REVIEW: ‘The Legend of Hercules’

Screen shot 2014-01-10 at 9.41.13 AMLet’s face it: You release a film called The Legend of Hercules in the wasteland of new-year releases, cast a secondary actor from Twilight and set the press screening three hours before the film goes wide, and you’re not expecting art. But I got news for ya: We know that. We don’t want art. We want manmeat.

And we get it. Indeed, were I Kellan Lutz, the blonde beefsteak who plays Herc, I’d agreed to do some campy sword-and-sandal movie like this, too. He’s only going to have that physique, and that poor judgment, for a very narrow window if life. Why not preserve your look for gay teenage boys’ masturbatory fantasies for decades to come?

There’s a long history of such cheesefests, dating back to the Steve Reeves movies of the 1950s, and gaining true legitimacy once Gladiator won the best picture Oscar. Since then, there’s been a parade of muscle-studs-in-skirts movies: 300, Clash/Wrath of the Titans, The Immortals and now this (and there’s another Hercules movie coming out later this year). But really, Legend owes more to the soft-core porn of Bo Derek’s Tarzan the Ape Man than any of those: The lighting is pearlescent, the flesh quivering and super-saturated, the dialogue almost intentionally terrible and the men touch each other a lot (even in platonic embraces, they cross the line from Homeric to homoerotic).

Renny Harlin, who I was unaware until the closing credits was even allowed near a director’s chair anymore, keeps the rating PG-13, which means there’s less blood in the coliseum fight than in the shower scene of CarriePtosh! It’s a pointless exercise to talk about the acting, the script, the abundance of super-slo-mo fight scenes (I suspect without them, the film would only run 18 minutes long), or even the fact that Hercules’ milquetoast brother looks more like Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder than the once and future king of Greece. This is the kind of movie that you go into open I’d fully aware that its pure escapism. On that score, it doesn’t myth the mark.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

GIVEAWAY: “Fangs and Stilettos” by gay author and publisher Anthony DiFiore

First of all, congrats to the winner of my first book giveaway from Friday. I hope you enjoy!

Keeping with our Literary Issue out this week, for today, I have a copy of Fangs and Stilettos to add to your library. Author Anthony DiFiore mixes Twilight and The Devil Wears Prada by injecting a little of the supernatural into the world of fashion. And like Twilight and Hunger Games, the book reads well for both young adults and, um, not-as-young adults.

DiFiore is also the man behind inGroup Press, an energetic publisher focused on LGBT titles and books of intriguing interest.

The book is officially in stores and online tomorrow which is when I’ll pick the random winner. Just email me here with “Bite Me” in your subject line to win your copy of the new Fangs and Stilettos.

—  Rich Lopez

“Gen Silent” explores challenges facing the elderly LGBT community

Gen Silent PosterThere are almost 38 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2030. Yet in a Fenway Institute study fifty percent of nursing home workers said that their co-workers are intolerant of LGBT people. That collision of a rapidly aging queer population and a nursing home system ill-prepared to serve them is explored in Gen Silent, a documentary showing at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 pm.

Gen Silent, from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux, follows six LGBT seniors as they struggle to make decisions about their twilight years. These seniors put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term health care that many go back into the closet.

Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated and at risk on not receiving medical care. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers –from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse, including shocking bed-side attempts by staff to persuade seniors to give up their “sinful” lifestyles.

This free screening will be followed by a call-to-action and panel discussion with some of Houston’s GLBT senior leaders.

View the trailer for Gen Silent after the break.

—  admin

Who will direct the next 'Twilight' movie? Why not me?

Lautner

Many film series keep their tone, and their success, by hiring the same directors for multiple installments. It makes sense: The directors know the process, know the actors, know the plot and characters. It is efficient. Spielberg has helmed all four Indiana Jones movies; Terence Young did three of the first four Bond films; Chris Columbus launched the first two installments in the Harry Potter series, and now David Yates is finishing up the last four.

Not Twilight.

Four movies — five if they end of breaking the final film into a two-parter — and four different directors, it’s looking like: Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz, David Slade (for the upcoming Eclipse) and … well, that’s the question. None of the prior three can be called “acclaimed hitmakers” … at least not at the same time. Hardwicke made the indie Thirteen; Weitz directed About a Boy… but also The Golden Compass (a film series that never was, nor should be); Slade’s best known film is about vampires in the arctic.

Worst yet, none of them are gay.

See, Twilight needs to be directed by a gay man. Personally, I think the films are MISERABLE, AWFUL affairs, but I watch them because of *sigh* Taylor Lautner. My preoccupation with him is no secret. But don’t translate that into appreciation for these movies.

Well, maybe the producers are finally on to something. Word has it that two gay male directors — both of whom have actual Oscar cred — have been approached for the final film (or films): Gus Van Sant (Oscar nominee for Milk and Good Will Hunting) and Bill Condon (director of Dreamgirls, Oscar winner for writing Gods & Monsters). Also in the mix is honorary gay man Sofia Coppola who (gag!) also has an Oscar.

This is a good start. But it’s not necessary. Since the movies are shitty anyway, why spend that kind of dough on A-listers? You haven’t so far. Give it to me. I haven’t read the books, meaning I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. I know what’s wrong with the movies, so I’ll steer clear. I know how to make Taylor Lautner *sigh* look hot. And I’ll work cheap … like, if you let me share a trailer with one of the now-18-or-over stars who shall remain nameless (and shirtless). Why go classy now?

I’m sure I can work something out with my boss. You have my number.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Is Bella spinning her wheels? Patz may be gay

Maybe he's faking it. He is pretending to be a vampire, after all.
Maybe he’s faking it. He is pretending to be a vampire, after all.

There’s speculation out there that the star of Twilight might be gay … the wrong Twlight star from my perspective, but we work with what we got.

Robert Pattinson (not Taylor Lautner — sigh!) gave an interview to Details magazine where he claimed to be “allergic” to vaginas. “I really hate vaginas,” he told the reporter, following a 12-hour photo shoot with many women. He also dodged the question of whether he was dating anyone, saying only his current and most meaningful relationship is with his dog.

How much of this is hoo-ha manufactured by the blogosphere is anyone’s guess — maybe he was just waxing about the numbing effect of nudity — but that hasn’t stopped sites like MTV Australia from reporting it as basically news: Robert Pattinson has indirectly come out.

Please. I know what coming out looks like, and it’s not that.

Nevertheless, it’s worth reading just to hear Edward Cullen — who, keep in mind, no one had even heard of 18 months ago — say something other than the dreadful trite dialogue of thse terrible, terrible movies.

You can read the interview here. though if I were you, I might scroll over to the interview with Channing Tatum, where he talks about his penis in detail. Even shows the interviewer a picture of it.

I need to get that gig.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones