By Hans Pedersen, August 2016 Issue.
Beneath the Skin
Available on DVD July 19
A story of gay bashing, abuse and high school love, this indie was written and co-directed by its star, Aaron Ellis. He plays Joshua, a teenager who moves to Canada following the death of his mom to live with his father, whom he doesn’t really know. The student quickly falls for Jay (Justin Liles), a handsome tattoo artist who was kicked out of his Alabama home by his abusive parents (who literally drag him out by his hair). The two young lovebirds are soon swept up in an idyllic romance until they start getting harassed by high school bullies. Michael MacKinnley co-directed the film.
Star Trek Beyond
In theaters July 22
Crew members of the USS Enterprise are exploring the edges of uncharted space when their ship is badly damaged and they are marooned on a remote planet with no way to reach Earth. Our heroes are also threatened by a new villain who harbors a grudge against the Federation and the group encounters several hurdles as they try to find their way home. Picking up two years into their five-year mission in space, the movie – directed by Justin Lin – stars out actor Zachary Quinto as Spock, hunky Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk, sexy Zoe Saldana as Lt. Uhura, the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov, and Idris Elba as Krall.
Holding the Man
Available on DVD Aug. 2
Hailed as “the great Australian love story,” this epic tale focuses on two young lovers whose relationship endures for 15 years. When John (Craig Stott), a high school football captain, falls in love with Tim (Ryan Corr), an actor in the school play, the two forge a bond that survives tempting hunks, long distances and prejudice. This award-winning gay romance is based on the best-selling memoir by Timothy Conigrave, who died in 1994; screenwriter Tommy Murphy adapted the true story for both the film as well as the stage versions in Australia and London’s West End.
In theaters Aug. 5
While you can find queer readings of the Joker, they seem especially apt in the case of Jared Leto’s depiction of the character in Suicide Squad. Based on the DC comics series, the story follows a gang of criminal misfits who take on a dangerous mission from a secret federal agency that’s headed up by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) in exchange for a reprieve. The combination of Will Smith as Deadshot, Ben Affleck returning as Batman and alluring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is sheer dynamite on screen. Despite rumors of reshoots to lighten up the mood, the movie is poised to be big summer eye candy.