie.

This? Is not Brokeback Mountain. My rating is, "Well, there's two hours of my life I'll never get back".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speak your truth quietly and clearly

Thank you to Jean Dennehy Argus for this thoughtful and passionate video.

An Anniversary

Two years ago today, on February 15, 2009, I posted the first chapter of the first thing I'd ever written - a little QAF-inspired story called Over The Top. Never could I have imagined that two years later I'd have written and posted over half a million words (520,408 according to, including their bloat and author's notes). That day was the beginning of the most creative period of my life, and if I'm never paid for a single word of my writing, I'm grateful for the outlet writing gives me.

I'm also glad for the connections and friendships I've made as a result of my little hobby - so many lovely people I'd never have known if not for the world of derivative fiction. Thank you to everyone who has supported and reviewed my stories, and sent me PMs and emails. And happy anniversary! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Movie Monday: A Single Man

This week's movie is Tom Ford's directorial debut, 2010's A Single Man.

Paraphrased from IMDb:
It's November 30, 1962. Expatriate Brit George Falconer, an English professor at a Los Angeles area college, is finding it difficult to cope with life. Jim, his partner of sixteen years, died in a car accident eight months earlier when he was visiting with family. Jim's family were not going to tell George of the death or accident let alone allow him to attend the funeral. This day, George has decided to get his affairs in order before he will commit suicide that evening. As he routinely and fastidiously prepares for the suicide and post suicide, George reminisces about his life with Jim. But George spends this day with various people, who see a man sadder than usual and who affect his own thoughts about what he is going to do. Those people include Carlos, a Spanish immigrant/aspiring actor/hustler recently arrived in Los Angeles; Charley, his best friend who he knew from England, a drama queen of a woman who romantically desires her best friend despite his sexual orientation; and Kenny Potter, one of his students, who seems to be curious about his professor beyond English class.

My review: A Single Man stars Colin Firth, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult and Julianne Moore. It's a movie that changes you and stays with you for days afterward, ruminating over the people and relationships George moves through in the course of a day in his life. Charlotte - who was a mystery even to Jim, as we see in one of the several flashback scenes - is a bit pathetic, holding on to decades-old hope that George might reciprocate the feelings she has for him. George's students are surprised, but mostly unmoved, by the intensity he shows when talking about society's perceptions of minorities.

Tom Ford takes a light hand, employing subtlety in many scenes rather than playing them out or spoonfeeding viewers every detail. For instance, when George gets the call from Jim's cousin about the accident that has taken Jim's life, it's not necessary that we see every second of his grief in the days following. It's enough to watch George attempt to take in the news in the first seconds after the call ends, then briefly follow his frantic, stumbling journey to Charlotte's house a block or two away. We don't need to hear George tell her what's happened - the brief look wordless anguish on his face and the horror on hers is enough before briefly cutting back to the present day. George doesn't need to say that he now hates answering the phone.

I think it's the subtleties, the things left unsaid, that have stayed with me in the numerous times I've watched it. Little details like moving from the usual faintly sepia-toned scene to several seconds of saturated colour when something truly makes contact with George's consciousness - it's a very illusive change, almost imperceptible, but when you realize it's happening it's so profound. Finally, my favourite parts of the movie are the flashbacks to George's life with Jim. Some cover pivotal events like the night they met; some reflect on moments of commonplace domesticity - spending an evening reading quietly together and bickering about whose turn it is to change the record when the music ends.

I can't say enough about this movie, perhaps with the exception of Julianne Moore. While she played Charlotte well - the ennui and longing for what her life could have been - she was an unconvincing Brit. It would have been quite a bit more seamless if the character was American. Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Kortajarena and especially Matthew Goode are superb. Jim - cheerful, wry and confident in himself and his love for George - is unquestionably my favourite character and Matthew Goode plays him beautifully.

A Single Man gets 9.5/10 from me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Army & Navy, by Amanda Warrington

If you're a fan of Spork fiction, chances are you've heard of Amanda Warrington, who has been around the Trek fandom forever. Last night she wrote a comment-on-a-comment-fic that was simply awesome.

Here's how it happened: The Kirk/Spock Valentine is in progress, with several posts being made by various authors and artists each day. DeliciousNY, who is a very talented author and has made some of my favourite K/S art, contributed a lovely piece based on a WWII-era Valentine card. Her artwork depicts WWII American Army Spock and American Navy Jim gazing adoringly at each other.

Among the comments following her piece was one mentioning how much the commenter would love to see a fic based on that artwork. Amanda promptly filled the request with a lovely story called Army & Navy - first as a comment fic, and then when she'd "buffed and polished it", on her own blog.

And who was the commenter whose prompt led to this beautiful little story? Hmm, who was it...oh, that's right, IT WAS ME. :D I was completely thrilled to have the prompt filled - it wasn't even intended as a prompt, just an offhand comment, really - and the fact that it was Amanda Warrington who did so is awesome.

Click here for DeliciousNY's piece
Click here for Amanda's LJ

Thank you both! :)

New Jacey Elthalion video

a;lfkaes;lfajw;sel fiavlfva;lewk rj;f ajwaslkefra;we lrka[wepofiams'd bork bork bork!!

In other words...GAH.

Someone posted a comment on my "Jacey Elthalion is Flawless" post with the above video - they must have deleted it shortly afterward but it was enough to send me the email with the link. Thank you so much! This is SO spank bank-worthy. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Movie Monday: Big Eden

It's time for a brand new feature on the blog - Movie Monday! Each week I'll recap and review a LGBT-themed movie. Some you may have already seen, others you may not. I'm also open to suggestions for future reviews and recommendations on movies you've enjoyed - always looking to expand my gay movie catalogue.

The inaugural review goes to a movie I found a couple of months ago, a gem from 2000 called Big Eden.

Here is the synopsis from the movie's listing on IMDB:

Big Eden is a tiny fictional town in northwestern Montana, as Preston Sturges or Frank Capra might have envisioned it. Timber and Cowboy country. This is the story of Henry Hart, a successful New York Artist, who returns to the town of his childhood to care for the ailing grandfather who raised him. Back in Big Eden, Henry must come to terms with his relationship to Dean Stewart, his best friend from high School, as well as the object of his unrequited love. All these years Henry has been pining for a dream image of Dean from back then. This is also the story of Pike Dexter, the shy, unassuming Native American owner of the town's general store, who is as surprised as anyone to find himself falling in love with Henry. The people of Big Eden conspire and attempt to bring Henry and Pike together.

My review: Henry's relationship with his grandfather Sam, whom he calls Sampa, is lovely and sweet. I loved the moment when Henry first arrives at Sam's cabin, drops his bag and coat on the ground and runs and jumps off the long dock, simply for the sheer joy of being back at the place he was raised. The character of Pike is both sad and heartwarming; he's so unsure when he's around Henry, yet during the times he's with his friends at the store, he has a dry wit that cracks me up.

Speaking of his friends at the store, they are surprisingly keen to help Pike woo the male object of his affection, as are all the others in this tiny Montana town (did you hear that, Montana??). The Widow Thayer, who at first parades a string of women in front of the single Henry, is an equal-opportunity meddler as she immediately changes tactics to present him to a series of men once she finds out he's gay.

I loved the movie, and it's got the best, most satisfying final scene I could have hoped for. There are a lot of faces you'll recognize here, and I was most excited to realize that Pike was played by Canadian Eric Schweig. I've had a little thing for him since he played Uncas in Last of the Mohicans.

I give Big Eden 9/10 - darn near perfect.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

Watching this made me weep, in the best possible way. :)