Film Review: SEBASTIAN (Canada 2017)

Sebastian Poster
Starring James Fanizza, Alex House and Katya from RuPaul’s Drag Race (Brian McCook). Alex and Sebastian meet one fateful evening and it’s love at first sight.

SEBASTIAN is the new gay romance film written and directed by James Fanizza, an expansion of his short film in 2014 which he wrote but did not direct.  The film had its premiere at last year’s INSIDE OUT LGBT Film Festival and finally gets a commercial release.  The film is not to be confused with Derek Jarman’s 1976 SEBASTIANE or the Dirk Bogarde 1968 film romance SEBASTIAN.

When the film begins, Alex (James Fanizza) is introduced to his boyfriend, Nelson’s (Guifré Bantjes-Rafols) cousin, SEBASTIAN (Alex House) from Buenos Aires, Argentina.   From the way Alex and Sebastian eye each other, one knows it is just a matter of time when they get into bed together.  Which they do.

The question is then: “Is it ok for one to sleep with ones boyfriend’s cousin?”  Or rather: “Is it ok to sleep with your cousin’s boyfriend?”  Either way, it does not look like a good idea.  Especially in the Latino culture, as Sebastian says at one point in the film only to be corrected by Alex:  “…. or in any other culture.”  So, Fanizza puts in the excuse that the relationship between Alex and Nelson is not going on too well.

Fanizza’s gay romance goes through all the motions of a gay romantic comedy.  Do not expect any new revelations or insight.  The two leads are attractive hunky and the sex scenes are executed tastefully with no nastiness.

One can tell that the original short film has been padded to make a feature length film.  There is dialogue taking time where the two discuss their favourite food or favourite colour.  Their family background is also brought in, with Sebastian haven gay coming-out problems with his mother in Argentina.  The aunt he is staying with is accepting and pleasant enough.  Other time-wasters: Sebastian buys Alex a record.  No time to hear it that night?  Hear it the night after.  The two attend a show put on my a friend of Alex.

It turns out the padded show is quite so entertaining.   The drag show is performed by a campy Xenia (Katya Zamolodchikova).  The dance beats at the club are catchy and other drag performers (from RuPaul’s Drag Race) are also a pleasure to watch.  Queer culture has seldom been represented to be so much fun!  Katya steals every scene he/she is in whether in drag or in man’s attire.  Fanizza also gives Xenia the best lines: “Alex has a problem.  He is a pussy.” 

Fanizza is a graduate from York University, Toronto and an actor. He is immediately recognizable from a commercial (I cannot remember which one) which is currently playing on TV.  Alex House looks like a young Roy Depuis and is good enough in his undemanding role.

SEBASTIAN is an ok gay movie that is entertaining enough.  Just sit back and relax to the light gay romantic comedy.  It would be interesting to see the short version of SEBASTIAN as well.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQqJVy-Urmg

TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL: THE END OF THE END: THE ANIMATED FEATURE FILM (USA 2017)

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Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End Poster
The animated conclusion to the live action Todd and The Book Of Pure Evil Show. Todd tries to mend his friendship with Curtis after killing his girlfriend. The book has returned along with Hannah and there is talk of a new Pure Evil one.

 

The long title of this movie matches the long introduction of the film which brings the audience up to date with where the movie starts.  The introduction is fast and furiously delivered, but if one misses a pout or to, there is nothing to be worried about, as the incidents have have occurred are mentioned once again during the film.

Continuing where the critically acclaimed cult TV series (live action) left off, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End returns to Crowley Heights high school to find Todd, Jenny and Curtis grieving the loss of their dear friend Hannah, whose death may or may not have been caused by Todd’s banishing of the Book.  The three must reunite to fight evil when the Book of Pure Evil returns to Crowley High, bringing with it some familiar faces (Guidance Counsellor Atticus Murphy Jr., Jimmy the Janitor, and The Metalhead Dudes) as well as some new foes, such as the Sweater Vest Beast and an Acidic Acne-Faced Teen.  But these enemies are merely warm-ups to the final battle with their greatest nemesis yet: The New Pure Evil One, whose intimate knowledge of our heroes may ultimately lead to their destruction!

The film is written by Charles Picco and Craig David Wallace with voices by Alex House, Maggie Castle, Bill Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins and Jason Mewes (known from the Kevin Smith’s films).  The film done as animation instead of live action of the TV series allows more graphic violence.

The film as suited to teenaged contains typical teen issues.  Todd at one point, cannot get it up.  desperately, he goes to see the school councillor who gives advice fem his guidance councillor’s handbook.  Todd smokes dope, jerks off and does the typical things teens do.  He has a gang of friends who all have their own silly problems.  Adults like Atticus and Jimmy are portrayed as idiots.  No mention of parents in the film.

The animation is ok – the look that comes out from the typical comic book.  If anything, the film also contains a few forgettable songs and unforgettable gross out scenes like the toxic pus tom the zit-faced kid.

The narrative of saving the world or the teen world at that, if not hokum does to seem pressing eoguh in the film.  It does not help that one distraction after another occurs.

TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL caters to the typical angst teen.  Adults, even those that have gone through the identical problems in their younger days will likely find the whole enterprise boring.

The film opens  across Canada in November but oddly opens in Toronto (at the Royal Cinema) only in the start of December.  Craig David Wallace, Richard Duhaney, Alex House, Bill Turnbull and Melanie Leishman will be in attendance at the Royal on the opening day.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68JXEyLPUOY

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