At The Box Office | September 2017

Four films headed to theaters and video release this month

By Hans Pedersen, September 2017 Issue.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

In theaters | PG | 98 minutes | Documentary

When it comes to LGBTQ folks finding common ground with other communities, and causes that we can all champion together, the fate of our fragile planet seems like a biggie. Former vice president Al Gore now returns with this follow-up to his popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, the clarion call from more than a decade ago. In an era where nearly all countries except the United States are tackling the effort to curb climate change – all while many members of the GOP refuse to believe 95 percent of scientists – we need this sequel more than ever.

Baby Steps

Available on DVD/Blu-ray/Aug. 15 | 103 minutes | Comedy, Drama

This acclaimed Taiwanese-American indie about a mixed-race couple, Danny (Barney Cheng) and Tate (Michael Adam Hamilton of The 10 Year Plan), who want to adopt a baby. Yet Danny’s well-intentioned mother keeps interfering in her son’s life. Costarring Ya-Lei Kuei (aka Grace Guei) from The Wedding Banquet, this project almost seems like a tribute to that legendary Ang Lee film. Cheng, who directed and wrote the project, made a huge impact on LGBTQ rights in Taiwan with this movie, which has been credited with helping lead the country to legalize same-sex marriage in May this year. U.S. embassies have hosted screenings in several Asian countries as well.

4 Days

Available on DVD/Blu-ray Aug. 29 | 65 minutes | Not rated | Drama

Filipino director Adolfo Alix, Jr., helms this love story about college friends, Derek and Mark, during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day the course of four years. Each year, the meaning of the holiday changes for the friends as they learn more about one another as well as themselves. This independent film features frequent use of long takes, emotive body language, along with expressive and touching performances by Mikoy Morales and Sebastian Castro to illustrate how platonic adoration can develop into passionate love.

Beach Rats

In theaters Aug. 25 | R | 95 minutes | Drama

Surfing for guys on hookup sites one night and courting a girl at a boardwalk amusement park the next: that’s how handsome Frankie (Harris Dickinson) operates. The closeted young man hangs out by the Jersey shore with his tanned shirtless buds, who seem to feel gay-bashing and homophobia are OK. But tension created by Frankie’s double life ultimately takes a violent turn. Director Eliza Hittman won the Grand Jury Screenwriting Award at Outfest Los Angeles and the Sundance Directing Award for this chilling indie. When questioned about the depiction of violence at a Q&A session at Sundance, Hittman replied the film is “not an after-school special.”