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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Relationships > Gay > Television > Lesbian > Action > Rock Music > Documentary > History > 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)

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-



Here is another cycle of gay titles that viewers in market should know about…



The slowly continuing BoysTown: Season One, Ep. 3 & 4 picks up where the original shows began, which we did cover at this link:




This is 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 as interesting.


Video commentaries and a trailer are the only extras.



Veronica 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.


A Music Video and Behind The Scenes featurette are the only extras.



Everett 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.


A low 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.



Finally 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 state itself.

It is still easily the best release here, but there are no extras.




All four 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


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