Director: Charlie Stratton
Writers: Neal Bell (play), Charlie Stratton (screenplay)
Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Jessica Lange
A beautiful young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) is trapped in a marriage to her sickly cousin (Tom Felgon) and dominated by her aunt (Jessica Lange). Passion materializes in the form of a family friend (Oscar Isaac) and leads to multiple tragedies. This dark (literally), dark (thematically) drama is set in mid-18th century Paris, when apparently, it was never sunny. The movie barely has any light moments either, choosing instead to mire itself in endless, overwrought emotion. The performances are strong (although Lange does suffer a bit too much) and it starts with promising potential, but the whole thing bogs down midway, becomes almost preposterous and just falls apart.
GAY ANGLE: Issac is a lot sexier than he was in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writers: Janet Scott Batchler (screenplay), Lee Batchler (screenplay)
Stars: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland
This is basically a hackneyed gladiator movie with a volcano at the end. Kit Harington plays a slave who fights his way into Pompeii’s big arena, but not before he falls for the daughter of a prominent local merchant. Meanwhile, Kiefer Sutherland makes an embarrassingly out-of-place villainous Roman senator. The writing and plot are as preposterous as they sound, so it’s up to the big blowout to save the day (or ruin it for the citizens). While it’s always fun to watch destruction on a grand scale, this eruption is a yawn. Surprisingly, Paul W.S. Anderson, who has given us the beautifully designed and elegantly violent Resident Evil series, has fallen flat this time. Interesting note: Julian Fellowes (creator of “Downton Abbey”) is credited as one of 4 screenwriters.
GAY ANGLE: Harington is handsome and built (something we don’t see on “Game of Thrones”).
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.