The Hot Sheet
A Marine Story — A lesbian marine (Dreya Weber) returns to her small hometown after being discharged, only to find herself enlisted to train a raw female recruit (Paris Pickard). Despite the "don't ask, don't tell" backdrop, Ned Farr's festival award–winning drama avoids message-movie preachiness and features two fine central performances.
The Taqwacores — Based on the novel by Michael Muhammad Knight, this film centers on a devout Pakistani student who moves off campus and discovers a hardcore Muslim punk rock scene, which causes him to challenge his ideas about faith and sexuality. Each character he interacts with (such a radical lesbian clad in a burka) represents a different dilemma faced by Muslims. Director Eyad Zahra gives his low-budget film an appropriate raw, rebellious energy.
Morning Glory — Considering that trailers for this Rachel McAdams–Harrison Ford–Diane Keaton rom-com meets The Devil Wears Prada have been showing in theaters since last spring, if it feels like you’ve already seen this movie, you aren’t alone. That said, McAdams is a likable leading lady as the plucky producer of a Today-like morning show, and Ford and Keaton are at their best as bickering cohosts. Gay audiences will be thrilled to see the handsome Patrick Wilson (Angels in America, Little Children) as the love interest, though he doesn’t have much to do. All told, a fun if not altogether memorable flick.
Skyline — People are vanishing into thin air, leaving a bunch of late-night partyers (led by frequently nude hunk Eric Balfour and Scrubs’ Donald Faison) left behind to fight the alien forces. Above-par special effects aside, this is definitely the type of film that racks up Razzies, so if you’re in the mood for a camp sci-fi mess, run (in slo-mo — you’ll get that one later) to your nearest theater.
Congratulations; Thank You + I'm SorrybyAnimal Prufrock — Ani DiFranco produced and performs backup vocals on this compelling collection of subtle yet jaunty tracks from the queer recording artist who picks up where Bitch and Animal left off. The first single is the plaintive "0+0=0," but the standout number is certainly the playful "Emotional Boner."
Watch the video for "0+0=0" below.
The Best of Nelly Furtado — Nelly Furtado has done pop, rock, Latin, and hip-hop (all well, mind you), but when her songs are strung together in a best-of collection, her sound is a bit disjointed. The tunes all stand the test of time, but hearing tracks like “I’m Like a Bird,” “Say It Right” and “Powerless” all on the same CD, you can’t help but long for some new material from Furtado. There are three new tunes here, but it just isn’t enough.
The Kids Are All Right — Lisa Cholodenko's courageous, uncompromising third feature, about a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, both perfect) who find their family even more complicated than they imagined when their children track down their sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo, irresistible), is the director's most accessible and richly textured work yet. The DVD/Blu-ray offers an audio commentary from Cholodenko as well as three featurettes about the making of the hit film.
Watch an exclusive clip from a making-of featurette below.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child — Director and friend Tamra Davis centers her documentary on the life of artist Basquiat on a rare interview with him from more than 20 years ago, spliced together with interviews from those who knew him best. From his rise to “rock star status” in the early ’80s to his friendship with Andy Warhol to his sudden death from a heroin overdose in 1988, Davis goes inside the mind of this tragic talent ... one taken at far too young an age.
The Passages of H.M. by Jay Parini — This intriguing new novel imagines Herman Melville on his sea voyages and in his domestic life with wife Lizzie, dealing candidly with his unrequited love and desire for men, including fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and his inspiration for the homoerotic Billy Budd.
The Sixties: Diaries 1960-1969by Christopher Isherwood — The second volume of compulsively readable diary entries from the celebrated writer finds him documenting his storied love affair with Don Bachardy, as well as his friendships with Francis Bacon, David Hockney, and Gore Vidal, against the backdrop of the country's most turbulent decade.