It pains me to write this review. I had wanted this movie to be so good that I would be writing glowing personal comment on the gay themed movie. And yet... 

Scud - the writer, director and producer, has made a name for himself among the gay communities in East with his daring production involving little or zero clothings among the main male stars, something that other directors from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and more try to avoid. Watching City Without Baseball (2008) (directed together with Lawrence Ah Mon), one would be stunned by his daringness to show the male stars in their skin.

So much was mentioned of this next production - Permanent Residence (2009), where it was said to take a step closer to portraying a close relationship between two males, instead of a group friendship in City.

Scud chose the right formula - guys audience would approve of. Wonderful-looking and acceptable acting skills, including likable movie characters. This was the same formula Scud used for his new movie - Amphetamine (2010). The movie banked on the relationship developed between Daniel (Thomas Price) and Kafka (Byron Pang). Just like in Permanent Residence, Scud chose two male leads which would almost be comparable as beautiful Eastern version of Aaron and Christian of Latter Day (2009) fame. I was already liking the movie when it started, but in fear that the movie would lose in direction as demonstrated by PR. 

Daniel was on a business trip to Hong Kong, taking up a stay of 3 months, to work for a company. He met Kafka, who was strangely named after a Japanese comic character by his martial art teacher. Still, I thought it was funny that even Kafka's mother would address him as that, because I would imagine Kafka would be a name for him in the later stage of his life. I mean, his mom would have called him by the name she had given him). Kafka, poor. Daniel, rich. Kafka, a swimming instructor, hoping to make ends meet. Daniel, successful in financial industry. Kafka told his girlfriend that he thought Daniel was interested to bed with him after a love-making session. The film showed how their friendship grew stronger, ended up with the two of them sharing many a thing - kisses and a bed.

And then, the problem was revealed. Kafka was addicted to ice. I did not know how the story did not manage to show up at the beginning but it was a problem. The ice made Kafka hallucinated a lot and eventually this caused their relationship to be affected.

It is hard to be totally disappointed with Scud's work because to a certain extent, I did appreciate his contribution to the gay film world. So often I would measure new gay film releases to the gems of the earlier years, such as Beautiful Thing (1996), Get Real (1999) and Torch Song Trilogy (1988). We do get good ones like The Big Gay Musical (2009), Do Comeco Ao Fim (2010) and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009), and of course, Brokeback Mountain (2005). Scud's Amphetamine is definitely better than some crap B-grade gay film production from America and Philippine lately, but still...

One has to admire Scud's ability to produce a movie of beautiful artistry. There were much to admire from the cinematography as well as the editing, although I had to question the necessary of 'flashing here and there' of the movie plots. The sceneries were breath-taking and he made us cared for the characters.

I cannot help but to categorise Amphetamine to the same level as Lan Yu (2001) and Bishonen (1998), as well as Scud's own PR. Amphetamine is a recycled movie of Permanent Residence. Scud is unable to produce films of a different challenge. I am beginning to wonder if Scud is capable of not following the old trick of the directors in portraying tragic in love affairs of gays. Scud is incapable of happy ending and he is not capable of showing guys in passionate love setting. There was nothing much in PR except for hugs in showers and in bed, which was repeated in Amphetamine. But when it came to the male-female relationship, Scud had no trouble to show the body movements involved.

I feared much when the movie progressed as I was afraid of PR's tragic movie-ending spoiler - and ending that made no sense to the audience or had no commercial attraction to invite repetitive watching. I hated being right. Before the moment where Kafka was stripped by guests in a normal party, which was really freaky weird, I knew the movie was going downhill. I did not believe that plot. Neither was I believing Daniel would be so drunken, he would look so pretty lying down on the floor with a bottle beside him, that spilled no champagne. I mean, instead of protecting Kafka from his crazy invited (many) guests, Daniel went drunk. Stupid.

The ending was more like Scud was trying to get into the 'hm... I wonder what did Scud try to convey by the abstract scenes'. I was more like 'hm.. I did not give a shit, the movie was again another half-failure.' Half failure? This is the kind of movie when one should play for the first half of the film, where things still make sense, just like in PR. After that, one should just switched off the film because the director made a mess.

Despite of all I had said, I still have to admire a better than average production of a gay themed film from Scud. I still hope to see a film that can stand out there to challenge wonderful gay themed films such No Regret (2006), Jeffrey (1995) and Reine Geschmacksache (2007).

After reading a wonderful Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon, I was desperate for another good book to read. I read Every Frat Boy Wants It by Todd Gregory and The Island of Temptation by Claire Thompson. I was disappointed by the former and was kept half-interested in the latter.

In desperation, I remember reviews and recommendation on A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes. There are 4 in the series. I am not so sure if I would want to read a part 2, because sometimes, the best part would be in the first novel. Any continuation would be a bit stale.

However, I have just to say that Mary Calmes is beginning to be one of my favorite author. I just can't get enough of her story. I cannot put down her A Matter of Time Volume 1 book long enough. A Matter of Time is about Jory, an irresistable 22 year old gay guy who happened to witness a murder. Being the important witness in the case, and refusing to go under Witness Protection Program, Jory is making Detective Kage's life a misery as the detective cannot afford to lose his key witness.

I have always liked a story of gay man-straight man relationship and I have been disappointed with other works before where the straight man gave in too easily to the advances or situation. I just hope that Mary Calmes's work would not disappoint me. There is too much temptation and oomph in a relationship that yo-yo between 'should-I' or 'shouldn't I'.

I am already in Chapter 6, although I had only started this evening. This is an achievement because normally, I would not read that much in one sitting, unless we are talking about Harry Potter or Shopaholic.

I gotta get back to A Matter of Time now.

Update: What's with Mary Calmes and the word feed? Doesn't anyone uses the sentence 'I can get a treat from you,' or 'How about eating together?' When it was done more than 10 times, 'I'm going to feed you,' it is getting on the nerve.

Update: What's with the 'hold the back of the neck' thing??

This song was a hit for the late Dusty Springfield. I just love when Pet Shop Boys is no longer hiding of what their sexual orientation. What do we get? We get this remake of Pet Shop Boys collaboration with Elton John - In Private. It's a good gay song when they are together...

Take your time and tell me
Why you lie?
I realise
That we've been found out this time
We should stand together
If we can
But what you planned
Means there's a difference between ...

What you're gonna say in private
You still want my love, we're in this together
And what you're gonna do in public
Say you were never in love that you can remember
So discrete (She's so discrete)
I never tried to meet (She never)
Your friends or interfere (No)
I took a back seat (Back seat) between ...
On what you're gonna say in private
You still want my love, we're in this together
And what you're gonna do in public
Say you were never in love that you can remember

What you gonna say
When you run back to your wife
I guess it's just the story of her life
What you gonna say
So take your time
And tell me, when did you lie
Oh, I mean
All the time (No)
That there's a difference (A difference) between (between)
On what you're gonna say in private
You still want my love, we're in this together
And what you're gonna do in public
Say you were never in love that you can remember

Tell me what you gonna say (In private) Oooh
(You still want my love, we're in this together)
What you gonna say, what you gonna do
(And what you're gonna do) Baby
(in public) What you gonna say
(Say you were never in love) Oooh
(that you can remember) What you gonna say
Say in private

A gay short film from Brazil. Offensive to some. I like it for the cute actor.

Part 1

Part 2

Another parody of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend. Kinda think it is funny and creative.

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