Nov 11, 2023

"The Final Girls": Psycho-slasher parody with two queer characters and some beefcake.


In The Final Girls (2015), not to be confused with Final Girl (2015), actress Amanda and her daughter Max are driving home from an audition that she bombed.  She complains that she is typecast as a "scream queen" due to a role in the famous psycho-slasher movie, Camp Bloodbath, back in the 1980s.  She was the Final Girl, the one who didn't have sex, and therefore got to live.  

But not in real life: at that moment, they get into a car crash.  Mom dies!  

 Three years later, Max is in college, studying with her Love Interest Chris (Alexander Ludwig, left) and a couple of female friends, when horror fan Duncan (Thomas Middleditch) talks them into going to a midnight showing of the movie and its sequel.

Remember, Max is still mourning her mother.  Why go to a movie where a psycho-slasher is trying to kill a younger version of her?

Suddenly, zap!  They are trapped in the movie...and the psycho-slasher is stalking them, too!  They have to use their wits and knowledge of the genre to defeat him.

The first character they meet is Kurt (Adam Devine, right), an obnoxious jock.  He is also apparently bisexual -- he hits on boys and girls both, and thinks that gays "have a cool lifestyle."  Interestingly, instead of a homophobic slur, he tells Chris to "suck a turd." 

Like most psycho-slashers in the movies of the 1980s, Billy (Daniel Norris) targets teenagers having sex, so so when Kurt strips down to his bulge while his girlfriend waits in the next room, Love Interest Chris rushes in to distract him.  Try showing him your dick -- oh, wait, the killer is attracted to gay sex, too.

The other queer character is Blake (Tory N. Thompson), who also black.  You know what happens to the black guy in psycho-slasher movies, right? Gulp! 

Next the visitors from our universe try warning the characters about the psycho-slasher.  Remember, Max is interacting with the movie version of her own mother, so she'd rather not see her skewered.

The plan backfires: everyone runs away screaming.  

Kurt and his girlfriend try to drive away, but they hit a totem pole and die (Kurt is pretzeled).   But in the original movie, they survived!  The intruders have tampered with the plot, and now all the rules are off.  No one will survive.

Well, some survive.  You'll have to watch the movie to find out who. 

 Adam in his underwear.  He is contractually obligated to show his dick in every movie appearance.

Heterosexism: No one actually has sex, for obvious reasons. Some girl boobs.

Queer Characters: Kurt and Blake,  through queer codes instead of self-identification.  But this is supposed to be the 1980s, when you were lucky to get that much representation.  Writers M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller are a gay couple, and speaking to their own experiences as horror fans.  

My grade: A-

There are some bulge and frontal nude pictures in the NSFW version of this review.

Rocky Horror Show Live: New Brads, Janets, and Rockies in Gold Lame Shorts

What can you do with a movie that encouraged a generation of LGBT people, "Don't dream it -- be it"?

That encouraged the audience to participate by talking back, throwing things, and playing along with the characters?

That audiences played along to, week after week, year after year, until they had every image, every word, every gesture memorized?

That spawned a dozen catchphrases and a warehouse full of tie-in books, magazines, cards, and toys?

What's left to do with the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Revive the original play, which ran in London from 1973 to 1980.

It's considerably different from the movie -- new songs, different dialogue, Magenta and Columbia have different characters, and most interestingly, Rocky talks.  A whole new take on the Rocky Horror universe (you can read the script here).

Revivals began in  1990 in Britain.  In the U.S., a Broadway revival played from 2000 to 2002, with every beefcake hunk imaginable cast as the underwear-clad Brad, the gold-lame muscleman Rocky, and sweet transvestite Frank-n-Furter: James Royce Edwards,  Luke Perry, Micah Thompson, Jonathan Sharp,

There are new costumes, new cast dynamics, new subtexts -- being gay or transvestite is not nearly as shocking today-- and a raucous evocation of the long ago disco- and sex-obsessed era of the 1970s.

It's now playing everywhere, in high schools, colleges, community theaters, little theaters.  Halloween season is most popular, but it can be seen at any time.  According to the official show blog, here's where it's coming up in 2014:

The Grandview Playhouse, MA, April-May
The Bangor Opera House, ME, June
The Ivory Theater, MO, October
Downtown Theatre, CA, October
World Trade Center Theatre, OR, October
Oh Canada Eh?, Niagara Falls, October

So even if you've had some terrible thrills many, many times before, it's always exciting to go down to the lab and see what's on the slab. Let's do the Time Warp again.

Nov 10, 2023

Underground Railroad: Slave Brutality, Magic Realism, and Bury your Gays

The Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses and allies that helped enslaved African-Americans escape to the North, or after the Fugitive Slave Act, to Canada.  

The 2023 tv miniseries suggests that it was a real railroad, a series of trains and tunnels run by an intricate bureaucracy. As Cora and her friends and love interests head north, pursued by slave-catcher Arnold Ridgeway, they encounter bizarre communities and have adventures that comment on the racism in the pre-Civil War South and the contemporary U.S.

I reviewed Chapter 1, "Georgia."

Link to the NSFW version

Scene 1:
Surreal montage of people running backwards, falling into a chasm, being all bloody, and finally Cora telling us: "The first and last thing my mama gave me was apologies."  Cut to Caesar (Aaron Pierre, left) asking Cora to head north with him, for "good luck."  She refuses.  The way they keep pushing their heads at each other, they appear to be a romantic couple

Scene 2
: Whooping and dancing in the slave compound.  Cora brings the older Jockey some food.  Their owners appear: Terrence (Benjamin Walker, left), who runs the other half of the plantation, disapproves of the "lenient" way that James treats his slaves. So they ask a kid to recite the Declaration of Independence.   They mean the Declaration of Secession, so the Civil War is on.  How is anyone heading North?   He can't do it right, and he accidentally touches them, so Terrence has him beaten to death. And Cora, for intervening. They are left chained to the whipping post all night.

Scene 3: In the morning, the ladies tend to Cora's wounds, and Caesar takes her home. Later, his wife Frances says "I know about men like you. You sneak off in the night and roll around in the swamp with other mens on your back."  Ok, so Caesar is gay.  She's fine with it, but master brought them together to reproduce, and if they don't, Master Randall will cut off his dick, so get with your husbandly duties!  

Scene 4: Prideful (Lucius Baston), the black overseer, tells Cora that she's being moved.  She resists (I can't imagine why -- her new owner can't be much worse)

Cut to James walking through the woods.  He's nice to a little boy named Hezekiah  then coughs and collapses. 

Cut to Terrence in the fields, telling the slaves that his brother James has died, so now he owns the whole plantation, and will stop being "lenient": no more parties, no more outside work, and he'll be overseeing the "breeding,"  Perv just wants to watch couples doing it.  He also wants to have sex with Cora.

Scene 5:
Slave catcher Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton, left) and his assistant, a young black kid named Homer (Chase W. Dillon), have a very muscular escaped slave, Big Anthony (Elijah Everett), in a cage. They return him to Terrence's plantation. 

Ridgeway advises Terrence to place some moles in the fields to rat out talk of escape.  An underground railroad has appeared to abet runaways. Terrence doesn't believe it, but Ridgeway asks him why some escaped slaves disappear forever, as if they've gone to a new world. An alternative reality with no slave trade?

 They discuss his biggest failure -- he couldn't capture Mabel who escaped long ago, when Terrence's father was alive.  Terrence avers that Mabel was evil -- even her daughter Cora is evil -- so his failure to find her is understandable.

Wait -- her daughter?  Maybe she knows something!  Ridgeway interrogates/ sexually assaults her. 

Scene 6: Terrence watching as Caesar (the gay one) tries to mount his wife.  Afterwards Caesar retrieves a book hidden under the floorboards: Travels into the Several Remote Nations of the World, better known as Gulliver's Travels. So the underground railroad does lead to an alternate world.

Scene 7: 
 A lot of white people eating, drinking, and frolicking while the escaped slave, Big Anthony, is being whipped.  Mr. Churchill disapproves of partying while a man is being tortured, but Terrence assures him that the slave is not a man, as he can't think, reason, or love. He summons the slaves to watch the second part of his torture, being burned to death, so they know not to attempt an escape.

I skipped over that part -- a bit disturbing -- and fast-forwarded to Caesar and Cora escaping.  Fletcher (Sean Bridgers) takes them in, leads them to a cave, and enters their names in the railroad manifest. He and Caesar keep gazing at each other and touching each other -- boyfriends!  When the train finally shows up, Cora is standing on the tracks!  She's almost smooshed! 

Beefcake: Not much, and none from the black actors.

Other Sights: A lot of beautifully-designed shots of mystical country roads, vast fields, and characters immersed in half-light.  

Gay Characters:
Caesar, but he never gets a boyfriend and is killed at the end of Episode 2. Antebellum Bury Your Gays!  Fletcher appears to have a romantic interest in him, but their story is not examined in any detail, and after getting the Caesar and Cora on the train, he is never seen again.  

Reading the plot synopsis of Episode 4, with the back story of young Ridgeway (Fred Hechinger), I get the impression that he is gay.  I may check later.

Heterosexism: Not in the first episode.  Terrence and his brother both appear to be unmarried.

My Grade: Very slow moving, with people gazing intently at each other for five minutes before speaking. We don't even get to the railroad until the last scene. C+

There are some bulge, butt, and rontal shots in the NSFW version on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Nov 9, 2023

"The Claus Family" A Pretty Princess Doll for Tommy, and a Shirtless GI Joe for Jules

 The Claus Family (2020): A boy who hates Christmas discovers that he is the grandson of Santa Claus, and will have to take over when Grandpa dies.  Whoops, there goes his singing career!

Sounds a bit treacly, but it's in Flemish (IMDB says Dutch, but Flemish is a separate language).  It's Belgium, my third favorite country in Europe.   And teenage actor Mo Bakker posts shirtless instagram photos and has TikToks labeled with LGBT, so....

Scene 1: Santa Claus finishes up another run.  He lives in an ordinary apartment, not a North Pole workshop surrounded by elves.  Meanwhile, the depressed Jules and his family (Mom, Grandma, and little sister Norah, all blonde) drive through the snowy streets of the beautiful old Medieval town of Bruges, Belgium.  Jules covers his ears as they pass carolers singing a depressing Christmas song (I do the same thing!).

They arrive at the apartment, and start unloading the car.  Grandma continues to complain about this crazy plan of moving to Belgium.  Mom basically says: "My husband died, and we need a fresh start, so f*k off!"

Scene 2:
They start unpacking.  Sister Norah wants to know where the Christmas decorations are.  Mom stares in shock, and Jules yells: "No!  We're not celebrating!  I'm done with Christmas."  Nothng wrong with that.  Not everyone has happy childhood memories of That Holiday.

When the neighbors, Ella and Steph (Wim Wilaert, left) drop by with Christmas cookies, Jules runs to his room and has a tantrum.  I get haitng Christmas, but aren't you overreacting a bit?  

I guess not: his Dad died last Christmas Eve.  He flashes back to Christmas Past:   Dad explains that the lights on the tree represent the sun, which is hidden during the winter but always comes back to us. Darkness never wins; there is always a new dawn.  The pagan roots of the holiday!  Genius!

Scene 3:  Breakfast.  Grandpa is going to babysit while Mom goes to work (at a cookie factory).  Jules resists -- that old geezer?  But he doesn't get a vote, so it's off to Grandpa's toy store (the boy doesn't want to spend the day in a toy store? Maybe he thinks he's too old?).  

A couple of customers come in.  The teddy bear is broken.  The puzzle has missing pieces.  What is this, the Island of Misfit Toys?  And the snow globe -- "Hands off!  Not for sale!  Get away!"  So why do you have it out with the merchandise?

When Grandpa isn't looking, Jules examines the forbidden snow globe.  Zap -- he's in Brussels!  Zap -- China, where he's almost hit by a car! Zap -- the ocean!  He loses the globe in the deep water and has to dive for it.  This is more exciting than I anticipated.  Zap -- to Santa Claus's apartment.  Wait -- those are pictures of him and his family.  Grandpa is Santa Claus!  And back to the toy store.

Jules confronts Grandpa, who denies it at first, but finally comes clean.  Then he goes to the other room and collapses (off camera).

Scene 4: 
 Mom (Suzanne) at work.  The supervisor snits the rules: no jewelry, no personal phone calls, no bathroom breaks without permission, no talking, no happy thoughts, no developing new cookies.  Your job is to pack boring, flavorless cookies into boxes so people can buy them to give as last-minute gifts when they can't think of anything better.  She goes on to yell at Farid (Issam Dakka) for being out of uniform.  

Suddenly Suzanne gets a phone call: Grandpa Claus is in the hospital!  Farid offers to drive her.

Scene 5:  At the hospital.  Jules stares at Farid suspiciously: "Mom is replacing Dad already!  Can this Christmas get any worse?" 

Grandpa hurt his shoulder.  He's going to be fine, but the doctor says he has to slow down and avoid stress.  But when Jules visits, he starts complaining: He's Santa Claus!  He has a billion toys to deliver!  It's unclear whether Suzanne knows his secret identity or not.

Scene 6:  Mom has to go back to work, so she gets the neighbor, Ella, to babysit.  Ella is only 15.  Isn't that the same age as Jules? Is he going to get a heterosexual crush?   Nope, she just brings him a sandwich.

Scene 7:  Jules returns to the hospital, and catches Grandpa trying to sneak out. A hospital is not a prison.  You're free to leave at any time, even if the doctors advise against it. Jules offers to help deliver the toys (just this once), so Grandpa can rest.  He hates Christmas, but family comes first.  

Scene 8:
Discharged, Grandpa returns to the toy store.  Jules offers to stay with him; he doesn't want to stay home, because it's just girls (girls, yuck!).  The training begins: Santa's workshop is inside the snow globe, staffed by miniature people who are famous in Belgium (this may be the actor playing Holgar).

Grandpa and the staff argue about whether to tell Jules the truth.  "He hates Christmas!  He'll never accept it!"  "He'll come around.  It's his destiny!"  It's tough being the Chosen One.

The toys appear in rows of glass cases, like an old-fashioned automat.  They search for each child's request and pop it into a bag.  Wow, Tommy wants a princess doll wearing a pretty dress.  How gender-neutral!  It seems like a time-consuming process, but they have several days, not just one night (that should be enough to do Europe).  They also deliver candy; feel free to sample all you want, not like that soulless cookie factory.  

Scene 9: Suzanne at work at the soulless cookie factory.  She calls the toy store; no answer.  Where could Grandpa and Jules be?  Farid drops by with bad news: cookie sales are way down, so the company might fold, and they'll all lose their jobs.  Gee, I wonder where this is going.

I'll stop the scene-by-scene there.

Beefcake: None.

Other Sights: Mostly the same street.

Heterosexual Romance: Suzanne and Farid, probably, but it's very understated; a couple of hugs, one holding-hands scene.  He could just as easily be a friend.  Jules bonds with Ella, but treats her as a friend, not a "girl of his dreams" crush.

Gay Characters:  When one of the little people comes to Jules' room to talk to him, she's surrounded by his GI Joe dolls (or a European version).  Two have their shirts off, one very prominent, the other in the background. The implication, obviously intentional, is that Jules removed the shirts of his GI Joe dolls to see their muscular physiques.  

Hating Christmas.  I understand that a Christmas-themed movie must result in everyone loving Christmas, but still, I thought that there should be some accommodation for those of us who don't like the holiday, or who don't celebrate it, like Farid.  

My Grade: A

Update: In The Claus Family 2 (2022),  Jules still doesn't display any heterosexual interest.  He speaks to Ella only once; her main job is to conspire with Grandma to try to push Mom and Farid together -- until we discover that Farid is gay, and has a partner (they even kiss). 

Update again: In The Claus Family 3 (2022), Jules still doesn't display any heterosexual interest.  A girl about his age is working at the ski lodge where the family is spending the holidays, but he doesn't give her a second glance.  

Nov 7, 2023

"The Suicide Squad": Two Gay Hints, Two Hunks in their Underwear, and 3,234 Corpses

 Last night's movie night was The Suicide Squad (2021), in which incarcerated DC supervillains and serial killers are offered years off their sentences in exchange for performing a super-dangerous "suicide" mission: the small Latin American country of Corto Maltese has been taken over by a military dictator unfriendly to the U.S., so a U.S.-supported research facility called Jotunheim for some reason is in jeopardy.  Rather than let the research fall into enemy hands, the Suicide Squad must destroy Jotunheim.  

The suicide squad is killed within the first five minutes, mostly by the huge army that meets them, but one drowns, and Savant (Woody Harrelson), who has been set up as the focus character, gets his head exploded by the boss back at headquarters.  This was a very short movie!  Psych -- there's a second suicide squad.  The first, untrained and totally inept, was sent in as a distraction.  The second will go in secretly.  But "kill everyone you see."

It consists of:

1. Bloodsport (Idris Elba)
.  I don't know what his superpower is, but he has a dead wife and teenage daughter.

2. Peacemaker (John Cena, left).  A jerk with no superpowers but a nice physique.

3. King Shark (Sylvester Stallone, unrecognizable): A human-shark hybrid who is invincible, but has the habit of eating random people.

4. Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian, left), 
who can kill people with multicolored interdimensional pustules that grow on his body.

5. Rat Catcher 2 (Dana Melchior), apparently the daughter of Rat Catcher 1, who can control rats -- very handy for destroying technology and killing people.

Before going to the facility, they have to rescue a survivor of the first squad, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman, left), who has been captured.  So they kill almost everybody at his camp before discovering that he's actually been rescued by anti-dictator freedom fighters!

Another survivor of the first squad, effervescent, deranged Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), is captured, dressed in a Cinderella outfit, and taken to the palace, where military dictator Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto) wants to date her.  They hang out and have sex (off camera), but Harley soon sours on the idea and kills him.  As well as about 300 palace guards and soldiers.

The facility contains a giant alien starfish-shaped being who can extrude small versions of itself that grab your face and kill you.  It can then control your actions.  It does this with around 3,000 townsfolk before the Suicide Squad subdues it.  Almost all of them die in the battle, or in a disagreement about whether to expose U.S. involvement in the starfish experiment.  

So it's basically two hours of watching people get killed.  I was not impressed.

Well, I did like four things about it:

1. Minimal heterosexual romance.  Nothing except for Harley dating General Luna.  One expects Rick Flagg to hook up with freedom fighter Soria (Alice Braga), but he doesn't.  

2. No naked ladies.  When the squad is told to track down General Luna at a "gentleman's club," I thought "Why does there always have to be a scene of naked ladies gyrating on poles?", but in fact the ladies are singing, not gyrating, and fully clothed.  And there are men and women both in the audience.  

3. Beefcake
.  Peacemaker walks around in his underwear, showing a blatant bulge.  General Luna is introduced climbing out of his bathtub in a Speedo.  

4. Gay references.  No one actually says the word, but at the gentlemen's club, among the men and women dancing together, two men are getting chummy.  I think it was Rick Flag cruising a local.  

Plus Polka Dot Man becomes distraught over the death of the driver, Malcolm.  "I liked him from the start, but I didn't say anything because...."  he begins, before being cut off (and later killed).  Sounds like he was about to reveal a same-sex crush.

Apparently this is not the first iteration of the Suicide Squad.  They have appeared in comics since 1987, and an earlier movie, called Suicide Squad without the definite article (2016), featured some of the same characters.  So no one is going to be canonically gay.  But for a comic book movie, gay hints are enough.

"Suicide Squad": "I support the LGBT community. So come see my movie about how every guy wants a Woman."


Last night's Movie Night selection was Suicide Squad (2016), set in DC's attempt to replicate the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I have rarely hated a movie more.  Aside from the endless fight scenes and utter lack of a coherent story, it is constantly yelling "Isn't being heterosexual great?  Aren't you glad that everyone in this movie is heterosexual?  Aren't you glad that everyone in the audience is heterosexual?  Heterosexuals rule!"

The plot, as far as I can gather: a mild-mannered archaeologist gets possessed by a 6,000-year old Mesoamerican sorceress, but no one thought of hiring a Hispanic woman for the role: she's a Stockard Channing lookalike in a half-naked "Look, I have boobs!" outfit.  She resurrects her brother, creates an army of rock-soldiers one at a time, and sets about to destroy all humans (later amended to just destroying human armies, so she can rule the world).

In order to save the world and rescue the Woman He Loves, mild-mannered archaeologist's boyfriend (Joel Kinnaman, top photo) assembles a group of a metahuman criminals who are being brutally tortured in a prison in Louisiana. He offers them 10 years off their sentences, whereupon they can "get women!"  

 There are some hunks among them, but they are all covered with grotesque makeup (except for the only woman, who is wearing a half-naked "Look, I have boobs!" outfit)..

1. Deadshot (Will Smith), a hit man who "never misses" and wants to regain the custody of his daughter.

2. Harley Quinn,  psychiatrist turned psycho (so young that she must have gotten her M.D. at age 12).  Girlfriend of The Joker (Jared Leto), who demonstrates how crazy he is by flirting with men. "He's so out of it that he doesn't realize that's a DUDE, har har!" 

3. Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney, left), who throws boomerangs.

4. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez, left), who can instantly incinerate hundreds of people, but refuses to use his power because he accidentally killed his Wife and Kids.

5. Killer Croc, who looks like Marvel Comics' Thing and lives underwater.

6. Eventually they are joined by Katana, a Japanese warrior stereotype who is mourning her Dead Husband, trapped in her katana.

What follows is a lot of battles, most of which don't seem to have a point except to make big shiny things explode.  After about 50 minutes of screen time, the group takes a break to bond, discuss estranged wives and girlfriends (or, in the case of Harley Quinn, flirt with the guys).  

Then they move forward to take on the Big Bad, who tempts them by offering "what you really want."  Guess what they all want: a wife and kids (or, in Harley Quinn's case, a  husband and kids), a heterosexual nuclear family where the wife bakes cookies while the husband mows the lawn, and the kids wait arouond to be hugged.   The whole job, house, wife, kids trajectory that I thought of as a soul-destroying trap when I was growing up, is the ultimate goal of human existence!  

The "Look, I have boobs!" Stockard Channing lookalike is defeated, mild-mannered archaeologist returns to smooch with her boyfriend, and the criminals are returned to prison!  No amnesty after saving the world!  Except Harley Quinn is broken out by her boyfriend, the Joker.   The end.

The insulting heterosexist ijit who wrote this dreck (I mean created, since there isn't much dialogue, but someone had  to say "Show more boobs!  And for God's sake, cover up the guys! And add another scene showing the wife and kids that all men want!'),  His name is David Ayer, whose twitter account lists his pronouns "Because I support trans rights and the LGBTQ+ community."  They just can't exist in my movies.

At least no one in the movie made a homophobic comment.  Not even Will Smith.

Strangely, the 2021 sequel was much more inclusive.  See: "The Suicide Squad: 2 Gay Hints, 2 Hunks in their Underwear, and 3,258 Corpses."

Nov 6, 2023

Searching for the Gay Characters on "On My Block"

Netflix keeps pressuring me to watch On My Block, about four high school friends in a Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles.

"You like quirky comedies with gay characters, right? Then watch On My Block."
"You watched Special, right?  Then you'll love On My Block!"
"All of the cool kids are watching it.  You want to fit in, don't you?"
"If you don't watch it, we'll raise your rates."

Surely there must be some gay characters for Netflix to be pushing it so aggressively.  But, I recall, Netflix also pushes endless dramas with descriptions beginning "After the death of his wife....", so I'm wary. 

I watched one episode, entitled "Chapter Fourteen," about the Valentine's Dance.  If there are any gay characters, they'll certainly be out here.

1. His older friend Cesar (Diego Tinoco) has just become homeless, so Jamal (Brett Gray, left) takes him in.  They share a bed, which results in a humorous montage of problems: snoring, feet in face, and so on.

No gay subtext here, but at least the two aren't homophobic.

Later Cesar is trying to make out with his girlfriend, but they have problems meeting all of Jamal's rules, like "you can't wear outside clothes on the bed, too many germs."

2. Monse (Sierra Capri) and Ruby (Jason Genao, center) discuss the upcoming Valentine's Day dance.  Monse seems surprised that the ultra-feminine fashion plate Ruby wants to go, but he explains that he wants to win the dance contest.

Slicked-back hair, fashion-plate ensemble, girl's name -- this guy is definitely gay!

3. A big,boisterous, lesbian-coded girl  appears and tells Ruby that she has some potential dates lined up.

Oh boy, a whole roomful of cute guys for Ruby to choose from.

Except it's a roomful of girls. 

Ok, is Big Girl unaware that Ruby is gay, or are same-sex dates not allowed?

Ruby rejects all of them.  He would like to have sex with the girls, he explains, but in order to win the dance contest, he wants to go with Big Girl

Foul!  Ruby is straight!  Big Girl might still be a lesbian, though.

4. Jamal is watching football practice, when the Coach appears and says "I need you tomorrow night."

"Are you asking me to the dance?" Jamal asks.

No, the Coach wants him to work off his debt by chaperoning.  Jamal doesn't have a date, so why not?

No date, awareness of same-sex relationships, no outrage over the possibility that a guy might be asking him out -- .Jamal must be gay!

5. Monse's Mom, who is white, shows up and wants to take her away to Brentwood because South Central L.A. is too dangerous.

6. Monse and her boyfriend, who looks like Cesar, discuss what to wear to the dance.

7.  The Coach and Jamal bond.

8. Cesar and Jamal's Dad bond.

Lots of male bonding on this show,but does it always have to be adult-teen, thus precluding gay subtexts?

9. The Dance. One of the dance contest pairs is Javi and Javier, but I don't think they're a gay couple, since one grimaces when the other kisses his cheek.  We don't actually see their dance.

10.  Jamal accidentally breaks the Coach's cell phone.  Then he runs into Tyrone in the hallway and hugs him.

Wait -- he's hugging a guy?  Definitely gay.  Even if the hug is just an excuse to plant the phone on Tyrone, so he'll be blamed for stealing and breaking it.

11. Ruby has a flashback to when he was shot at another party.  Everyone is upset.  Monse says "One day the world's a dream, the next day it's a nightmare.  I can't believe she's gone."  Cesar is crying.  Jamal hugs him.

Wow, bummer.  This is definitely not a comedy, it's a drama with jokes.

So, is Jamal gay for real?  According to fan wiki, he's never been in a relationship.   In an interview, Brett Gray states that he hopes Jamal finds a special someone this season.

"Special someone"!  Definitely.....

He continues "A sexy lady..."



"Thor" (2011): I See the Way You Look at Him

In the year 965 AD, some benevolent aliens called the Aesir, who had super-advanced technology but still preferred to ride horses and fight with swords, used a transdimensional bridge to come to Earth and help the primitive inhabitants of a small town in Norway stave off an invasion from evil aliens (called Jotuns or Frost Giants).  

After the crisis was over, they left, but the Earthlings continued to worship them as gods, especially Odin Allfather and his son Thor (whom they imagined as an adult wielding the magic hammer Mjolnar, even though he was still a little boy and wouldn't get to wield Mjolnar for centuries).

Time passes slowly in Asgard, the Aesir's homeworld; it took over a thousand years for Odin's two sons to pass through childhood and adolescence and become men.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth), whose blond hair signified goodness, became amiable, gregarious, fun-loving, surrounded by loyal companions: Sif, who the Earthlings imagined as his wife although she was just a little girl when they last saw her, and the Warriors Three, Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Josh Dallas, left)), and Hogun.  

Odin's other son Loki Tom Hiddleston), whose black hair signified evil, became introverted, sullen, a loner, jealous of his brother's popularity ("Dad always liked you best!").  Eventually he discovered that he was adopted, a Frost Giant, so innately evil. Nature, not nurture, in this world.

When some Frost Giant activists broke into the Aesir vault and tried to re-take a cultural artifact that Odin's troops stole from them, Odin forbade retaliation, but Thor disobeyed him and led Sif and the Warriors Three to their planet for a vengeance-battle.  Enraged, Odin stripped Thor of his powers and threw him off the transdimensional bridge to a place called New Mexico, on Earth.  He sent Mjolnar along.  When Thor proved his worthiness, he would be allowed to pull the, I mean the hammer...from the stone.

Fortunately, all Aesir are equipped with universal translators, so Thor was able to communicate with the humans.  He didn't understand Earth customs, of course, but he learned quickly under the tutelage of a scientist, Erik Selvig, and The Love Interest, his daughter (actually his colleague's daughter) Jane, who happened to be studying intradimensional bridges.  There was another girl with them, but she didn't do much.  

Jane civilized Thor, like the Jane in Africa civilized Tarzan, teaching him human traits of compassion, empathy, and kindness.  Dr. Selvig assumed that they were falling in love; "I see how you look at him," he noted, without realizing that, when Thor took his shirt off, everybody looked at him like that.  But eventually they did kiss.

The heterosexual romance turned out to be essential to Thor's salvation, allowing him to prevail over many threats: Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), head of the sinister SHIELD organization, which stole all of Jane's research; Loki, who usurped the throne, put on an evil-black costume, and set out to kill him; and Laufey, king of the Frost Giants, who was emboldened by an alliance with the new alt-right king of Asgard.  

The kiss allowed Thor to finally embrace his humanity, receive the hammer Mjolnar, and regain his powers.  But after the final battle with Loki (it always comes down to a sword fight), the transdimensional bridge was destroyed, so Thor was forever cut off from the Woman He Loved. Until the sequel, anyway

Beefcake: Only Thor, but isn't he enough?  I see the way you look at him.

Other Sights: Very impressive depiction of Asgard and the Bifrost Bridge.

Getting the Myths Wrong:  Don't get me started.

Heterosexism: Only Thor and Jane express heterosexual interest, but their romance is crucial to the plot.

Gay Characters: I figured that Loki was a standard gay villain, but during the climactic final battle he threatens to go to Earth and rape Jane (according to The Hollywood Reporter, he's canonically bi).

Cliche Plot: Extreme.  But still fun.

My Grade: B+.

Nov 5, 2023

Chad Mountain, Matthew McConaughey's "Longtime Associate"


In his autobiography, Green Light, Matthew McConaughey tells us that he's "tired of being talked about like that guy with a naked torso."  So here's his naked torso.

He thanks Chad Mountain "for listening."  A review refers to Chad Mountain as his "longtime associate," which sounds suspiciously like "longtime companion."  So who is this Chad Mountain? 

He grew up in Washington DC, and is first listed on the IMDB as "Marijuana Jesus" in the Gregg Araki movie Smiley Face (2007).  He has 15 acting credits, four producing, and one writing: the comedy short Coming Out.  A gay guy comes out to his friends, who are delighted and try to pimp him out with extravagant gay stuff: "flamboyance, impatience, a need for impeccable service, brutal honesty about other people's weight," and so on.

Chad and Matt probably became friends when they appeared  together in Tropic Thunder (2008).  

They have also worked together in  Surfer, Dude (2008),  Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), comedy shorts, and a sitcom pilot

Chad's instagram contains lots of photos implying that he is gay, so maybe "longtime associate" means something like "longtime companion"

Or maybe it means a platonic bromance. And "Chad's Cock" is a rooster.

There are some frontal and rear nude photos on the Chad Mountain article in Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends

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