Author Topic: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under Donít Ask Donít Tell  (Read 26078 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.queerty.com/first-look-film-of-gay-romantic-drama-burning-blue-is-finally-being-released-20140414/




SILVER SCREEN
FIRST LOOK:
Film Of Gay Romantic Drama
Burning Blue
Is Finally Being Released




Burning Blue, a romantic drama which tells the story of two Navy fighter pilots who fall in love while living under Donít Ask Donít Tell, will be released select U.S. theaters and on VOD on June 6. The movie, co-written and directed by DMW Greer and based on his hit play with the same title, has taken nearly two decades to make it to the big screen. Queerty exclusively premieres the filmís poster (below).

Greer says the basis for the story came from his own life.

ďIn 1987, a classmate and fellow Navy Pilot was killed in an accident while piloting a routine jet training flight over the California desert,Ē Greer says in a statement about the film. ďWhile Iíd lost several friends in aviation accidents, ĎMattísí death was different. While it did not fully occur to me until he was gone, I realized Iíd been in love with him for many years. It was something understood and experienced together but never discussed.Ē

He continues, ďIt was a devastating loss, nearly overwhelming. Still as all military aviators are trained to do I worked to isolate and compartmentalize everything Ė putting the experience aside and carrying on.Ē

This relationship served as the inspiration for what would eventually become his play Burning Blue.

In 1995, the play opened at The Kingís Head Theater in London before moving to the West End. It also enjoyed sold-out runs in South Africa and Isreal, before eventually coming to the U.S., where it was produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Off-Broadway at The Samuel Beckett Theatre in September 2002.

ďFeature film inquiries came from Hollywood and we signed a deal with a London/Los Angeles production company,Ē Greer says. ďAfter working on a Burning Blue screenplay for more than two years, it became clear that in the interest to make a more Ďcommerciallyí viable film, interest shifted to downplaying the romantic love story to spare audiences from the potentially uncomfortable subject matter. Fortunately, the option expired and that version of the film was never made.Ē

Greer teamed up with writer Helene Kvale to rework the script. After finishing the revised screenplay, the film went into production, with Greer taking the directorís chair.

ďThe New York shoot lasted 21 very, very cold days in December 2010. It was a laughably ambitious schedule with a tight, talented, minimal crew and the ever-shrinking daylight hours as well as multiple locations,Ē Greer says. ďEventually, during editing we realized the inescapable need for several scenes weíd cut from the script for budgetary reasons. This demanded another round of fund-raising to schedule an additional four days of shooting in June 2013, plus editing.Ē

On June 6, nearly 20 years after the acclaimed stage version of Burning Blue first opened in London, the film will be released by Lionsgate.

ďA filmmaker friend said to me before I started, ĎMaking a film is like going to war. Itís one battle after another and itís not over Ďtil itís over.íĒ Greer says. ďHe was right and for Burning Blue the metaphor is certainly apt. Iíve never enjoyed working so hard to embrace such an abundance of opportunity and ultimately overcome so many obstacles to complete a project.Ē

ďI think I might do it again later this year,Ē he adds.

Check out the trailer below:


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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://vimeo.com/36794000


B  U  R  N  I  N  G     B  L  U  E

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Third generation navy fighter pilot Dan Lynch has it all: a stellar career, a beautiful fiancťe and a loyal best friend until an unexpected night on the town turns his world upside down. Set during the era of Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Burning Blue tells the story of a forbidden love and the tragic consequences of a modern day witch hunt.

Screenplay by DMW Greer and Helene Kvale

Directed by DMW Greer
Starring: Morgan Spector, Rob Mayes, Trent Ford, Tammy Blanchard

National Release Summer 2014


TRENT FORD  Dan

MORGAN SPECTOR Will

ROB MAYES  Matt

TAMMY BLANCHARD Susan

MICHAEL SIROW Agent Cokely

WIILLIAM LEE SCOTT Charlie

TRACY WEILER Nancy

GWYNNETH BENSEN Tammi

MARK DOHERTY  Skipper

COTTER SMITH  Admiral Lynch

CHRIS CHALK  Agent Jones

MICHAEL CUMPSTY Admiral  Stevensen

JOHNNY HOPKINS  Petty Officer Gorden

JORDAN DEAN  Stewie

HAVILAND MORRIS  Grace Lynch

RAFFERTY BROWN Atticus


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.burningbluefilm.com/



































David Greer '80 speaking with the audience in the post film Q&A with producers and an actor
in a leading role, Rob Mayes USNA '08

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

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Hadn't heard of this, i'll be looking for it!

I've copied and pasted the info to DCF as well.   According to the article, it opens June 6th in 'select' theaters?

Maybe a Brokie gathering in NYC for that?


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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I think I might like to see this some day.
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Wow, this looks like a must-see! I love the tagline "Deny Nothing"!
When you see the smiley face in the sky, the pandemic will be over!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Published on Mar 7, 2013

S V A
S C R E E N I N G
A N D
I N T E R V I E W:


&noredirect=1


B U R N I N G   B L U E
News:


Wells Fargo Advisors recently hosted a Sneak Preview Screening at the New York's SVA Theater. The evening was a great
success.

The private event for 400 people raised more than $11,000 for Athlete Ally and Freedom to Marry, to non-profit organizations
dedicated to inclusion, equality and dialogue. The accompanying video includes interviews with our guests who attended.



Morgan Spector, Actor (Burning Blue, Will)
Jeffrey Correa, Freedom to Marry
Hudson Taylor, Athlete Ally
Sandy Kenyon, NYC WABC Movie Critic





"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline ChrisC

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Wonder when it'll be shown in the UK? It'll be worth seeing, I'm sure.

Offline CellarDweller

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I'll have to investigate and see about dates in NYC.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline gattaca

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looks great!
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2014, 09:14:23 pm »
I'll have to investigate and see about dates in NYC.

Looks awesome.. thanks for posting the caps!  Cheers, V.
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Offline gattaca

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For those members looking forward to "Burning Blue" as I am, here's another film from 2009, which the Brokeback community will enjoy.  The film was overlooked when it was released and was a sleeper.  The title does not help matters. Please ignore the title "Handsome Harry" and give it a chance - you will be pleasantly surprised!  I swear!  

The cast is loaded with names:  Buscemi, Sheridan, Quinn, Savage and one of my favorites, Scott.  Pay attention, there are quite a few very quick flash backs.  The film could stand a bit of tightening but the exploring of the characters lives and how they each dealt or didnt' deal with what they did is a fascinating study in life.

Told as a series of flashbacks and from a Navy angle, the film takes one of a journey of a dying man to right a horrible wrong done to a fellow seaman.  it also explores the life of someone not following their heart.  No it's not a sappy flick but it will get your attention... there are several lines lifted directly from Brokeback and pay attention to the ending.  I'd love to discuss the film in  a separate thread for anyone interested.  

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318001/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

It is available on Netflix, Amazon etc..  for rental or own... if you liked Brokeback, this may be an owner for you.  

Cheers, V.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 03:31:10 pm by gattaca »
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Offline brian

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I'll have to investigate and see about dates in NYC.
I will be in NYC Monday June 16 (arrive la Guardia 5.43pm) to Saturday June 21 (dep Pennsylvania station 11.25am)

Offline southendmd

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Re: Burning Blue
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 11:20:15 pm »
For those members looking forward to "Burning Blue" as I am, here's another film from 2009, which the Brokeback community will enjoy.  The film was overlooked when it was released and was a sleeper.  The title does not help matters. Please ignore the title and give it a chance - you will be pleasantly surprised!  I swear!   

The cast is loaded with names:  Buscemi, Sheridan, Quinn, Savage and one of my favorites, Scott.  Pay attention, there are quite a few very quick flash backs.  The film could stand a bit of tightening but the exploring of the characters lives and how they each dealt or didnt' deal with what they did is a fascinating study in life.

Told as a series of flashbacks and from a Navy angle, the film takes one of a journey of a dying man to right a horrible wrong done to a fellow seaman.  it also explores the life of someone not following their heart.  No it's not a sappy flick but it will get your attention... there are several lines lifted directly from Brokeback and pay attention to the ending.  I'd love to discuss the film in  a separate thread for anyone interested.   

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318001/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

It is available on Netflix, Amazon etc..  for rental or own... if you liked Brokeback, this may be an owner for you. 

Cheers, V.

Hi Vincent.  Please allow me to out this film:  it's "Handsome Harry".  There was a very brief discussion about it on another thread a couple of years ago.  Truman liked it, I didn't.  Perhaps I should give it another chance.

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,45782.msg631599.html#msg631599

Paul

Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2014, 01:58:13 pm »
Amazon has it to rent for $1.99, I'm going to check it out this afternoon and give my opinion, FWIT. 

Thanks for the rec, Vincent.
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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2014, 02:45:32 pm »
Spoilers, if you don't want to know, walk away.





Sorry, Vincent.  We agree on Free Fall, but I hope I can get my 2 bucks back from Amazon for this one.

I was expecting more than the first stupid line: what if I come over tonight and give you a birthday blow job.

Sorry, but seriously?  The guy from Fargo?  Talk about type-casting.

Women are so naÔve.  The wife cannot believe that her husband, while in the Navy, would do something that would make him think heís going to hell.  Maybe she thought he just had a lot of sex.

OK, this is where I had to stop.  He goes to stay with an ex-Navy buddy, presumably to talk about the past, the wife comes into his bedroom in a robe and asks ďare you sexually active?Ē  then proceeds to take the robe off and says (Penthouse Forum, anyone?) ďTouch me.Ē  Just like real life.

I'll finish watching it later, but I don't think anything could redeem it after that.

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Offline gattaca

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2014, 03:25:28 pm »
Spoilers, if you don't want to know, walk away.

Sorry, Vincent.  We agree on Free Fall, but I hope I can get my 2 bucks back from Amazon for this one.

I was expecting more than the first stupid line: what if I come over tonight and give you a birthday blow job.

Sorry, but seriously?  The guy from Fargo?  Talk about type-casting.

Women are so naÔve.  The wife cannot believe that her husband, while in the Navy, would do something that would make him think heís going to hell.  Maybe she thought he just had a lot of sex.

OK, this is where I had to stop.  He goes to stay with an ex-Navy buddy, presumably to talk about the past, the wife comes into his bedroom in a robe and asks ďare you sexually active?Ē  then proceeds to take the robe off and says (Penthouse Forum, anyone?) ďTouch me.Ē  Just like real life.

I'll finish watching it later, but I don't think anything could redeem it after that.


Sorry, Yes, the film is not perfect.  You must forgive some of the rougher spots to get thru to the ending which IMO is well worth it.

Some spoilers on:

The film has several unpolished scenes which I did not like as well on my first viewing.  The specific one you referenced, with the naughty wife and husband gone to get more booze (telling also), I felt was unnecessary and should have been left on the cutting room floor... on first viewing..  but once I thought about it, I realized it showed while Harry was receptive to such advances in the past, in fact welcomed them, he was clearly struggling when presented with such an EASY sexual opportunity now.  In fact, he could have quickly "done the deed" with his buddy gone, but now he had  had made a choice - a different choice - one maybe he should have made a long time ago. So, then I did a 180 on that material's need to be there though I still agree, it makes me cringe on how poorly delivered it becomes.   The naughty wife also showed how in spite of his buddy's apparent success, internally his life was in shambles. He despised his son and was not speaking with him anymore b/c his son was gay.  (I wonder where that originated...) His wife was very likely screwing around all the time b/c he could no longer satisfy her sexually because he had prostate surgery - karma, baby karma.   I also think the "holy than thou" buddy as well as the tenured professor buddy were revealing.  The professor totally denying his past and then becomes enraged when Harry confronts him...  Viewed from a karma angle, were all not these men getting their just due?  Did Harry really forget who crushed David's hand? Did  Harry get his just due at dinner? Did David forgive? 

Spoilers off

Could the material have been better shot or less cliche at times - absolutely!

I consider "Handsome Harry" a film one really has to stop and think about across more than 1 viewing...while forgiving those  parts could have been better executed.   In short, if the director were Ang Lee, it would have been much more polished - after all we know parts of Brokeback also ended up on the cutting room floor.   Cheers, V.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 04:55:57 pm by gattaca »
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Offline morrobay

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e: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2014, 03:29:25 pm »
Ah, well, I certainly appreciate your insight and will finish it out.  Thanks, I appreciate your view.
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Offline gattaca

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Re: Burning Blue
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2014, 03:43:42 pm »
Hi Vincent.  Please allow me to out this film:  it's "Handsome Harry".  There was a very brief discussion about it on another thread a couple of years ago.  Truman liked it, I didn't.  Perhaps I should give it another chance.
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,45782.msg631599.html#msg631599
Paul

Hi Paul, I did a brief search but didn't get any hits.. maybe I need to return to search school.    :o

Sorry I omitted the title in the text , it was not intentional - I fixed that.  Didn't mean for you to have to "out the film".  I have been focused on easing people past "Handsome Harry" as it sounds so cliche and corny.  Handsome Harry requires multiple viewings, then reflections of the material and yeah a bit of forgiveness for the rough spots.  But, the ending, oh man, coupled with those flash backs, and then if you just close your eyes and page thru the lives of those men - as shown to us.  That really stopped me dead in my tracks once I assembled it.  

Spoilers on:

What could have been?  What was possible with Harry?  What was possible with David?  What does one's heart want?  How do you know true love when it finds you?  What about the courage to defend your best friend?  DADT...  What about what IS possible - even now, with David?  Should Harry follow his heart?  Can he?  What about all those commitments to one's family?  What's in Harry's struggle with his truth, his son?  Is this quest part of Harry's catharsis? Could Harry have made a life with David then?   Hint:  As shown in the flash backs, David's parents were accepting and I feel would have welcomed Harry whom was clearly important to David?   Do you really take someone home to meet your parent's if you are not really serious about them?   Does your friend sleep in your bed?  Does your male friend give you a kiss on the cheek?  Do your male buddies secretly go to what's known as a gay bar to hear you play for the crowd? Does Harry's desire or story to "become a priest" signal his struggle with himself?  His guilt perhaps?  His feelings for David?   Does Harry's not remembering who of the group actually injured David severely indicate his remorse?   His guilt?   Could or should any be forgiven?  Should Harry be forgiven?  ...  

Spoilers off:

I'm sorry.  I can become so tangled in the threads swimming thru my head from this film - get's me good, just like Brokeback.

Yeah, Handsome Harry needed better directing and tighter editing and perhaps more flash backs but with what's there, I learned enough to be satisfied that the story was worth the journey even if there is a pothole or two along the way.   Just consider the flashbacks in Brokeback - quite powerful / overwhelming once the context is revealed.  The flashbacks, and even the music, which is mostly well done Jazz, informs us throughout.

In general, I thought Handsome Harry would appeal to most Brokies.  I apologize if my gusto for Handsome Harry exceeds it's delivery.   Cheers, V.  
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Offline CellarDweller

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I watched "Handsome Harry" on Vincent's recommendation, and I loved it.  So much so that I purchased the DVD to add it to my personal collection.  I've since showed it to other Brokies over here, and the all liked it as well.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline gattaca

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Re: e: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2014, 03:44:39 am »
Ah, well, I certainly appreciate your insight and will finish it out.  Thanks, I appreciate your view.

Did you give Handsome Harry a chance to get past the potholes?   V.   
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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2014, 11:31:26 am »
Yeah, but it was more like sinkholes to me.  Maybe the casting was off, idk.

And, probably because Iíve never been a gay man in the Navy in the Ď60s and I can't do anything about that, I really hated the whole premise: he beats up his lover, (ruining his career as a pianist), never apologizes or apparently even speaks to him again for the remaining time theyíre in the Navy, and only gets in touch after 30 years, and then only at someone elseís request, and not as something he felt compelled to do on his own.

Wasnít for me.
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Offline gattaca

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OK.  Sorry you did not like it.   Yeah, I agree the casting is not perfect and we talked about a few weak points. 

Sadly, it's typical of those and these times.   Death beds have a funny way of changing people's hearts when that inevitable event horizon is within view. 

This is a story that grows on you once you get past the weaknesses. 

Better luck next time. Cheers, V.
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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2014, 12:10:48 pm »
In addition to HH & Free Fall, in the past few weeks I've seen Pit Stop, The Falls: Testament of Love, L'homme de sa vie (The Man of My Life), & Weekend.  For me, Free Fall wins, hands down, as best acted, directed, storyline.  Then Weekend & The Falls, but I wouldn't watch any of them twice - except for FF, I've seen it dozens of times.  And I am looking forward to Burning Blue.

BTW, Amazon did refund my rental for HH, the email said they noticed that I experienced poor video playback - I didn't notice it and didn't ask for the refund, but nice to get.
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Offline gattaca

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Glad you got a refund for HH.  Most Brokie's I know enjoyed the film (with a few potholes) so I felt pretty safe surfacing it.   YMMV as I learned.  Cheers, V.
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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2014, 11:21:50 am »
Well, I was looking forward to seeing this in a theatre, but it was limited release and nowhere near me.

The reviews are starting to come out, maybe I saved some money.  But this is only the NY Times

Navy Pilots Under the Gun

ĎBurning Blue,í a Military Drama About Homosexuality
     

By ANITA GATESJUNE 5, 2014

At last itís come along: the ďReefer MadnessĒ of gay rights. In D M W Greerís supposed drama ďBurning Blue,Ē a military official worries aloud that if man-on-man sex among its fighter pilots is not punished severely, the Navy could be perceived as being run by a ďperverse cult.Ē

The esteemed stage actor Michael Cumpsty turns up as an admiral, the father of one of the pilots under investigation; maybe the shooting locations were within walking distance of Broadway. Trent Ford (in what must be defined as the Jan-Michael Vincent role) is the young lieutenant at the center of things. Rob Mayes and Morgan Spector are his handsome fellow pilots, and Tammy Blanchard is the most visible of the trusting wives, straight (pun intended) out of a 1970s soap opera.

The script, by Mr. Greer and Helene Kvale, rolls along with lifeless, profoundly unimaginative dialogue (ďThe wings on your chest are proof that youíve accomplished something greatĒ; ďI like womenĒ; ďIím not gayĒ; ďTears wonít bring him backĒ; ďNo more liesĒ). Then thereís a scene in church, and the priest inexplicably begins quoting Rainer Maria Rilkeís gorgeous ďGo to the Limits of Your Longing.Ē

And we are reminded that words can indeed be strung together to evoke emotion. You have to wonder, as the camera pans the pews for reaction shots from the major characters, why the good fatherís service is so sparsely attended.


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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2014, 11:25:48 am »
From The Hollywood Reporter

The Bottom Line
This well-intentioned but amateurish effort fails to bring its important subject to compelling life.



A tired feeling afflicts DMW Greerís directorial debut, which is based on his semi-autobiographical play first staged in Londonís West End nearly two decades ago. Concerning an investigation into the suspected gay activities of several U.S. Navy fighter pilots during the ďDonít Ask, Donít TellĒ era, Burning Blue squanders its admirable intentions with its amateurish filmmaking and ham-fisted dialogue. Opening both theatrically and on demand, commercial prospects look bleak.

Set in the 1990ís, the obviously low-budget effort depicts the close friendship between pilots Dan (Trent Ford) and Will (Morgan Spector), who become embroiled in an NCIS investigation after a series of fatal accidents, at least one of which was caused by the latterís hidden vision problem. Soon the investigation becomes less about the crashes than about such things as Danís visit to a NYC gay nightclub, his burgeoning close relationship with new pilot Matt (Rob Mayes), and such ephemera as a photo of Dan and several of his shipmates posing topless in a photograph that he explains was an attempt to recreate a mural in the Sistine Chapel.

The screenplay co-written by Greer and Helene Kvale features heavy doses of melodrama -- much of it involving Willís crumbling marriage to his unsuspecting wife (Tammy Blanchard) -- and frequently laughable dialogue. ďWe had a drunken night in New York, letís chalk it up to experience,Ē one of the principal characters comments, while the hard-nosed investigator (Michael Sirow) wants to know if Dan and Matt ďare doing the dirty deed.Ē

Although the film is admirable in its intent on exposing the rampant homophobia afflicting the armed forces in the era in which itís set -- and which continues in various forms to the present day -- it suffers from an unfortunate coyness in its depiction of the relationships among the principal characters. Practically harkening back to the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, minus the florid style -- even Top Gun was more overtly homoerotic -- itís a mostly tedious, rambling affair that is only made bearable by the sensitive performances of the three leads actors.

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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2014, 11:31:34 am »
By Odie Henderson on rogerebert.com, possible spoilers




★    |  Odie Henderson
 
June 6, 2014   |  ☄ 1

  
Because of "Burning Blue"ís Navy-pilots-in-love plot, "The Backlot" website referred to the film as "Brokeback Top Gun." If only this were true. Instead, this shockingly amateurish film evokes memories of "Making Love," the Arthur Hiller film about a married man coming to terms with his homosexuality. That filmís made-for-TV movie kid-glove treatment of this subject equates to head-shaking camp today, but is forgivable because "Making Love" was made in 1982. "Burning Blue" has no excuse to play coy in 2014, especially when its romance is supposed to play an integral part in the story.

DMW Greerís adaptation of his 1995 play has honorable intentions. It wants to show how "Donít Ask, Donít Tell" ruined the lives of many who served in the Armed Forces. A straightforward, heartbreaking drama exists in this material. But Greerís dialogue and plot points push far beyond the edges of melodrama. Rather than base the witch hunt on the mere speculation that a pilot may be gay, "Burning Blue" creates an investigation into members of one particular squad whose pilots keep dying on flight maneuvers. The series of events leads the Navy to think thereís "a gay cell" endangering its pilots. As absurd as that sounds, itís actually believable that the Navy would think this. How "Burning Blue" gets here, and what it does afterward, is far more problematic.

Itís not a gay cell causing the accidents, itís a straight pilot. Will Stephenson (Morgan Spector) selfishly wants to go into space, so he hides the fact that his vision is worse than Mr. Magooís. Complicit in this is Willís BFF and co-pilot Daniel Lynch (Trent Ford), who takes blame for the non-lethal accident that opens "Burning Blue." Since he could not see at a crucial moment, Will flew into a flock of birds, forcing he and Daniel to punch out of the cockpit.

The platonic relationship between Will and Daniel takes center stage, leaving little room for the romantic events that cause Daniel to out himself to the Navy. These events almost seem an afterthought, as NCIS already has enough "evidence" to nail Daniel and accuse Will: A naked picture of Will and his squadron in rather suggestive poses, taken while the crew was drunk in Italy. Greer is way too skittish to show this full-frontal snapshot onscreen longer than 2 seconds, so the pause button is necessary to see just how "incriminating" it is.


Thereís more action in that photograph than in the affair between the engaged Daniel and the married Matthew (Rob Mayes). While spending a shore leave day together, Matthew and Daniel take a rather sweet tour of New York City, which culminates with them hooking up with two other people for a one-bed romp. Greer intercuts this poorly framed disaster of a sex scene with scenes of a shirtless Daniel and Matthew doing the funky chicken together at a gay dance club. An angry sailor, who had been punished earlier by Matthew for insubordination, sees this sweaty, shirtless boogie and becomes the star witness against Daniel.

"Burning Blue" is ambiguous about whether Matthew and Daniel sleep with each other. It is certainly not shown, and, outside of one kiss and a scene of Daniel running his fingers through Matthewís hair, there is no physical interaction between them at all. Greer forces his actors to repeatedly stare longingly at each other from across crowded rooms, as if this were "Some Enchanted Evening." Neither actor is up to the task of conveying this silent passion; their constant stares make them look constipated. When Matthew decides to leave his wife and endanger his career, the first question one asks is "Why?"

Even worse, the NCIS agent tormenting Daniel and his crew is the Javert of homophobia. Heís relentless, showing up comically in places one would not expect, as if he can telegraph where people will be. Wielding his camera like a weapon, he takes photo after photo of innocent activity to build his case. His body language screams "VILLAIN!" and his dialogue is a wellspring of purple prose. His appearances should be accompanied by a horror movie stinger. The interrogations by him and an African-American special agent are so poorly staged they have little suspense. The use of the latter character is particularly nauseating; after persecuting Daniel in scene after scene, he tells him "youíll feel better if you accept yourself for what you are. It took me a long time to accept that I was Black."

If you see "Burning Blue," ask yourself what its last scene is supposed to mean. Itís a reunion between Daniel and the extremely homophobic Will. Will calls Daniel the F-word, but Daniel still wants a reconciliation between the two. Considering what Will has done to Matthew, this development is a jaw-dropper. Is this supposed to be some kind of victory for LGBT people?

Maybe this material worked in 1995; Wikipedia mentions that it opened to acclaim and awards. Today, it has an air of the old tragic mulatto movies that permeated the 1950s. Again, the intentions are noble; itís the execution that will stick in your craw. Audiences deserve better depictions of the tragic aftermath of "Donít Ask, Donít Tell" than this meek, dated Afterschool Special.

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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2014, 11:50:38 am »
LA Times


'Burning Blue' treats 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' era awkwardly


June 5, 2014, 1:20 PM

The earnest but terribly ham-fisted drama "Burning Blue" is set mostly in the 1990s, during the days of the U.S. military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.".

The film could have been a still-vital snapshot of gay soldiers forced to stay closeted for fear of retribution and dismissal. But it feels positively antiquated in the hands of writer-director D.M.W. Greer, whose decades-old, semi-autobiographical stage play is the basis for this movie. (The play, first performed in London in 1995, ran in 1998 at Los Angeles' now-defunct Court Theatre.)

The story finds naval officer Dan Lynch (Trent Ford) the focus of an internal investigation after being spotted carousing in a Manhattan gay bar with fellow squadron pilot Matt Blackwood (Rob Mayes). Why the circumspect ó and outwardly "straight" ó Dan and Matt would have danced shirtless together in full of view of others (including, it turns out, a few soldier buddies) is mighty curious.

But, like so much else here, this pivotal moment is awkwardly rendered. Due in part to some choppy shooting and editing, events and interactions often unfold in confusing, seemingly truncated fashion. Several alleged military maneuvers and their related entanglements are especially baffling.

Matters are not helped by scads of hackneyed dialogue. Most problematic, though, is the portrayal of the doomed love between Dan and Matt. Their underdeveloped romance largely consists of furtive glances, forced denials and abortive clinches. When the guys finally do kiss, it might as well be the 1950s for all the heat they generate. "Brokeback Mountain" it ain't.

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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2014, 11:58:26 am »
Makes you appreciate movies like Free Fall all the more.


Film Journal International
Film Review: Burning Blue

This stiff saga of gays in the military, with its manly men being manly together, evokes that tale of repression Brokeback Mountain, while somehow being much less homoerotic than Top Gun.

June 5, 2014


The ever-provoking plight of gays in the military formed the basis of the 1995 play Burning Blue, which has been adapted and directed for the screen by its writer, D.M.W. Greer. The drama centers on the deep friendship between Dan Lynch (Trent Ford) and Will Stephensen (Morgan Spector), who are both Navy pilots and sons of admirals. They dream of being accepted into the space program, but when two fatal mishaps occur in their squadron, the NCIS begins an investigation.

 Also arriving in their midst is Matt Blackwood (Rob Mayes), a new pilot who befriends Dan, leaving an unhappy Will out in the cold. This bond intensifies to the point where, on leave in New York City, the two flyers go to a gay bar and wind up in bed together. Of course, their love is verboten, especially with the NCIS breathing down their necks. Dan breaks off his engagement to Susan (Tammy Blanchard), while, after some waffling, Matt decides to leave his wife for him. And then tragedy strikes.

 The play, although sincere and admirable in its address of the sexual inequity in our armed forces, was never great to begin with, and is certainly not helped by Greer's unsure and often confusing direction. The budgetary constraints of this indie do not allow for any real scenes of airborne action, so the work remains stagy in the extreme, with key deaths of certain characters merely talked about with disconcerting abruptness. The film seems to be trying to straddle important issues while yet being an overt gay fantasy about sailors, with all of the young enlisted guys being uniformly handsome and white in a bland and boyish Ken-doll kind of way. Additionally, Greer often has a tin ear for dialogue which manifests itself in lines like "We are warriors paid to defend this country, not spill our guts and frolic in the daisies!"

 The cinematography has a cheap yet sterile look to it, more befitting a TV soap opera, and there are serious lapses in the exposition that leave you shaking your head. Dan and Matt's relationship often seems more bewildering than fated, while Will appears to be harboring some deep closeted affection for Dan which is never clearly addressed.

 Spector's performance is all synthetic bluster, while the other men go through their crisply uniformed paces without generating much interest. Michael Cumpsty, who has lately been giving some awful, hammy performances on Broadway, shows that he can be just as bad onscreen, here playing an admiral. The one performance that seems truly human comes from Blanchard, who, as always, is intensely likeable and does her utmost in one of those thankless, thrown-aside- by-a-gay-man roles.

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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2014, 12:12:00 pm »
It has a 7.4 on IMDb, so seems as if viewers like it, I will skip it though.  This is the only external/critic review.
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 53 users   Metascore:  30/100 

QUEERTIQUES.com [Roger Walker-Dack]

Flying an F18 fighter aircraft for the US Navy is a tough assignment and requires very close cooperation between both pilots who must depend on each other with their own lives. Stationed in confined quarters on Aircraft Carriers for months at a time, its inevitable the men establish a strong bond between each other and often become closer than the family and their wives/girlfriends they have left behind.  This story is about one such pair of serviceman who developed feelings for each other way beyond camaraderie. but as it is set in a time long before 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' they chose not to act on their desires.

That is until one night on leave in New York the pair end up in a Gay Bar although apart from them getting sweaty and going shirtless as they dance together with two female hookers, very little happens. However they are spotted there by a colleague who reports them to an Agent who had been on board ship to investigate  two recent fatal crashes, but he now turns his attention to trying to establish the presence of some sort of gay clique amongst the pilots.

Even though its all supposition  and with scant circumstantial evidence it all ends very badly and ruins the men's lives. 

Directed by DMW Greer from his much acclaimed stage play of the same name which was based on experiences from his own life, it is a well-meaning but rather laborious melodrama which was far too dated for its own good.  Since the play's success on both sides of the Atlantic back in 1995 the political agenda has changed so much regarding gay acceptance that it felt that this particular story had lost all its potency. Also gay themed films have also changed enormously and it's hard to believe that an audience will rally to a movie that show its intimacy between two men in love purely with a hand ruffling through hair or a chaste kiss.  With all those 'novela' like long drawn out glances at each other all the time, its enough to not want to shout out 'get a room already!'

The cast of handsome young men that included Trent Ford, Morgan Spector and Rob Mayes did well just smouldering and looking hot and trying not appear to be too embarrassed by having to keep to the script. As did the actresses playing their poor wives and girlfriends, who included the talented Tammy Blanchard.

I am the first to admit that when President Obama finally approved the dissolution of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy that it made it easy for gay men and women in the Armed Services to come out.  I'm sure that there are a lot of stories of their experiences that would make really good movies. This sadly is not one of them.
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Offline gattaca

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Sounds like straight to Netflix or Amazon perhaps?  These reviews are not what I'd hoped for.  V.
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Offline morrobay

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Re: Burning Blue: two Navy pilots who fall in love living under DADT
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2014, 02:35:33 pm »
Yes, I was disappointed, I was looking forward it.  To be so roundly thrashed, you'd think they'd know the storyline and dialogue wasn't working - maybe they were too lazy to fix it so just released it and hoped that it would appeal to a big enough audience to get their money back.

I think it was available on iTunes yesterday. 
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Offline gattaca

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I watched "Burning Blue" and will sleep on my comments.  I think it needs a 2nd viewing.  Anyone else given it a chance?  Speak up.   V.
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Offline gattaca

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I watched "Burning Blue" and will sleep on my comments.  I think it needs a 2nd viewing.  Anyone else given it a chance?  Speak up.   V.
I watched "Burning Blue" and agree with many of the above postings from various reviews - though the critics are harsher than I am for a film trying to "do the right thing."  

Yes, this film is far from perfect but it strikes me as more a labor of love, a mission and knowing a bit about it's background now, that certainly holds.  The dialog is sometimes contrived and forced and in my case, one of the characters really irked me until some ending revelations.  But the film certainly reminds me of the banter from "Top Gun" with the uncanny simple phrasing and testosterone loaded one liners but then I ask exactly what's real or what should we expect from a small slice of Navy guys? Shakespearean  prose, really?  The line from the film where the admiral arrives by chopper and a comment is made about "...yeah 6000 guys all afraid to fart..." certainly sounds true to form from anyone who's been there.  

Yeah, obviously, Burning Blue didn't have Top's budget but it was trying to serve something beyond tanned bodies, motorcycles, fast jets, leather jackets, summer volleyball, sand, sweat and hot babes.  It was serving a slice of life under DADT.   With the film being set in the 1990's era, I can certainly see and feel the tension in some of the conversations - afraid to say anything.. could it be a ruse?  Is it real or is a witch hunt?  Who's the friend, who's the foe?  We, not being there, have no real idea but the film's ending noting more than 14,000 people were hunted and discharged under DADT should ring home.  

Yes, the dialog could be more polished and film could be carried better by the actors who were handsome in their own right.  A wee bit more passion, from the eyes or otherwise would have been super! The limited single kiss we are shown at Dan's home felt awkward.   Yes, when reflecting to the BBM stairway scene - it is night and day. But then I never assumed explicit on screen intimacy was the real goal of this film..now was it?  Overall,  I'm not gushing uber high praise but I am staging in some reality while not whizzing all over it either.    Patience and watching more than once may be required.  YMMV.  Cheers, V.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 06:24:17 am by gattaca »
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Offline morrobay

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If anyone is around, Handsome Harry is on today on the CW at 3pm central time.
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Offline gattaca

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If anyone is around, Handsome Harry is on today on the CW at 3pm central time.
Super Thanks!  My Schedule has it reshowing tomorrow (SUN 06 Jul 2014 at 5:00PM) as the "afternoon movie." V.
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Offline gattaca

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A review which I do not think I've seen posted.  Still not super +  -> http://observer.com/2014/06/in-the-navy-top-gun-meets-brokeback-mountain-in-d-m-w-greers-debut-feature/

Rotten Tomatoes  47% Viewers 27% Critics --> http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/burning_blue/

V.
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Offline CellarDweller

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I haven't seen Burning Blue, too bad the film didn't get better reviews.


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Offline Monika

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I just watched it and quite enjoyed the first two thirds of it.

Offline CellarDweller

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so I guess that means you didn't like the ending.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!