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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Bomer’

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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John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer

“ANYTHING” My rating: C

94 minutes | MPAA rating: R

John Caroll Lynch, the bald character actor whose face everybody recognizes but whose name nobody knows (he was Frances Mcdormand’s waterfowl-painting hubby in “Fargo”), finally gets a shot at a leading man role in “Anything.”

He’s pretty good, but he’s fighting an uphill battle against writer/director Timothy McNeil’s stunningly heavy-handed script.

In the opening scenes things seem to be unfolding effectively.  Small-town Mississippi insurance agent Early Landry (Lynch)  is dealing with the traffic accident death of his beloved wife. The guy has two speeds: stoic and inconsolable.  Small wonder he ends up in the tub with his wrist slit.

His businesswoman sister from L.A. (Maura Tierney), sweeps in to take charge, relocating her Early to her family’s spacious home. But after a period of maladjustment — and a $500,000 insurance settlement —  he rents his own apartment in a rather dicey part of Hollywood.

Here’s where McNeil’s screenplay starts to go off the rails. For nobody within blocks, it seems, leads  anything like a normal life.

The unseen fellow who lives in the downstairs apartment gets boozed up and sings off key all night long. He, too, is mourning a lost spouse.

Brianna (Margot Bingham) spends most of the day sitting on the stoop smoking and awaiting the arrival of her ne’er-do-well musician boyfriend (Micah Hauptman), who cheats on her regularly…and sometimes in her presence. As a result Brianna exhibits a degree of mean cynicism unknown in Mississippi.

But, then, everyone in L.A. is afflicted with a form of sardonic sadism, according to this movie. Compared to the locals Early is as innocent as a baby.

(more…)

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