Thursday, June 4, 2015

G.B.F. (2013)

Number Rolled: 54
Movie Name/Year: G.B.F. (2013)
Genre: Indie
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R (This rating is not supported by Trust-the-Dice)
Production Companies: School Pictures, Parting Shots Media, Logolite Entertainment, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Steakhaus Productions
Executive Producer: Michael Anderson, Theodore Gildred III, Tom Gorai, Jennifer Levine, Patrick Loftus-Hills, Michelle Pollino, Christopher Sepulveda, David Skinner, Matthew Spain
Director: Darren Stein
Writer: George Northy
Actors: Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Molly Tarlov, Evanna Lynch, Joanna Levesque, Derek Milo, Mia Rose Frampton, Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Jonathan Silverman, Rebecca Gayheart, Horatio Sanz, Brock Harris, Anthony Garland, Jessie Ennis, Kevin M. Horton, Richard Strauss, Ann Russo, Dan Godlin, Tatiana Mclane

Selina's Point of View:
Tanner and Brent are best friends. Of the many things they share is the fact that they are both gay and in the closet. Brent has a plan to come out, though. He wants to make a big statement that tells the world who he is and gets him a definite seat with the “in” crowd. Unfortunately for him, Tanner gets outted first.

I added G.B.F. to the blog’s Netflix list because it was suggested by a friend of mine. The last time I hung out with my friend, Mark, he referenced the movie at least four times. I trust Mark’s taste, so it seemed to be the best idea to give this film a shot.

Considering who recommended it to me, I should have realized it would be kind of goofy (not in a bad way). The acting was a touch over-the-top, but high school in general tends to have over-the-top personalities.

After about ten minutes, I became skeptical. It almost veered off into a rough territory, but it reined itself in and turned into a decent movie with a respectable message.

I have one glaring issue and it has nothing to do with anyone involved with the film.

The MPAA straight-up shat on G.B.F.

There is NO reason for this movie to be rated R. The language was well within PG-13 limits, there was no nudity and the minor references to sex were all implied. In fact, the only reason I can see that the MPAA would rate G.B.F. an R is because the main character, and subject, was homosexual. That reasoning is complete bullshit.

I believe this film is a great one for teens that have, or plan to, come out. It acknowledges the difficulties they face in an uplifting way without being preachy and remaining entertaining.

The director, Darren Stein (Jawbreaker, Sparkler, Aviel), posted on Facebook his take on the rating after the film’s release in 2013:

“I always thought of G.B.F. as a PG-13 movie, but we were given an R ‘For Sexual References’ while not having a single F-bomb, hint of nudity or violence in the film. Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read ‘For Homosexual References’ or ‘Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.’ I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn't get tagged with a cautionary R.”

Of course, with that R rating, the MPAA robbed this film of its target audience and robbed the target audience of any good they may have gotten from it.

It’s a really subtle kind of homophobia. Fuck the MPAA.

Cat's Point of View:
I hadn’t heard of this movie prior to its selection. Lack of preconceived opinions regarding the plot and cast didn’t prevent a prediction of the general story arc fairly early on, however.

The film seemed to promise to be some sort of amalgam between Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) or Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003) and Mean Girls (2004). I was pleasantly surprised, however, that it didn’t go all the way to the ‘mean.’

The film was full of cliches and cloying modern teen-speak, though I didn’t feel that it was too over-the-top. It felt like just the right amount of flamboyance to give a veneer of fun over the stronger messages that underpinned the story.

It’s a shame that the MPAA rating of R for this movie will have made it much harder for its target audience to view it.

The messages of substance over superficial, acceptance, and label-shedding were presented in a way that teens today could easily identify with. I had jumped right into watching the movie; so imagine my surprise when I found out the rating! I have seen far more nudity, sexual situations, innuendo, and profanity in countless PG-13 movies.

Titanic (1997) had a nearly fully nude Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland, Contagion, Divergent), a sex scene, and domestic violence in it, for Pete’s sake. It still managed to retain a PG-13 rating. For a movie released so recently, this is rather shocking. The MPAA certainly shoved their heads in the sand over that one.

While the stars of the film were excellent in their roles, I got a real giggle from some of the supporting cast. Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black, American Pie, Blade:Trinity) and Megan Mullally (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Bee Movie) both had me simultaneously laughing, groaning, and cringing a little.

Overall, I really liked this movie. I hope that, in spite of its ludicrous rating and limited release, it surpasses expectations and has a long, healthy shelf-life.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 57%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.6/5
Selina's Trust-the-Dice Score – 4/5

Netflix's Prediction for Cat – 3.7/5
Cat's Trust-the-Dice Score – 3.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. There are bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Change to Format: New Collaborating Writer Welcomed!

As of today, Trust-the-Dice would like to welcome a new writer to the site. Cat Vaughn has been a friend to the blog since the beginning. Behind the scenes she has assisted with the upkeep of the instant queue (“my list”) and research into the films. She’s sat through every hidden gem, great film and terrible viewing.

Her reviews will be posted with Selina’s. Sometimes, they will agree. Other times, you’ll get two very different opinions on the same film.

Feel free to give feedback on our recent changes and, as always, may the dice be with you.

Contact the writers:

Selina Leavitt
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Cat Vaughn
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Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In June (2015)

10 – Police Story: Lockdown (June 5)

Director: Ding Sheng
Writer: Ding Sheng
Actors: Jackie Chan, Liu Ye, Huang Bo, Jing Tian, Lanxin Zhang, Wang Zhifei, Zhang Xiaoning, Guli Nazha
Genre: Action
Rated: Unrated

Who doesn’t like a good Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid, The Forbidden Kingdom, Rush Hour) movie? He’s kind of legendary, isn’t he? Of course, you’ve usually also got his wit and snarky sense of humor threaded into the story. This film seems a bit more on the serious side. Still, doesn’t seem like a bad way to kill a couple of hours.

If the trailer is any indication, the movie should be non-stop action and killer fight scenes. Seems like Chan is out to prove he’s still got it. Was there really any doubt?

9 – Insidious: Chapter 3 (June 5)

Director: Leigh Whannell
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Actors: Dermont Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Hayley Kiyoko, Leigh Whannell, Michael Reid MacKay, Angus Sampson, Ashton Moio, Tate Berney
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

The Insidious series doesn’t have a great reputation on Rotten Tomatoes. As this blog tries to exhibit, however, that doesn’t really mean anything. Sometimes Rotten Tomatoes is spot on, other times…

The point is that you should judge for yourself.

I haven’t seen the other two films, but the trailer for this one is interesting; super creepy, plus I tend to enjoy origin films.

What makes a sequel/prequel interesting to me, when I haven’t seen the original, is whether or not it makes me want to watch the other films. This trailer does that.

8 – Infinitely Polar Bear (June 19)

Director: Maya Forbes
Writer: Maya Forbes
Actors: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide, Keir Dullea, Beth Dixon
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

First of all, I think the title of this film is adorable. I’ve heard kids talk about someone being bi-polar and that’s exactly what they say. “That person is a polar bear.”

Secondly, it raises awareness for the ailment while highlighting the acting talents of Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Foxcatcher, Begin Again) and Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, The Words). That’s one hell of a cast there.

The only question is how the film treats the condition. Will it be close to the mark on how it really works, or will it be mostly a comedy at the expense of bi-polar people? The trailer makes it seem as though the film could go either way. I guess we’ll see.

7 – Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World (June 26)

Director: Dana Nachman
Writer: Dana Nachman, Kurt Kuenne
Actors: Miles Scott, Philip Watt, Mike Jutan, Eric Johnston, Naomi Kyle
Genre: Documentary
Rated: PG

I don’t usually acknowledge Documentaries on my “Top 10” articles. It’s not for any reason other than the fact that I don’t tend to enjoy them. Most of the time there’s the monotone voice along with dry facts. I find it a little like being back in history class.

Batkid Begins, however, barks up a different tree. The trailer alone got me a little teary-eyed.

I know the base story of who Batkid is (in relation to this film), but as I watched the trailer I found I wanted to know more about him and his story. I’d love to know who he is now, if he is now.

Looks great.

6 – Entourage (June 3)

Director: Doug Ellin
Writer: Doug Ellin, Rob Weiss
Actors: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven, Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment, Kid Cudi, Emily Ratajkowski, Perrey Reeves, Richard Schiff, Ronda Rousey, Rex Lee, Piers Morgan, Mark Cuban, Thierry Henry, T.I., David Arquette, Gary Busey, Bob Saget, Jon Favreau, Greg Louganis, Andrew Dice Clay, Mike Tyson, Pharrell Williams, Scott Vener, Liam Neeson, Ed O’Neill, Kelsey Grammer, Chad Lowe, Mark Wahlberg, David Spade, Jessica Alba, Warren Buffett, Common, Armie Hammer, Tom Brady, Matt Lauer, Maria Menounos, George Takei
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

I thought I was watching the wrong trailer at first. I’m guessing that was the point, which means it was well done. I really like the way they did it.

I’ve never seen the Entourage show. I’ve heard plenty about it, but never really sat down and gave it a chance. This film makes me want to.

Even if it didn’t look as good as it does, the sheer mass of cameos would interest me. Look at that list of actors. The makers had to get all of them to clear time in their schedules to appear. People from Mike Tyson (The Roots of Fight, Scary Movie 5, The Hangover) to Mark Wahlberg (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Pain & Gain, Ted) to George Takei (Free Birds, Supah Ninjas, Star Trek). That’s not an easy task. Something must have drawn them other than pure money.

I want to see what it was.

5 – Inside Out (June 19)

Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Actors: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Richard Kind, Paula Poundstone
Genre: Animation
Rated: PG

I’ve been interested in this movie since I first saw a teaser about it. It looks absolutely adorable. Plus its Disney Pixar so… there’s that.

Really, I can’t imagine not wanting to see this.

4 – Big Game (June 26)

Director: Jalmari Helander
Writer: Jalmari Helander
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila, Felicity Huffman, Victor Garber, Jim Broadbent, Ted Levine, Ray Stevenson
Genre: Action
Rated: PG-13

Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Django Unchained) plays the president and is getting hunted down by an inside man. If that didn’t sound awesome enough, there seems to be a sassy feel to the humor of the film. I like a good sassy sense of humor. I kind of like that the hero seems to be the kid, also.

The trailer indicates that there’s tons of action, tons of laughs and some great acting.

3 – Max (June 26)

Director: Boaz Yakin
Writer: Boaz Yakin, Sheldon Lettich
Actors: Josh Wiggins, Thomas Haden Church, Lauren Graham, Robbie Amell, Jay Hernandez
Genre: Adventure
Rated: PG

This trailer was truly heartbreaking. I mean, you have to assume the dog is probably going to die, because they always do in this kind of film. It makes me cringe, but the story seems so interesting that I still find myself wanting to see it.

I’m also really happy to see Robbie Amell (The Flash, The Duff, The Tomorrow People) in another film, even if it seems to be a small part according to the plot.

2 – Ted 2 (June 26)

Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, John Slattery, Patrick Warburton, Richard Schiff, Tom Brady
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I found the first Ted to be absolutely hilarious. Naturally, that means I’m all about seeing the second one.

Yeah, I see that Seth MacFarlane (A Million Ways to Die in the West, American Dad, Ted) reused some of his Family Guy jokes. I’m also aware that it seems like it might get a little subtly preachy, but that doesn’t change anything. I’m still looking forward to seeing it and I’m still certain it’s going to be super funny.

1 – Jurassic World (June 12)

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow, Michael Crichton
Actors: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, BD Wong, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson
Genre: Thriller
Rated: PG-13

I love the Jurassic Park series more than anyone should. I have seen them all so many times that I can recite the majority of them. During college, I used to play the first Jurassic Park on repeat while I did research papers because it helped me concentrate.

Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to Jurassic World.