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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Parsons’

Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer

“THE BOYS IN THE BAND” My rating: B (Now on Netflix)

121 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Gotta be honest…the first half hour or so of Netflix’s “The Boys in the Band” is not terribly promising.

Based on Mart Crowley’s ground-breaking 1968 play (it was first filmed in 1970), this new version pretty much sticks to the original script.

In doing so Joe Mantello’s film clumsily displays its theatrical roots, not just in its claustrophobic single setting but also in the dialogue-heavy way it tells us (rather than shows us) what its characters and their predicament are all about. Especially in the early going the talk seems forced and artificial in its efforts to set up the situation.

But once it kicks in, once all the celebrants to a gay man’s birthday party in late-60s NYC show up and start interacting, “Boys…” finds its voice and its power.

What’s really driven home here is the realization that while the conditions under which gay people live have improved over the last 50 years, the human condition pretty much remains the same.

Here’s the setup: Michael (Jim Parsons), a witty and somewhat dictatorial fellow, has invited several of his closest friends to his apartment (Greenwich Village?) for a birthday celebration. Over the course of an increasingly drunken evening they will thrash out relationships, hopes, dreams and fears.

The birthday boy is Harold (Zacharay Quinto), pock-marked, cynical and carrying a substantial load of self-loathing.

Larry (Andrew Rannells) and Hank (Tuc Watkins) are a couple…at least for now. Randy Larry has a wandering eye (and other body parts), while staid Hank — who has an ex-wife and a couple of kids — takes comfort in monogamy.

Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington) is a black man who, before the evening is over, will erupt over Michael’s barely-disguised race baiting. (more…)

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Oh, Pig the cat, and Trig in their flying car

“HOME”  My rating: B-

94 minutes | MPAA rating: PG

Now and then voice talent can provide the make-or-break factor in an animated feature.

It’s hard to imagine “Aladdin” or “Finding Nemo” without the vocal contributions of Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres. Jim Parsons provides a similar service in “Home.”

Parsons, a multiple Emmy winner for playing a scientific genius/social idiot on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory,” provides the voice of Oh, an alien creature who has come to Earth along with about a million of his fellow Boovs.

The Boovs are a species of six-legged creatures with trashcan bodies, frog-like faces, prehensile ears and a chameleonic ability to change their skin coloring to fit their emotions (red for angry, blue for sad, yellow for fear…).

Though they overnight seize our world — banishing the human population to camps in the Australian Outback that are part suburban subdivision, part carnival midway — the Boovs aren’t particularly scary. They don’t kill or physically harm the dispossessed humans. They’re like a herd of shy pre-schoolers.

Except for Oh, who in comparison to his brethren is a radical rugged individualist.  Aggressively garrulous and outgoing, he irritates his reticent comrades, who dread his friendly incursions into their personal space.  He’s a well-meaning boor upsetting an otherwise sedate environment. (more…)

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