GayCalgary® Magazine [copy]

Movie Review

Stardust, and Naked Boys Singing

Movie Review by Rob Diaz-Marino (From GayCalgary® Magazine, August 2008, page 22)
“Naked Boys Singing” (2007)

Imagine going out to watch a Calgary Men’s Chorus or Edmonton Vocal Minority concert, except everyone on stage is stark naked! Naked Boys Singing is a cast of ten fairly attractive men who sing and dance to a hilarious repertoire of songs specially written for this filmed adaptation of the off-Broadway play.

At first they cover their genitals to hold out for the big reveal, which happens a lot sooner than expected. Yes boys and girls, full frontal nudity is shown generously and consistently throughout this DVD. But although many of the songs breach topics such as love, muscle worship, and unwanted erections, the guys’ privates remain on their best behavior – this isn’t a porno here!

To get the audience warmed up, they open with “Gratuitous Nudity”, a song about the very fact that they are performing naked and unabashed. They warn people ahead of time that anyone whose cell phone goes off during the production will be dragged up on stage and stripped, and the first number is interrupted by just that. It’s obvious that the offender has been planted, but it still gives the performers a fun excuse to break the barrier between the stage and the audience.

In total there are 17 side-splitting numbers, but particularly memorable are “Naked Maid”, “The Bliss of a Bris”, and “Perky Little Porn Star”. “Fight the Urge” is something many of us experienced during high school, trying to suppress an erection while in the locker room and showering after Phys Ed. “Jack’s Song” is an amusing ditty that makes a pun out of beating one’s meat, and “Muscle Addiction” describes what a lot of gay men put themselves through just to get laid.

All in all, Naked Boys Singing is a truly stimulating musical experience!

“Stardust” (2007)

If you enjoy fairytales and medieval fantasy, this enchanting movie is right up your alley. Stardust is a refreshing story that shines much brighter than many of the cheesy and unoriginal fairytale movies released in recent times.

The city of Wall is so named for a stone wall that runs along the side of the town, and it is rumored that a crumbled section reveals a portal to another dimension. Even though astronomers of the time say such a thing is impossible, the sleepy town has still appointed one townsperson to guard the portal so that no villagers may enter.

This doesn’t stop one curious young man from rushing past the guard one night, and as he wanders through a trading outpost just over the hill, he soon discovers that sure enough he is in another world. He encounters a beautiful princess being held captive by a witch, and though he is powerless to free her, she seems satisfied to be bedded while her mistress is away. This is how our hero Tristan comes to be. As a child he is left by the wall and delivered to his father back in the non-magical world, where he grows up not knowing of his heritage.

Now a young man, Tristan (Charlie Cox) is smitten with Victoria (Sienna Miller), a beautiful but snobby girl that exploits the boy’s affection with little regard. But Tristan is persistent, and sets his sights on recovering a fallen star to prove his devotion to the shallow Victoria before she marries someone else.

Of course the star has fallen on the other side of the wall, and Tristan’s failed attempt to get past the guard unravels the whole story of his father’s foray into the magical world. An enchanted candle meant to teleport Tristan to his mother accidentally brings him directly to the star, which bafflingly has taken the form of a girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes). So Tristan sets out on a journey to bring the “star” back to his love Victoria, not realizing the dangers that await: a ruthless heir to the throne must acquire the magical necklace that knocked the star from the heavens before he can claim the throne, and a powerful witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) seeks to restore her youth by eating the heart of the star.

So what’s the relevance to the gay audience, you’re probably wondering? The movie delves into gender-bending on a number of fronts – from the witch disguising an enslaved peasant boy as a young woman (whose transformation doesn’t include the boy’s deep voice), and a ruthless sky pirate that secretly embodies both gay and cross-dresser stereotypes when away from the prying eyes of his rough crew.

On a side note, Ricky Gervais makes a short appearance in this film as Ferdy the Fence. If you’ve ever seen the TV show “Extras”, you’ll have a laugh-out-loud moment at an inside joke.

So don’t miss out on this delightful movie if you haven’t seen it yet. Rent it via and hang onto it for as long as you like, until you’re ready for the next movie you want to see.

Movie rental courtesy of Online DVD rentals carrying a huge selection of GLBT themed DVD’s as well as standard brand new releases, TV shows, classics and more. No Late Fees, No Due Dates, and 57,000 Titles.


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