Aug 21, 2021

15 New Movies and TV Shows on Netflix. How Many Won't Be Awful?


Yesterday I went through the "Movies We Think You'll Like" list on Amazon Prime, searching for something that wasn't about a boy and a girl falling in love.  One or two out of fifteen -- not bad.  Today it's Netflix's turn.

1.Black Island.  "The dark secrets of a seemingly peaceful island threaten to swallow up an orphaned student when he grows closer to a mysterious new teacher."  A cute guy on the icon, and maybe the teacher is male.  Whoops, the trailer is 99% him kissing a girl!

2. Walk of Shame.  "After a night of boozy carousisng, a newscaster finds herself stranded on the streets of L.A."  It's a comedy: everyone she thinks is dangerous turns out to be helpful.  I imagine she'll fall in love with James Marsden, who gets second billing.  But maybe.

3. Everything will be Fine. 
 Muscleman on the icon, but: "A separated couple live together for their child's sake."  Next!

4. The Defeated.  In 1946 Berlin, an American cop (Taylor Kitsch) stumbles upon dark secrets, political intrigues, yada yada yada...partnered with a German cop.  Guess the gender of the German cop, with whom he will no doubt have some Mulder-Scully "will they or won't they" romances..  Next!

5. Sweet Girl. "He lost the love of his life to a pharmaceutical company's greed.  Now his daughter... Next!

6. Man in Love:
Man (Roy Chiu) falls in love with a woman caring for her aging father.  Isn't this the backside of a movie I read about yesterday on Amazon: Woman caring for her aging father falls in love with a man?

7. Becket.  Samuel Becket the absurdist writer, or Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury?  Neither.  This Becket is an American tourist in Greece (John David Washington) who stumbles upon dark secrets, political intrigues, yada yada yada.  No woman on the icon or mentioned in the blurb.  Maybe.

Wait -- the trailer is 10% establishing shots of Greece, 10% chases and explosions, and 80% Becket kissing, hugging, and holding hands with a woman.  Next!

8. Hit and Run. "A man searching for the truth behind his wife's death..." Next!

9. Valeria.  The icon shows a redheaded woman eating pasta and looking quirky.  In the trailer, she is about to masturbate when a man comes to the door.  She's a writer with writer's block and marital problems, who seeks the help of her three best friends.  All women.  Maybe one is a lesbian, but I'm not sticking around to find out.

10. I Need Romance.  Man and woman hugging on the icon.  Next!

11. My Girl. Macaulay Culkin as a little boy who falls in love with a dying girl.  Strangely, it is marked as "feel good."  How can a movie about someone dying ever be "feel good"?

12. Sweet Tooth.  A post-Apocalyptic world where some people have mutated into half-animals.  I can't watch because the opening shot of a half-human half-animal baby in its nurse's arms makes me nauseous.

13. A Letter for the King. 
Tiuri (Amir Wilson),  a young knight-in-training (um...the word is "squire") goes on an "epic quest" to save his kingdom.  Sounds hackneyed, but maybe there's some buddy-bonding with his quest companions.  Wait -- in Episode 2, he hooks up with his "love interest" Lavinia, who becomes his only companion for the rest of the quest. Next!

14. IP Man: The Finale.  Why did Netflix recommend the last movie in a series?  IP Man (Donnie Yen) and his son go to San Francisco to see his star pupil, martial-arts legend Bruce Lee (Danny Kwok-Kwan Chen).  No boy-girl romance is mentioned in the plot synopsis.  Maybe.

15. The Chair.  Ji Woon (Sandra Oh) becomes the first woman of color to chair the English Department at a prestigious university.  I get enough faculty politics on the job!  Besides, one of the faculty members is a guy with a cliche dead wife.  Next!

0 of the 15 movies and tv series have gay characters mentioned in plot synopses.  Back to Amazon Prime!

Aug 20, 2021

15 New Movies on Amazon Prime: How Many Won't be Awful?


I've been out of town on vacation for two weeks, with little access to tv.  Let's see if Amazon Prime has gotten any new terrible movie selections that "we think you'll like."

Translated:  Paul, who may or may not be the Apostle Paul, finds himself zapped from ancient Rome to the 21st century, where he hooks up with some slackers (whom, I assume, speak Latin) and observes contemporary Christianity.  Doubtless he is qiute critical. 

: What's with the one-word titles?  Amazon Prime is getting as bad as Netflix.  A "deputy sheriff"  tries to save a boy  (Joseph Stam) who grew up feral in the mountains.   Isn't that the plot of Nell?  Except there the man rescues a woman, and of course falls in love with her.  Here Keith (Ryan Henderson) has a wife and three kids, and plans to adopt the boy. One of the kids is a teenager (Elijah Bullen), but he and the feral boy don't get along.  Why am I getting so many fundamentalist movies?  I'd rather watch heterosexuals falling in lo-ooo-ove.

The Wake of Light: Mary, who cares for her disabled father after his stroke, meets handsome stranger Cole (Matt Bush). Heterosexuals falling in lo-ooo-ove.  But how does light have a "wake"?

My Pet Dinosaur
A teenage boy (Jordan Dulieu) adopts a baby dinosaur, which causes problems when it grows to full size.  No plot synopsis on wikipedia, but a girl has second billing, so I'm sure hetero-love is in the air.  (The picture is from the play Follow Me Home).

Griff the Invisible.  A superhero movie.  The trailer shows the superhero hugging a woman, interspliced by action shots.  Ugh!

Address Unknown:
"Ten years after their father's tragic deaths, two teenagers' tragic common bond leads to friendship and adventure."  Enough tragedy for you?  Wait -- are the two teenagers a butch girl and a femme girl?  I guess not -- this movie is from 1997, and the "butch girl" is actually Kyle Howard with an androgynous haircut.

Stay Cool: An author returns to his home town to deliver a commencement address at the high school, and runs into drama.  And meets a girl, of course.

Root of the Problem:  A Southern family finds a real-life money tree, and learns what really matters in life. Let me guess: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:19).

One and the Same: A young woman is invited to "a facility," where she discovers an experiment "beyond space and time."  Is she going to meet Cthulhu?  No, she flashes back to her past life as a teenage boy named Robbie (Acoryé White, top photo ), who was murdered by an "ex-con." Now she wants to bring "her" murderer to justice.  

I hate the myth that all ex-cons are violent.  Most people are incarcerated for property and drug offenses.  Plus this is the plot to The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (daughter falls in love with the reincarnation of her mother's murdered lover).  But there's some gender fluidity, anyway. 

Jaws 3: There was a third installment?  The trailer shows a lot of women in weird costumes performing surfing stunts, while someone yells "Shark! Shark!"  No beefcake.  Next!

Take Shelter.  Curtis lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and six-year old daughter. Next!

Rick (Matt Steele) thinks he's a shoo-in for the lead in the high school musical, until the hunky basketball star (Timothy Brundidge) decides to audition.   The trailer isn't clear: will the competition lead to the boys falling in love?  But it's advertised with "Celebrate your Pride!", so I'm in.

Oh, I get it.  The title of the movie is Divos!.  

The Inheritance.  A woman inherits a castle in Europe, and a "dark and disturbing secret" where "things are not what they seem."  Did the person who wrote the synopsis copy from a book of cliches?  A guy gets second billing, so doubtless there will be a cliched "love interest."

The Grotto. 
The plot synopsis is garbled, but I think it's about a young man (Arthur Vinciprova) accused of killing his wife and four other people in a cave, but he claims she was possessed by a demon.  A novel twist on the "dead wife" cliche.

Indigenous.  American tourists in Panama "have a very terrifying experience."  No more details, no plot synopsis, but a photo of a fully clothed man and a boobitudinal woman looking scared.  Next!

One out of 15, two if you include the gender-bending reincarnation.  Not a bad score. 

Aug 19, 2021

"Out of My League": Italian Romcom with Dying Girl and her Straight Gay Best Friends

 Three people are jogging, a girl bookended by a man and a woman.  They are apparently stalking a hot guy, who catches on and asks the girl what she wants.  "Dinner," she says.

The movie is Out of My League (Sul più bello, 2020).  If it is a classic romcom, the jogging companion will be the girl's gay best friend.  I'll watch to see how much he swishes.

Scene 1: A little boy leads a girl to the altar for a pretend wedding.  When she discovers that her groom is Zac Efron, she rebels: she married him last week!  She sorts through a trunk containing dozens of groom faces drawn on paper plates to find the right one: David Beckham.

Switch to 11 years later, and the girl, Marta, is still driving around  Turin with a mannekin of her pretend-husband.  Don't get excited, this is the only time we will see the city.

She notes that many girls who are plain as children turn into beauties, but she has remained "a caterpillar," so her chances of finding an actual man are nil.  But she has her friends: the swishy fashionista Jacobo  (Jozef Gjura) and the butch math prodigy Federica (who came out to her horrified parents at age 11).  Neither fashion nor math will be important later.

A romcom heroine with two gay friends?  That's a first.

More back story: her parents died when she was three, car crash (it's always a car crash.  Don't people die of anything else?).  She has a rare genetic disorder, mucoviscidosis, which requires her to use a nebulizer, do physiotherapy, and avoid damp places, but will eventually kill her.

A dying girl gets a boyfriend?  Isn't that the plot of Love StoryMy Girl and Bridge to Terabithia?  I guess those were from the point of view of the boy, who has the problem of being in love with a dying girl.  This is the flip side, but I still don't want to watch.  I'll just go through on fast-forward, to see if Jacobo and Federica do anything besides support Marta as she cruises and dies.

At minute 14, Marta stumbles into the bedroom to find Jacobo and Federica having sex.  Wait --- what?  They explain that they are trying to have a baby together.

 Gay men having sex with lesbians?  But I guess no one actually identifies him as gay, just swishy.  He had a boyfriend at age 11, but apparently no one, male or female, since.

Later the two have a discussion about the baby: "What if we meet someone and don't live together anymore?  Who will the baby live with?"  

 Otherwise its Marta, Marta, Marta, as she rejects the boy-next-door and pursues (and wins) the hot, athletic, super-wealthy Arturo (Giuseppe Maggio, top photo).  He dumps his supermodel girlfriend for her. 

I guess he wants to congratulate himself on performing a noble act, fulfilling a dying girl's last wish (to get laid?).  Not to worry, in a few days he can go back to supermodels.

Beefcake: A little of Jacobo and Arturo.

Other Sights: No.

Gay Characters:  Federica and Jacobo, I suppose, but they never diplay any same-sex romantic or erotic interests.  They are only into each other.  

Dying Girl: Yes.

My Grade: You don't want to know. 

Dierich Bouts: Medieval Beefcake Painter

A scary monster is carrying away a naked guy.  I guess we're supposed to feel terror, but when I was a kid and saw this painting in my friend Greg's house, the only thing I could think of was "I can see his wiener!"

It was just a small painting in his father's study, so I didn't see it often, but it was memorable, probably because my reaction was so different from the one expected of me.

I just tracked it down: A segment of  La chute des damnes (The Fall of the Damned), paired with L'Ascension des élus (The Ascent of the Elect), painted between 1468 and 1470 by Dieric the Elder, now in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, France.

But don't get excited. There are a few butts, but no more wieners.

We don't know when Dieric Bouts was born (probably between 1410 and 1420), or where he studied (his work suggests the influence of Flemish painter Rogier van den Weyden).

We know only that he became the "official painter of Leuven" (now in Belgium) in 1458 or 1459, that he was commissioned to do a lot of portraits and religious art, that he married twice and had four children, and that he died on May 6th, 1475.

And that he was interested in muscular male bodies.

Check out The Martyrdom of St. Hippolyte, the center panel of a tryptich that Dierich painted for the altar of the Sint Salvator Kathedral in Brugge about 1470 (now in the Groningen Museum).

Looks like the same guy as the one being carried away by a demon.

His beefcake model got a monk's haircut in The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, the central panel of a tryptich in the Sint-Pieterskerk in Leuven.

Dieric definitely had a type.

His two sons, Dieric the Younger and Aelbrecht, both became painters.

Aug 18, 2021

Christian Boeving: Fitness Expert turned Porn Star turned Movie Monster

With a name like Christian Boeving, you expect someone from Belgium or the Netherlands, but in fact the bodybuilder was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Missouri.  He began posing for muscle and fitness magazines at the age of 18, and is one of the most photographed people in the world, appearing on over 400 covers to date.

He's also a fitness writer, consultant, and spokesperson for bodybuilding supplements, though he has lost status in the industry after admitting that he had been using steroids since age 16.

He broke into show biz with a gay porn video, Posing Strap (1994) and a tv pilot, the aptly named Muscle (1995).  

Guest roles in a number of tv series and movies followed, usually roles requiring musclemen: Prey, Nash Bridges, Malcolm in the Middle, and Sheena.

He also continued his porn career in the gay Coverboys (1996) and the softcore straight Andromina: The Pleasure Planet (1999).  

Although Christian starred in a man-mountain "let's rescue someone in Southeast Asia" movie, When Eagles Strike (2003), his most important roles have been in sci fi and fantasy:  The monster Grendel in Beowulf: Prince of the Geats (2007);  Jack Stone in Apocalypze Z, aka Zombie Disaster (2013); Andre in Legend of the Red Reaper (2013).

Not a lot of gay roles, except for the porn, but what do you expect for a bodybuilder?  Hollywood likes its gay male characters wispy.

The Adamites: No Private Property, Marriage, or Clothes

The Adamites were an early Christian sect that tried to restore the innocence of Adam and Eve by not wearing clothes, especially during their religious services, and by abolishing marriage and  having sex with whoever they wanted.  We don't know much about them; they appear in only a few scattered references by later Christian authors like  St. Augustine.

But during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation, new Adamites arose:

1. The Taborites in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).  Followers of Pietist Jan Hus (founder of the Moravians), they abolished marriage, the priesthood, and private property.  They didn't abolish war, though, and used their walled city of Tabor to fight the other Hussites and the Crusaders.

Today there's a Tabor College in Kansas, founded by the Moravian Church, which does not practice casual nudity anymore.  In fact, the church is quite conservative.  This is probably the only picture you will ever see of a Moravian in a swimsuit. 

2. The Brethren of the Free Spirit, a movement of "lay brethren," men who lived together but didn't take holy orders, in the Netherlands and Germany.  They believed that the world was ending soon, so why bother with work?  Or the Eucharist? Or marriage?  Or clothes?

No doubt a lot of same-sex romances were going on.

The naked men shoving flowers into each other's butts in The Garden of Earthly Delights were probably Brethren of the Free Spirit.

3. The Beghards, male counterparts of the Beguines, men who refused marriage and lived communally, but did not take on holy orders.  They lived by begging, and devoted themselves to spiritual life.   Although repeatedly condemned by mainstream Christian churches, they lasted until the 19th century.

4. The Neo-Adamites of Bohemia started in 1781, and lasted until they were repressed by the Austro-Hungarian government in 1849.

Several artists have used the Adamites as an excuse to draw or paint penises.

Night Meeting of the Adamites, by  Francois Morellon la Cave (1696-1768)

The Doom of the Adamites, by Frantisek Zenisek (1846-1919)

Adamites, by the Union of Bulgarian Artists

Aug 17, 2021

Balkan Ghosts: A Lost Gay World

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, teachers and textbooks never mentioned the Balkans, except for a few guarded references to the Soviet Bloc.  So in my earliest childhood, my information was scattered and spotty, dreamlike, whispering that the countries of the Balkan Peninsula -- especially Yugoslavia -- constituted a "good place."

1. My Village in Yugoslavia (1957), one of the Sonia and Tim Village Booksabout a shepherd boy named Marco, from the mountains of Macedonia, who had muscles and hugged his best buddy with joyful abandon.

2. A Cold War tv commercial displayed a boy with a rusty iron cage around his head, while the narrator intoned a list of countries enslaved by evil: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and finally Yugoslavia!  I ignored the message to concentrate on the enslaved boy, his dreamy angelic face and the promise of a muscular physique.

3. A Serbian folktale about a young prince who stumbles across a secret room in the castle, and inside a naked man, Bash Tchelik ("True Steel") bound with chains.  Bas Celik begs for water, and when the prince accidentally spills it on the chains, he breaks loose, develops enormous muscles, and flies away.  He turns out to be the villain of the story, but I was busy thinking about a naked man with enormous muscles.

4. A Serbian story about a boy named Biberice, who remains very small while his peers grow big, but when his village needs him, develops superhuman strength (picture is from a Serbian comic book).

5. One summer at a music festival at a small Lutheran college in Iowa, I came across a book of Serbo-Croatian poems in English translation. One depicted the ache of desire the poet felt as he accidentally watched a beautiful youth, or maybe a nature spirit, swimming at night, his body glowing in the moonlight. I never found the book again, and I don't remember the poet's name.

 6. Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, who fought for freedom from the Turks, is commemorated in this beefcake-heavy statue in Debar, Macedonia.

7. Le Feu aux Poudres (The Day the Earth Shook), by Jacqueline Cervon (1969). Four French cousins, vacationing in Yugoslavia, offer the Macedonian Filip a ride to Skopje.  Tragedy strikes when Filip is bitten by a snake, and Eric offers first aid.  Then an earthquake strikes, and Eric goes missing.  Filip goes off in search of his "breath brother."  They finally find each other and fade out into each other's arms.

This was before I moved to West Hollywood and dated the insanely jealous Bulgarian bodybuilder, before discussions of Bosnia and Kosovo became commonplace, before we learned of the war and terrorism and genocide, and the staunch homophobia of the Balkan governments.  When boys with muscles could still hug their best friends, and poets could still write about the ache of same-sex desire.

Aug 16, 2021

Superman: You'll Believe a Man Can Fly

Superman first flew in 1938, and for the next 40 years he had comic books, movie serials, cartoons, and radio and tv series, but no feature films.  Nor, for that matter, did any superhero except for the tongue-in-cheek Batman (1966).

That all changed in December 1978.

 It was a dreary winter, dark, cold, and snowy, with movies about angst, tragedy, and lost love: The Deer Hunter, Same Time Next Year, California Suite, Moment by Moment, Oliver's Story.  I was depressed; a semester into college, and I hadn't met any gay people, or learned of any gay writers except Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.  Superman was a bright spot, a cozy childhood memory (though it too had a cave of ice).

Director Richard Donner was careful to include every familiar aspect of the Superman myth: the doomed planet Krypton, the elderly farm couple of Smallville, the Daily Planet, Perry White, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the Fortress of Solitude, Lex Luthor. And some from the familiar TV Superman of the 1950s, who used to change clothes in a phone booth (no old-style phone booths left in 1978).

Indeed, everyone was so busy checking off their list of Superman conventions that they forgot to pay attention to the plot: Lex Luthor plans to drop a nuclear bomb on the San Andreas Fault, thus causing California to slip into the ocean, whereup he will get rich by selling prime oceanside real estate in Nevada.

Ok, that was ridiculous even for a comic book.

The Man of Steel was played by 26-year old Christopher Reeve, a virtual unknown (he had one movie credit and a few tv appearances). He was hired for his muscles, his square jaw, and for his uncanny ability to be both sexy and wholesome at the same time.

He didn't disrobe during the movie, but he favored us with some beefcake shots in teen magazines and in the faux-gay After Dark.

 He was interviewed in gay magazines, an almost unprecedent act of solidarity in the 1970s, and in 1982 he played a gay character, the protege of playwright Sidney Bruhl (Michael Cane) in Death Trap.  I can still remember the gasps of shock when the two characters kissed on-camera.

Gay-positive Christopher Reeve and his studly physique provided the only gay interest in Superman.  No buddy-bonding in high school, no boy pal, no subdued homoromantic sniping with Lex Luthor.

It was a heterosexual love story, and rather a sappy one.  Audiences twittered and squirmed when Superman and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) flew endlessly through the skies of Metropolis hand in hand, while Lois thought: "Can you feel what I feel? Do you know what you're doing to me?"

On the other hand, she wasn't a complete Girl Scout.  She asked, "How big are, I mean, how tall?", leading to considerable speculation about the Man of Steel's package.

Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in an equestrian accident in 1995, and died in 2004.  Margot Kidder died in 2018.  They're both gone, but that magical night in the midst of a cold, dark, dreary winter lives on.

Summer 2005: Searching for Beefcake at a Slovak Waterpark

One day during my summer in Levoča, Slovakia, Doc and some of the other faculty got saddled with the job of chaperoning 20 students on a day trip to Tatralandia, a water park about an hour's drive west of Levoča.and he invited me along.

"Couldn't we take them to a museum instead?"  I asked.  I'm not big on sliding down waterslides."

"It's got more than that. There's a Jungle Cove, a Wild West Town, an Adventure Cave."

"Like Disneyland?  Gross!  I lived in Los Angeles for 13 years, and only visited Disneyland once, and I hated it. Does a Slovak Mickey Mouse come out to shake your hand?"

"Tatralandia has something that I think you won't see in Disneyland," Doc said with a sly grin.  "A thousand Eastern European men in Speedos."

I never thought of that!  I had already gotten a glimpse of Slovakian endowments in Kosice. "Ok, I'm in."

Eastern Europeans love water parks.  There are three in Slovakia, and AquaPark Tatralandia is the biggest, probably the biggest in the world.

You go in through a Wellness Center, like a well-equipped gym with hot and cold spas, 16 steam rooms, massage, exercise equipment.  The ads showed muscular guys getting massages, but inside were mostly middle-aged women.

Next came water slides called The Galaxy, The Fire Slide, the Sun Slide, and the Splash, occupied entirely by children, while their parents, fawning heterosexual couples, lay on deck chairs at the Tropical Paradise.

" guys in Speedos?" I asked.

"They are around.  Keep looking."

The little kids were occupied in a castle with a dozen water slides protruding from it, a Safari Adventure, and an Old West Mining Town, where you could mine for "gold" (I did that as a kid, too, at Mother Goose Land in the Quad Cities).

So far I wasn't impressed.  Lots of swimsuits, but little kids and dismally unattractive adults.

We pressed on past water slides called Amazonia and Niagara, a place where you could practice Free Falls, a Monkey Slide, an exhibition of paleolithic artifacts from a nearby museum, and lots of restaurants.

"Um..have you been here before?  Did you know about the lack of beefcake?"

Doc shrugged.  "Last year there were some muscular guys."

Then we turned onto a Sports Pool, where you could play water polo, and an entire university team was splashing around!  Gems of Eastern European manhood everywhere!

The northern part of the park was devoted to non-water sports: archery, shooting, tomahawk throwing, soccer, oversized chess.  And it was crowded with single men in their 20s.

It made sense: people in their 30s and 40s were often parents who had to supervise their kids, and by their 50s and 60s, they were ready for the Wellness Center.  But the guys at the peak of muscularity just wanted to play Sports.

While wearing Speedos.

See also: Jozin z Bazin, the Swamp Monster of Moravia

Aug 15, 2021

No "Joe Bell" for Me in This Lifetime


After reading a plot synopsis on wikipedia and the IMDB page, I'm not going to see Joe Bell (2020). Not in this lifetime.  Even though it stars Marky Mark Wahlberg's chest. For the following 15 reasons:

SPOILER ALERT: I tell all.

1. The two main characters die. I hate movies where main characters die.

2. Joe Bell is supposedly contemporary, but as far as gay people go, it's back in the 1960s where every hetero hates "fags."

3. Joe Bell's kid Jadin (Reid Miller) is one of those uber-fruitacious girly boys.  In an era where we eagerly embrace nonbinary people with "they" pronouns, why would that be a problem?  But every kid in his school, without exception, wants to kill him.

4. So what does Joe do?  Gives him self-defense lessons.  Retro idiot!  Bullying is not the victim's problem to solve.  The bully is a criminal.

5. So what does Jadin do?  Joins the cheerleading team.  Wait -- we've had boy cheerleaders since the 1920s.  What's the problem?

6. "Gay" seems to mean "feminine," not "liking the same sex."  There is no indication in the plot synopsis that Jadin mentions any same-sex interest.  Of course, there are no other gay kids or allies in the universe, but he could say "That football player is hot."  

7. I don't know who the characters of Boyd, Chance, Victor, and Jimmy are, but I'll wager they aren't allies.  Pictures: Igby Rigney, who otherwise has a short, one episode of a tv series, a minor role in a movie, and the upcoming series Midnight Mass.  

8. More classmates try to kill him, so Jadin helps them out by killing himself.

9. Joe and the ghost of Jaden go on the road, walking across the country to raise bullying awareness.  How will that help?

10. They come to a diner where a news story is about same-sex marriage (a few years too late -- it's a done deal).  Everyone in the diner expresses their hatred of "fags."

11. Joe meets a small-town redneck sheriff with a gay son.  Gee, the boys could date, if Jadin was still alive.  

12. Joe has a wife and young son back home, who are apparently support him on his travels.

Pictured: Blaine Maye, who "grew up in a small town in rural Haworth, OK" and has 18 credits on IMDB, including the tv series Dirt, Chicken Girls, and Steroscope

13. While on the road, Joe is hit and killed by a truck.  Why?   It was an accident, not an attempt by the driver to kill the man with a gay son.  As expiation for his sin of not supporting his son adequately?  Because all movies about gay people have to end with tragedy?

14. Ugh, this is based on a real story.  I hate movies "torn from the headlines." Jadin Bell was a teenager from La Grande, Oregon, who was severely bullied, and committed suicide in 2013.  His father Joe really walked across the country to spread bullying awareness, and was killed by a reckless driver on the road. 

15. There is a Genders and Sexualities Alliance at La Grande High School, created in the spring of 2013, after Jadin's suicide.  Where were all those gay kids and allies when Jadin was being bullied?

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