FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| David Lean |||
David Lean

Honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1990, Lean’s body of work (ranging from the intimate film to the grandiose epic) demonstrates an obsessive cultivation of craft and a fastidious concern with detail that has become the very definition of quality British cinema.

Adapted from Noel Coward’s one-act play, Lean takes a potentially boring story of middle-age flirtation and tenderly creates one of the most enduring and poignant romance films ever made. Brilliantly underplayed, two happily married strangers meet by chance in a railway station and fall desperately in love, but never physically express the undercurrent of passion that exists between them, even during their final gut wrenching separation – if your heart doesn’t ache, you’re just not human!

Demonstrating moments of intimacy through gigantic display, Lean sets up the greatness of Pip’s expectations with the magnitude of his frightful encounters; one with an escaped convict, whose emerge into the frame reminds us what it’s like to be a child in a world of oversized, menacing adults, and another with the meeting of mad Miss Havisham, in all her gothic splendor.

Peter O'Toole made an enigmatic and lasting impression in his debut role as British officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped Arab rebels fight the Turks in WWI, and Omar Sharif has perhaps the greatest cinematic intro of all time as he magically appears through the ghostly waves of the desert heat, achieving Lean’s compulsive drive to create the perfectly composed shot. Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Claude Rains round out this incredibly talented and magnetically charged cast.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!

By BrianOrndorf

August 26th, 2008

Any film that opens with a comical beheading and electrocution deserves at least some praise, however faint it may be. A follow-up to the unleashed lunacy of 2006's "Another Gay Movie," "Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild" takes this improbable franchise even further into comedic dementia, eager to top the original picture in pure knockout vulgarity. I'd say it's a photo finish.

Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!

Off to Ft. Lauderdale for a Spring Break blowout vacation, Andy (Jake Mosser), Nico (Jonah Blechman), Jarod (Jimmy Clabots), and Griff (Aaron Michael Davies) are at a loss for words when they arrive at their resort. Confronted with available men as far as the eye can see, the boys are tickled when the “Gays Gone Wild” contest commences, awarding points for sexual encounters and assorted mischief. Pushed into the madness of the week’s festivities, the men are forced to consider matters of the heart before indulging their carnal desires, leading to serious questions of self-acceptance in the middle of a sun-kissed orgy of sexual possibilities.

“Another Gay Movie” was a fearless production, allowing director Todd Stephens (“Edge of Seventeen”) to unleash his pent-up frustrations with Hollywood and gay cinema, crafting a farce that rarely paused for a breath and absolutely relished audience discomfort. It certainly was an experience to behold, even when the jokes were sprayed over the audience with firehose-like subtlety.

“Gays Gone Wild” inches further across the already entirely smudged line of taste. Confronted with new cast members (the transition is handled well via an opening dream sequence) and assuming new confidence after his original creation scored big with the intended demographic, Stephens heads right back to the deafening pitch of comedy that has come to define this newly-minted franchise. In short: “Gays Gone Wild” is a berserk, wince-inducing, carefree spit-take on the mating rituals of our heroes, who would like nothing more than to explore the boundaries of their appetites with the miraculously-muscled galaxy of partners surrounding them.

Opening with an eventful trip aboard the “TransAmerica” airlines, “Gays Gone Wild” takes off like a rocket through a twisted series of set pieces that concern pranks with lube, games of human shuffleboard, fountains of vomit, blue-balled mishaps, misplaced lust, and musical numbers serenading the joy of golden showers, and second one performed by animated pubic lice. Yes, Stephens is going for broke here, bejeweling the production further with cameos from Scott Thompson, Amanda Lepore, RuPaul, Lady Bunny, and a few porn stars, one of whom looks litigiously like Zac Efron (Brent Corrigan), here playing a bare-assed Merman.

Oh, and there’s a supporting role saved for Perez Hilton.

The Perez idea is indicative of Stephen’s inability to judge material for true comic potential. Sure, there’s some wit laid out with nods toward “Heathers,” “Showgirls,” “10,” “Dawn of the Dead,” and the Hawaiian “Brady Bunch” episode arc. However, Stephens also makes time to showcase Perez, piggybacking on his questionable pop culture visibility, only to find himself stuck with the noxious celebrity blogger’s atrocious acting skills and his gift to ruin any scene he pops into. Portraying a religious zealot (a personality alteration instigated during a rocky bathroom oral sex session with a priest – the film shows little shame), Perez is so awful he can’t even manage to convincingly play himself. I give the performance one MS Paint semen dribble trickling down from a slack-jawed celebrity mouth out of five.

“Gays Gone Wild” can dash from a nightmare to a hoot in a nanosecond, but extending this picture over 90 minutes was a cruel mistake on Stephens’s part. In shorter, controlled form, this smothering experience would be easily tolerable, or at least digestible. Instead, the sequel only clicks when it serves a basic function to provoke and comedically spasm, and any extended exposure to these elements is bound to irritate in a hurry. There’s a promise made at the conclusion of “Gays Gone Wild” to send the boys into space. Let’s hope Stephens can snatch a more judicious editor for the next round.

My rating: B-