Magic Mike became an unlikely hit in 2012 because it sold itself as a fun movie about male strippers featuring some of the hottest bodies ... er, actors on the scene – Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey. The movie started off like that, but ultimately bummed out its audience with a dramatic plot that sucked all of the fun out of the movie.
Oscar-winning doc filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) returns, with co-director Robert Gordon, for another blast of star-power in the Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley doc Best of Enemies (Magnolia), about the ten televised debates in which the feuding duo took part during the 1968 Democratic and Republican conventions. With the gay and witty Vidal representing the liberal point of view and the seething and slithering Buckley representing the conservative side, the sparks were plentiful.
Almost since the dawn of cinema, movies have been a tool to depict historic events, whether in a factual way, or by incorporating history into a piece of fiction. A lot of films usually stick to some historical event that we may be familiar with, be it wars, natural disasters, or stunning achievements, but it’s rare for a film – or a filmmaker – to tackle a piece of history most people aren’t familiar with.
In Mr. Holmes (Miramax / Roadside Attractions), a period piece that reunites gay actor Ian McKellen and gay director Bill Condon for the first time since the Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters, McKellen takes on the role of an aged and declining Sherlock Holmes. In the film, based on Mitch Cullin’s novel, Holmes finally gets to solve the one mystery that drove him into retirement and, immediately thereafter, solves another mystery that saves his sanity, as well as the life of a young boy.
Now on DVD and blu-ray with a wealth of bonus material, Oscar-winning doc Citizenfour (Anchor Bay / TWC / Radius), the third part of filmmaker Laura Poitras’s post 9/11 trilogy, is a real-life thriller. The story of the U.S. government’s “war on whistleblowers,” it begins in 2012 when gay journalist Glenn Greenwald, of Salon.com and The Guardian, is contacted by an anonymous source. That source turns out to be none other than 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
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