Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Howard Brown Health Center expands exam rooms Howard Brown Health Center expands exam rooms
Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC), 4025 N. Sheridan Rd., hosted a ribbon-cutting ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Richard Knight, Jr. Knight at the Movies: Rocknrolla; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; The Universe of Keith Haring
by Richard Knight, Jr.
2008-10-29

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Two more movies opening this week—Guy Ritchie's Rocknrolla ( pictured ) and Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno—highlight what I hope is a continuing trend in mainstream releases aimed at straight guy audiences: gay characters afforded not just respect, but understanding, sensitivity and, sometimes, a dash of awe by their straight male counterparts.

Writer-director Guy Ritchie returns to what he does best in Rocknrolla, his third film featuring gangsters, violence, flashy editing tricks, a pulsing soundtrack and nearly indecipherable cockney accents. This time out, he follows a pair of jocular thieves ( 300's Gerard Butler ) who borrow money from a big-time loan shark ( Michael Clayton's Tom Wilkinson ) to fund a real estate deal. But then things go wrong and a complicated plot becomes even more complex when a 'lucky' painting gets stolen from a Russian mob boss whose accountant ( a luscious Thandie Newton ) is arranging for the pair to steal from him. The painting, it turns out, has been stolen by a crackhead rock star named Johnny Quid ( Toby Kebbell ) , who is thought by the public to be dead. A major subplot involves an unrequited crush on Butler by one of the other male characters, who then uses his gay sexuality to get information out of the accountant's gay husband, a fey lawyer with S&M tendencies.

There's a lot more to Ritchie's typical pretzel-twisted plot, which is sometimes so convoluted that not even the narration of Lenny's top henchman ( Mark Strong ) can sort it out—but the characters are all having such violent fun that the audience gets swept along for the ride. The scene in which Butler's male comrade comes out to him is hilarious and touching. Butler's character uses every gay slur in the playbook on hearing the news, but it's feigned disgust, and Ritchie cuts away from the scene just at the point that it seems that something is about to happen between the two. What actually happened then becomes a running joke throughout the movie ( and is hilariously revealed over the credits ) .

Then there's Quid, who is sometimes referred to as Johnny Queer by the others—and it's never quite clear whether Johnny Q, with his six-pack abs and low-rider jeans, is really one of Our Own. In fact, this tough-guy movie is so littered with gay characters and good-natured gay jokes that sexual orientation becomes a non-issue. The straight men splutter, hurl invectives and claim they'd rather be dead than gay, but when it comes down to it no one really seems to care all that much. With such an abundance of gay material and a battery of lingering close-ups of a multiple of spectacular male torsos ( Johnny Q, a persistent Russian hit man, etc. ) , Richie's soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law Christopher Ciccone's claim that he's a homophobe seems suspect. Homophobe or not, this is the movie of a man who certainly appreciates the male form.

Rocknrolla, shot in murky shakes of blue, black and gray, is a lot more fun than its color scheme would suggest ,and a sequel, announced at the credits, is certainly tantalizing. Maybe next time out, Handsome Bob and Johnny Q will find one another and have a go.

There's no need to fantasize when it comes to folks getting it on—gay, straight, trisexual—in writer-director Kevin Smith's very funny comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The movie follows the resolve of the two nearly destitute leading characters ( Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks ) , lifelong friends who decide to make the aforesaid porn film to make ends meet. Zack makes this decision after he and Miri attend a high-school reunion. While Miri is drunkenly offering herself to Bobby, the former quarterback ( played by Superman Returns super-hottie and sweet-as-molasses Brandon Routh ) , Zack learns that the quarterback's got a gay lover who is also a successful porn star named Brandon ( Justin Long, famed as the 'Mac guy' in the TV commercials in an over-the-top performance ) . Zack isn't fazed by the couple's sexuality ( after watching the couple bicker he marvels, 'They fight just like real people' ) and decides that he and Miri should follow Brandon's example and get into porn with their own movie. Reluctantly, Miri agrees.

The rest of the movie follows the exploits of the duo as they cast the film with an endearing, ragtag group of sexual amateurs and professionals of multiple persuasions ( including Tracy Lords ) and overcome a series of mishaps and personal missteps on the bumpy road to love and profits. Smith's comedy retains his sure feel for slacker humor, adding plenty of the currently in-vogue gross-out visual yuks into the mix, and there's also a fair amount of heart in the film. Actually, it's this last ingredient that helps elevate the movie from its smarmy trappings. Surprisingly, Zack and Miri Make a Porno turns out to be an extremely rare movie commodity—a romantic comedy for guys.

The Universe of Keith Haring is a long-overdue and vibrant documentary portrait of the '80s pop-art sensation and queer activist who died from AIDS in 1990, robbing the world of his delightful talent and energetic personality. The film includes remembrances from his family, friends and artistic contemporaries such as Yoko Ono, Kenny Scharf, Bill T. Jones and David LaChappelle. Madonna, one of Haring's closest friends, is glaringly omitted from those interviewed although she's seen in vintage footage and photographs. Many of Haring's contemporaries, including the late icons Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, are also seen in retro footage, often alongside the playful artist. Also, Haring is heard in interview tapes, filling in many of the blanks on his meteoric rise to the top and an all-too-brief career. Best are the many examples of Haring at work, speedily creating his instantly recognizable, densely intertwined cartoon figures that seem even in the old videos ready to leap off the canvas. This is a genial and often moving portrait of both a fallen gay hero and an enormously talented artist. It opens an exclusive run at the Gene Siskel Center Friday, Oct. 31. See www.siskelfilmcenter.com .

Check out reviews and DVD recommendations at www.windycitytimes.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter Web site.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Knight at the Movies: Nightbreed; Advanced Style; film notes 2014-10-22
Johnny Weir: Bringing the 'Love' in new documentary 2014-10-22
Upcoming events in film, music, poetry 2014-10-22
Knight at the Movies: Dracula Untold; film notes 2014-10-15
MOVIES Rory Kennedy re-creates 'Last Days in Vietnam' 2014-10-12
Alan Cumming on his memoir, acting 2014-10-09
Alan Cumming in Conversation at Music Box Theatre Oct. 13 2014-10-08
NUNN ON ONE Gay actor from 'Nurse Jackie' shows theater chops 2014-10-08
Knight at the Movies: Pride; film notes 2014-10-08
CIFF's LGBT highlights: Week one 2014-10-08
Documentary on telephone hotlines out in November 2014-10-07
Knight at the Movies: Last Weekend; Hunted; notes 2014-10-01
Disc and That: Upcoming and recent DVDs 2014-09-30
Knight at the Movies: Two Faces; This Is Where...; Devil's Door; Innocents 2014-09-24
Festival 'Reeling' in audiences 32 years later 2014-09-24
Bjork film screening; Chely Wright campaigns on Kickstarter 2014-09-24
Director talks dynamics of trans-focused film 'Boy Meets Girl' 2014-09-17
Pastor/CTS student in trans* documentary 2014-09-16
'Queers in the Kingdom' filmmaker on movie, Wheaton College 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FEST The movie 'Lilting': Lost in translation 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck 2014-09-16
Ugandan documentary screens at church 2014-09-16
Five Worth Finding: West Loop restaurant, steamy film 2014-09-16
Reeling Film Festival overview 2014-09-14
Roosevelt doc sidesteps Eleanor's sexuality 2014-09-12
Skrebneski unveils Chicago International Film Fest poster 2014-09-11
Reeling Film Festival at Century Centre Sept. 20 2014-09-11
Screenings: Bjork film, Ugandan LGBT film 2014-09-11
Knight at the Movies: The Skeleton Twins; The Homestretch; film notes 2014-09-10
Fall LGBT movie preview 2014-09-10
'The Roosevelts' avoids Eleanor's sexuality 2014-09-09
Women's Film; Martina proposes; Sky finals; AIDS Run, Walk 2014-09-09
Pride Films, Plays' Women's Words Film Fest premieres shorts 2014-09-09
POV's 'Koch' airs Sept. 22 on PBS 2014-09-08
Alan Cumming in Conversation Oct. 13 at Music Box 2014-09-08
Knight at the Movies: The Last of Robin Hood; film notes 2014-09-03
John Leguizamo 'Klowns' around, talks 'To Wong Foo' 2014-09-03
ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS Women's Words Fest; Queer poetry; Reeling 2014-09-03
Carell's gay film; Bomer's Horror Story; Gaga joins Lambert 2014-09-02
Gay Asian website to debut 'Break-up King' 2014-08-30





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Election Guide Charts
 
Gay in the Life: Justin Romme
 
Dining news: "Dinner Party" Oct. 27; Cicchetti closes
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.