Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.2 10 1786

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 06, 2021 at 12:33 AM

905.45 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gradyharp 8 / 10

Summer, Solstice, Synchronicity

Now and then along comes a film that is far more adventuresome than the PR suggests and such is the case of the very well constructed AUGUST. Written and directed by Eldar Rapaport (with Brian Sloan) this is a hard look at love relationships and how the test of time influences the success or failure of commitment. The choice of title reflects the generated heat of contentious relationships and just happens to be set in the time of the infamous Station Fire in Southern California in 2009, the largest and deadliest of the multiple wildfires, burning 160,577 acres (or 251 square miles), destroying countless homes, and killing two firefighters - a time when the Los Angeles basin was without electricity, full of smoke and ashes, and all nerves were on edge regarding the carnage.

Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) and Raul (Adrian Gonzalez) are a contented couple: though they live separately (Raul has married Jonathan's best friend Nina - Hilary Banks - for immigration purposes so they must maintain separate homes) they are devoted to each other and Raul is in the process of planning Jonathan's 30th birthday party. As an unexpected development Troy (Murray Bartlett), Jonathan's ex-boyfriend who has been living in Spain for several years after a painful breakup, arrives in Los Angeles at the height of the heat wave and moves in with his married brother Sean (Bernhard Forcher) and family. Troy calls Jonathan, arranges a meeting for coffee but is sure that Raul will enter the coffee shop to demonstrate the Jonathan is in a committed relationship. But old flames simmer and soon Troy is convincing the not unwilling Jonathan to rekindle their old passion, a liaison that becomes apparent to Raul. At Jonathan's 30th birthday party Nina and her chef boyfriend Nick (Mike Vaughn) invite Troy and Troy's good friend Devon (Brad Standley), and by the end of the evening the group hits the bars to smoke pot and drink. Raul then invites Troy to their home to join Jonathan and him in a physical liaison that results in Troy's 'wakeup call' about commitment as he sees the degree of passion between Raul and Jonathan: Troy as an outsider steps away and eventually returns to Spain - but we never know what will occur next.

AUGUST is blessed with a very fine cast of excellent actors who are able to pull off the intimacy of the story with decorum. There are some problems with the film: the director loses the audience with what feels like inadvertent non-linear storyline that disrupts the flow of the story, and the editor of the film David Au has cut and spliced the film in a disturbing and distracting manner. The musical score by Yuval Ron is heated Middle Eastern in flavor and at times covers the dialogue. But the story works in large part because of the exceptional acting and appeal of Murray Bartlett, Daniel Dugan, and Adrian Gonzalez. As the PR states, ' It is an irresistible gay romantic drama!

Grady Harp

Reviewed by johannes2000-1 6 / 10

Reasonable acting, but a bit of a bore.

This movie intends to give a realistic account of what can happen if an old lover out-off the blue pops-up into the life of his former boyfriend, who in the meantime has gone into a new relationship. Here, the two former lovers are drawn to each other once again, the third party feels betrayed and isolated and tries to find a strategic way to hold on to his love. This may sound like a potentially exciting premise, but unfortunately it resulted in a movie with a sullen and almost fatalistic atmosphere, where all parties concerned don't yell or go at each other's throats, but mostly stay composed, ponder a lot, and basically let nature have it's way. To be honest: it all turned out as a bit of a bore.

To make things harder, the two former lovers are hardly sympathetic, which makes it difficult to identify with either of them. Troy is knowingly messing-up Jonathan's and Raul's relationship, while it's also clear that his intentions are dubious, since we see him philandering through town, with every night another guy in his bed. Jonathan just seems very flattered and infatuated by all the renewed attention and gives as good as zero resistance to Troy's advances. I guess our sympathy should have to be with poor Raul, but his reactions are so secondary and ambiguous that it's hardly clear if he makes a go for saving his relationship himself. And in the end all things pretty much are as when the movie began, everyone takes up his old life, but with some new scars.

Murray Bartlett as Troy is good-looking in a sturdy, macho (and very hairy!) way, but everyone's ravings ("O my god, TROY is back in town!!") as if he was some long lost sexual icon, were waisted on me. Daniel Dugan as Jonathan looks merely cute, but without (noticeable) substance, more or less like a purring kitten curled up on the bed, to be fondled by everyone who comes along. It was beyond me anyway, why these two totally opposite guys should feel such mutual attraction. Adrian Gonzalez as Raul in my opinion didn't get enough room to show his full potential.

A last point of criticism: the director made some strange choices in the editing. We hop back and forth through time, see Troy with cut-off hair and then later on with normal hair, and more of these inconsistencies in the chronology. Of course such a choice can have some artistic meaning, but if so, I missed the point of it; here it impressed me as unnecessary and confusing.

Reviewed by derekph-1 1 / 10

Avoid - a waste of time

I saw the short this is based on, and thought it was mediocre. The full-length version is just a stretched-to-death version of the short, and not worth watching. I was bored twenty minutes in, but decided to hang on, and wish I has stopped. The story is minimal, and the writing is terrible - long silences, followed by awkward conversations that reveal little about the characters. The camera work is dreadful - lots of shaky hand-held-camera closeups that wandered around aimlessly and left me totally confused about what was happening or why it mattered. The editing just confused things further - jumpy and jerky, with scenes out of sequence - why? The guys are attractive, but there's nothing I found erotic, so it's not worth watching for the eye candy. If you want an enjoyable gay love story, try Big Eden, or Grande École, or Heights, or Luster, or Making Love, or The Object of My Affection, or Sasha, or Shelter, or A Very Natural Thing.

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