Wolfe Video // 2009 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 13th, 2010
What does it mean to be a sissy or a tough guy? Can you be both?
The Butch Factor is a documentary which takes a cross-section of gay men and lets them speak about male identity in their community. The movie takes the extremes -- a rough tough prison guard, a drag queen, a football player, and many more who represent extremes of masculinity. The one thing they have in common is they are homosexual, but each has come to terms with who they are as a man. This is quite simply a series of talking heads who comment on what they think all of this means to gay society and how queer guys interact. The biggest question is, how much of an issue is all of this? Are you more of a man because you can beat people up and pass for straight, or is it rougher to be a sissy boy with bottles being thrown at you when you walk down the street? In the end the film can't answer the questions, merely meditate on it with a handful of testimonials.
The DVD we received for reviewing purposes was a screener which consisted of a DVR with no product packaging. There was only the film with no extras at all. I can't imagine this one needs much, because it does explain itself. The transfer is exactly what you would expect with it being clear enough visually while focusing on dialogue for the sound presentation. It's clear enough to get the points across, but nothing startling in terms of quality.
The Butch Factor is a fun watch, but hardly groundbreaking or deep in any sense of the word. Certainly it is worth a look if you are curious about the extremes of what gay guys go through when they are extremely butch or totally femme. But the truth is, most gay guys rest somewhere in between the two. I had to titter any time the prison guard lisped, or when the little slip of a boy talked about beating people up who said things to him. Nobody is completely one of the other, sissy or tough guy. In the end, a guy is a guy. Gay or straight, they all have moments of being typical in every regard. Everybody is unique, but often I have found The Butch Factor is something you don't have to worry too much about. It's an interesting film that ponders a rather inconsequential subject.
Guilty of knowing how to change a tire while jamming out to Madonna.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Wolfe Video
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated