Now Streaming | Dicks: The Musical/Kokomo City/Rustin | 2023

DICKS: THE MUSICAL (Larry Charles, 2023) 

A deliriously stupid, riotously raunchy musical about two rival hyper-masculine sales executives who discover that they are actually long-lost twin brothers, and set out to Freaky Friday their parents into getting back together. The problem is, mom (Megan Mullaly) is senile and Dad (Nathan Lane) is gay - lots of queer hijinks ensue.

At times, it feels like a feature-length RuPaul's Drag Race musical challenge, but, you know...good. It's just so ridiculous that it's difficult not to be charmed by it - and the cast is so much fun, especially a delightful Bowen Yang as God. Over the top, low rent, and goofy in all the right ways

GRADE - ★★★ (out of four)

DICKS: THE MUSICAL | Directed by Larry Charles | Stars Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Bowen Yang, Megan Thee Stallion | Rated R for strong crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and brief drug use | Now streaming on HBO Max.

KOKOMO CITY (D. Smith, 2023)

D. Smith's stirring portrait of four black transgender sex workers is perhaps one of the most vibrant and essential pieces of queer cinema in recent memory. As these four women recount their experiences being black and trans and how those things have affected how they relate to the communities around them, Smith also explores their, at times, complicated relationships with the men who love them and how it has affected how they relate to their own sexuality and gender. Kokomo City's amplification of oft-unheard voices, even within their own communities, explores the intersectionality of race and gender, and how transness affects their black womanhood, feels startlingly unfiltered - its raw and poignant observations recalling the work of iconic queer filmmaker Marlon Riggs.

GRADE - ★★★½ (out of four)

KOKOMO CITY | Directed by D. Smith | Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout, and drug use | Now streaming on Paramount+.

RUSTIN (George C. Wolfe. 2023)

Colman Domingo is excellent in this well-meaning but bland biopic of Bayard Rustin, a prolific organizer in the civil rights movement and mastermind behind the historic March on Washington, whose contributions have been widely overlooked because he was gay. The double discrimination that Rustin faced certainly makes for intriguing drama, often being hidden by those within the movement in order not to hurt the wider cause in the eyes of the public, but Rustin is a fairly bland, paint-by-numbers affair. It lacks personality, and Chris Rock as NAACP president Roy Wilkins is a wild bit of miscasting that makes his scenes difficult to take seriously. Rustin's is a story worth telling, but it's very much one of those movies that mistakes an important message for compelling filmmaking.

GRADE - ★★ (out of four)

RUSTIN | Directed by George C. Wolfe | Stars Colman Domingo, Aml Ameen, Glynn Turman, Chris Rock, Gus Halper, Johnny Ramey, CCH Pounder | Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some violence, sexual material, language including racial slurs, brief drug use, and smoking | Now streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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