Review: Seek (Canada: 2014): The Unsurprising and Uninspiring World of Toronto’s Night Life Revealed

Seek

Eric Henry’s debut feature about a young men in the gay club scene is way to tepid to say anything about contemporary gay life. If one has never been to a club, I suppose one might find this interesting. But the actors fail to engage with their roles as they uncover secrets that everyone knows.

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Review: Hidden Away (Spain: 2014): Asylum from the Standard Boy Meets Boy Movie

Hidden Away (aka: A Escondidas): 2014

Hidden Away (aka: A Escondidas): 2014

Mikel Rueda’s little gem about two young men attempting to act on their affection for each while one is under threat of deportation is a sympathetic portrait of how quickly love can take hold of us. While I’m not a big fan of the non-linear story development, the chemistry between  leads Germán Alcarazu and Adil Koukouh,makes this more enjoyable to watch than your standard lonely boys in love story.

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Review: Still the Water (Japan: 2014): A teenage love story for adults

Still the Water (2014)

Still the Water (2014)

Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water accomplishes something rare: a romance about young people that is clearly targeted to a more sophisticated adult audience that doesn’t rely on melodramatic tropes.  The nuanced characters, verdant natural scenery and rich themes could make this a film worth watching, but it is marred by pacing issues. I wouldn’t blame you if you checked your watch now and again. 

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Suicide Room (Poland: 2011): Run! It’s the Internet!

Suicide Room (2011)

While the premise is interesting and the performances by the leads are strong, it is just too difficult to empathize with the characters in Suicide Room, Jan Komasa’s film about a troubled teen who withdraws to his room. Hikikomori isn’t actually a social problem in Poland that I’m aware of, and I think the director passed over several more interesting stories to theorize on what it would be like if it were. A wealthy, good looking teen throwing it all away might be arresting to watch, if only the protagonist’s most dramatic act for most of the film wasn’t to hide out at home.
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White God (Hungary: 2014): a familiar tale, this time with dogs

white_god

 

A Hungarian Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kornél Mundruczó’s White God tells an allegory about betrayal, oppression and revenge, but also the durability of the bonds that form between pets and their caretakers. Canine lead Hagen walks away with this one, conveying surprising emotional depth for a newbie actor.

Rating:

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I Sell Love (Hong Kong: 2014): it could be accused of glamorizing prostitution if it weren’t so dull

Rose Chan & Pakho Chau

Rose Chan & Pakho Chau

What could have been an insider view of the practice of compensated dating and prostitution devolves into a romantic drama involving two good looking people like we’ve seen before. I’d lost interest long before Mr. Perfect showed up.

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