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Punks (2000)

You have no idea how long I have waited to see Patrick -Ian Polk’s first film, Punks. I have heard about this movie from a gay rag a decade ago that is now defunct. When Noah’s Arc was on air, people were wondering when will Punks come out on DVD, including myself. Apparently there was a problem with the distribution of the movie that halted the release of the film until it premiered on Logo this past weekend. Was it worth the wait? Yes.

The film follows a quartet of gay friends in West Hollywood. There is a celebration of  Hill’s (Dwight Ewell) 30th birthday, which is more poignant that he has HIV. Hill’s best friend, our protagonist, the hopeless romantic, sexually prudish photographer, Marcus (Seth Gilliam) catches Hill’s boyfriend of a year, Gilbert (Rudolf Martin) making out with another guy. Upset Hill breaks up the celebration and breaks up with Gilbert.

He moves in with Marcus. The other two friends, Chris (Jazzmun), the transgendered performer for their favorite hangout, Miss Smokie’s and the spoiled rich brat, Dante (Renoly Santiago) try to cheer up his spirits. Things become more murky when a fine black adonis moves into the house next door. The gang goes gaga over Darby (Rockmond Dunbar). Who shouldn’t they? He is easy on the eyes and has he shirt off, glistening muscles as he moves his boxes. The friends forcibly invited themselves over for dinner at Darby’s house.

During dinner, everybody was fawning over Darby, except for Marcus. Darby casually let it slip that he has a girlfriend in New York City. Their interest dashed they scatter like cockroaches in the light. Not Marcus. He is not like his friends. His friends could be a whores, but he is looking for love. Marcus is completely frigid about sex. He is paranoid about catching the HIV.

Darby and Marcus begins to form a solid friendship when they hang out at Darby’s studio. Darby is a record producer. Marcus wants Darby to be his next model for his photographs. during their time together, Marcus begins to form deeper feelings for Darby, but thins get more complicated when Darby’s girlfriend, Jennifer (Vanessa Williams) comes into town.

This was probably the first movie that have portrayed gay brown men that they do exist. They are not on the down low, which was very taboo and a dirty little secret back then. These four people are unapologetic about who they are as gay men.

I’m gonna go into a bit of a tangent about censorship. The movie premiered on Logo and I was shocked that certain words were bleeped. I understand that swear words would be bleeped out. That is understandable. I was surprised that the words “penis”, “anal”, “suck” were bleeped out, but “handjob” was perfectly fine. That really pissed me off. I’m done.

Judgment: I hope that they show this movie more to show that it’s okay to be a gay man of color.

Rating: 7.5/10

Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008)

Now listen up. Life is the script, Noah. You’re the writer of your own life. It’s time to take control.

— Brandy

I was a big fan of the Logo television show Noah’s Arc for its short two season run when it was unceremoniously “cancelled”. (See this is why you suck now, Logo.) I was happy that the big screen version of the show, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom was released in the fall of 2008. I wanted to see it, but it didn’t have a wide release. Boo.

For the ninety percent of the population who don’t know about this show, let me give you a crash course. It’s the black gay version of Sex and the City. It follows four gay longtime friends: Noah (Darryl Stephens), the screenwriter and the central character of the group that has a unique sense of style. Next, is Alex (Rodney Chester), the outspoken divo of the group and HIV/AIDS advocate. There is Ricky (Christian Vincent), who is the manwhore of the group and owner of his own clothing store. Lastly there is the uptight patriarch of the group, Chance (Doug Spearman) who is a university professor.

The gang is in Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend, a long away from LA for the upcoming wedding of Noah and his boyfriend, Wade (Jensen Atwood) who were on/off throughout the series when a terrible accident changed things for the couple. Noah nursed Wade back to health between the season two finale and the start of this movie.

All of the friends are holed up in Wade’s family house, the Robinson House. Alex, Ricky and Chance are not hopeful about the speedy marriage between Noah and Wade, because of the accident.

Alex works himself into a tizzy coordinating the wedding that he has to take caffeine pills to keep up with demand. He skypes with his husband, Trey (Gregory Keith) who is at home with their newly adopted Ethiopian baby, Ojemodupe (Trevor Josiah Thomas) aka OJ.

Chance is having problems with his marriage to Eddie (Jonathan Julian) when one of Chance’s students, Brandon (Gary LeRoi Gray) who has a crush on him tags along with Ricky.

During their time in the house, the seeming stable relationships are thrown into turmoil when LA couldn’t stay their when Noah’s boss, Brandy (Jennia Fredrique) is constantly blowing up his phone asking for another rewrite of script starring a closted rapped named Baby Gat (Jason Steed) that is interested in Noah. He is the only one that is interested in him, Ricky is also harboring feelings for Noah ever since they first met from a failed hookup.

This movie is about being true to yourself, be true to who you love, be honest and all that mushy stuff. The movie is melodramatic with everybody’s relationship has to be in trouble to stretch out in order to fill a feature length movie, but I still enjoy it. I enjoyed that I had the chance to see this characters that I grown to love back together.

Judgment: I can’t recommend this movie unless you have seen both seasons before watching this.

Rating: ***1/2

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