BoysTown: Season One, Ep. 3 & 4 (2012/Water Bearer DVD)/Joe + Belle (2011/Wolfe DVD)/The Pretty Boys
(2010/Water Bearer DVD)/PTown Diaries
(2012/Cinema Libre DVD)
Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: C/C-/C-/C- Main Programs: C/C-/C-/B-
another cycle of gay titles that viewers in market should know about…
slowly continuing BoysTown: Season One,
Ep. 3 & 4 picks up where the original shows began, which we did cover
at this link:
more of the same, but the story arc starts to lose its energy and this is less
interesting than it should have been, especially since the cast has some
chemistry. Still, start with the first
DVD as this is not where to start. Maybe
it would appeal to a gay audience more, but this is narratively limited and not
commentaries and a trailer are the only extras.
Kedar’s Joe + Belle (2011) is touted
as a “lesbian Thelma & Louise”
but they are not that interesting, outrageous, subversive or really go
anywhere. I remember Gregg Akari’s
overrated The Living End (1992) with
gay male leads being promoted the same way.
It did not work, but was still better than this boring run-on. Maybe I am missing something here, but I
doubt it. It is just flat and dull, plus
I bet there is a more ambitious lesbian variant of this somewhere. I was not impressed.
Video and Behind The Scenes
featurette are the only extras.
Lewis’ The Pretty Boys (2010) is no
better, telling the boring tale of a glam rock band in 1973 from a production
that hardly ever looks or feels like the period (save an actor or two who look
the part) and is actually poorer than Todd Haynes’ overrated Velvet Goldmine (reviewed on Blu-ray
elsewhere on this site), so you can imagine how disappointing this was.
budget is no excuse for the mistakes and sloppiness here and it is a curio at
best if that. The music was forgettable
too. Extras include a trailer and
Alternative Cuts that make no difference.
we get to a documentary and our last title, Joseph Mantegna’s PTown Diaries (2012) about Provincetown, Mass.
and how it moved from being a key American colony to a major city to be,
especially for gay males. Narrated by
the great actor Alan Cumming, this runs 89 minutes and is pretty informative,
telling more about a city in an underrated state of the union than you might
expect, yet there seems to be more information missing and it seems some items
are simply not covered like they should be.
I know this is about gay culture, but even that is somehow incomplete
and I wanted more about the state and how this city plays into the state of the
still easily the best release here, but there are no extras.
DVDs offer anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image playback, but all tend to be
a little soft and weak, but that is expected from a documentary like PTown and not new productions, all
apparently shot on HD video. All also
have motion blur, detail issues and even color limits. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on all
four releases is adequate and good for independent productions, but location
audio issues are still a little problematic and annoying at times. Belle
also has a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 option, but all it really does is spread
around its simple stereo and barely sounds better.
- Nicholas Sheffo