Now that summer’s over (booooo!), it’s time to turn to home entertainment – both DVD and VOD – for solace! We have a couple of heartwarming queer titles (like Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro, above) and a couple of off-kilter, downright zany ones. Here’s the scoop!
A funny, affirming and moving documentary about feisty, 77-year-old Japanese-American actor turned outspoken gay activist/social media phenomenon (over 7.5 million Facebook followers!), George Takei. Director Jennifer M. Kroot uses the creation and premiere of Allegiance, a musical based on Takei’s years imprisoned in a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII, as a narrative thread, and fills out the runtime with oodles of clips from his career, interviews from many erstwhile Star Trek co-stars, interactions both sweet and sassy with husband Brad, and appearances at numerous sci-fi and queer events and functions. There is plenty of surprising material here, especially some of those early appearances from TV and film — a few he regrets, like a stereotypical “Oriental” caricature role or two — and truly heartbreaking revelations about his family and father. Essential viewing well worth a Facebook “Like.”
($19.99 DVD; Virgil Films)
Songwriter Desmond Child has spawned dozens of massive pop hits, like Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and almost every Bon Jovi single, but the offspring he’s proudest of is a pair of 10-year-old twins, Roman and Nyro. Filmmaker Heather Winters’ documentary charts the journey of Child, his husband Curtis Shaw, and surrogate mother Angela Whittaker to create the two fathers’ family, and the boys’ first decade of life. A huge hit and multiple award-winner at film festivals.
A la Girls, this Brooklyn-set indie features a (to some) loathsome yet imminently watchable protagonist, Mona. Pregnant, off-kilter, and working as a supermarket cashier, her family includes an alcoholic mom and lesbian sister with a fed-up girlfriend. This be some cray dramz, y’all!
($21.99 DVD; Metropolis Films)
After a brief appearance at festivals and in theaters in 2011, this ultra-indie offering — written by Stephen M. Ryder of L.I.E. fame — sees a 20-something woman kidnap a 14-year-old boy so she can… well, that’s not entirely clear, but at one point they sing “Midnight Special” together. Inadvertently campy, perverse yet restrained, this one deserves a drinking game stat. Extras include deleted scenes and behind the scenes footage.
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