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Case Number 20073: Small Claims Court

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BearCity

TLA Releasing // 2010 // 99 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // November 10th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum throws out his shaver and abandons his diet...for an hour and a half.

The Charge

Romance gets big and hairy.

The Case

BearCity is obviously aimed at those gay guys who either identify as or love the large and unshaven men who call themselves bears. It's a comedic love story that features muscle bears, otters, bear chasers, and even straight up twinks who are cool with a little extra hair now and then. Director Douglas Langway seems to specialize in reinventing cliché genres for the GLBT set. His last project was a gay action film called Raising Heroes, and this furry romp takes on the Sex and the City style romantic comedy that has been popular over the last decade. He's put together a talented if decidedly green cast to play "Bear"-y Bradshaw and the archetype Big Apple gal pals. Joe Conti makes his movie debut as Tyler, the young hunky hairless twink who decides to move in with a group of New York City bears. He joins the hirsute party scene, and professes his love for the big and hairy much to the chagrin of his young circuit boy friends. Gerald McCullouch (CSI) plays his hunky object of lust. Brian Keane (Urbania) and Stephen Guarino (The Big Gay Sketch Show) are the host couple who brings him in to the bear den. Everybody does a pretty good job at being believable and comfortable in their own skin.

BearCity is just fine as a comedy, and it does have the requisite cute moments that made me giggle. Truth is I wanted to like it simply because it was trying to champion bear culture, and that's something we don't see a lot of in gay cinema which is usually pimping out the young and hairless. Yet the best bear film remains Bear Cub, and this one doesn't quite come close to usurping its place at the top of the pack. It suffers from where most gay films fall short exhibiting a plodding "go nowhere" predictable plot and amateurish acting combined with low production values. There was a chance to get real, but the script settles for melodrama mixed with bitchy queen banter. The truth is the cast deserved better, and they manage to make it interesting even if we've been here ever since Boys in the Band.

I can only tell you about the feature, because the Verdict was sent a screener version without any extras. The transfer looked okay and the sound was all right, although both were not in their final form. TLA usually does a good job with its titles, so I'm hopeful they continue their usual care with all the technical areas as well as a well thought out package of supplemental material.

If you love hairy men and want to see them in the stereotypical gay comedy, BearCity makes your dreams come true. There are plenty of gay one liners, bitchy banter, frank sexual talk, unrated naked shots, and everything that usually comes with gay cinema other than razors and gym memberships. Since bears are so different, I had high hopes this comedy might go in some new directions, but it settles for showcasing unusual sex symbols in usual stories. Too bad that rather than reinventing gay romantic comedy they just recast it.

The Verdict

Guilty of just adding hair.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: TLA Releasing
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Gay
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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