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Movies, Movies, Movies

We're a little over a quarter-way through the year, the Roger Ebert Film Festival is about to kick-off, and so I thought it would be a good time to take stock and rank the 2016 films I've seen thus far. It's been an interesting year....

1. Hello, My Name Is Doris

The three leads -- Sally Field, Max Greenfield and Tyne Daly -- turn-in such delightful performances in this gem of a film. Doris, an eccentric sixty-something woman, develops a crush on her thirty-something co-worker, and awkward hilarity ensues. Really sweet movie.

2. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Look up the word "taut" in the dictionary, and a still from this film should accompany it. An engrossing, stage play-like tour de force from the three main actors, combined with great direction and pulse-pounding music, makes this an edge-of-your-seat experience.

3. Eye In the Sky

Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman (in his last live-action role) headline this tense political thriller about the use of drone warfare in the Middle East. Despite prepping myself for its agenda and expecting some ham-fisted moralizing moments, the movie actually really, really works.

4. Deadpool

Most of you have probably seen this R-rated superhero flick already. It's a nice break from the norm. I didn't think I'd like Ryan Reynold's sarcastic shenanigans, but the movie won me over. From the opening Juice Newton song, to the Bea Arthur shirt, to the Fawlty Towers and Sinead O'Connor references, everything just works.

5. Midnight Special

Another odd film from director Jeff Nichols (though a good kind of odd). The man who brought us Take Shelter and Mud (and who has been at Ebertfest multiple times), brings us an entrancing story of a father, his young son with special powers, a multi-state road chase, and characters with humanity and depth.

The rest....

6. Hail, Caesar!
7. The Witch
8. The Boy
9. The Forest
10. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
11. Knight of Cups

Here's to the movies still to come in 2016!


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Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…