Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
The Best of the Olympia Series, So Far
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 02/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Traveling to Olympia" interweaves two separate, gay-positive stories.The larger one shows Johnny, a slight 19-year old (played by Justin McFarlane), leaving a reform school in Chehalis, Washington, hitchhiking north to Olympia and eventually moving in with a hunky lawyer-lover, Joel (played by Michael Harboush), in Seattle. Assisting are the popcorn king's young son, Chip (played by Donald Allen), and his new lover, Washington State Senator Matthew Bradley (played by Dennis T. Kleinsmith). This is a story of how gay people can help one-another come out and overcome obstacles on the way to true love and social justice.The smaller story is told almost completely in pantomime and music. An unnamed actor (possibly Michael S. Parker) comforts and cleans up a fellow caught up in a hate bombing of a gay youth center. The fellow runs off later with another one, leaving the actor alone. In the next installment, he is able to find someone else and make a successful go of it in an emotionally satifying way.One can criticize the lack of extras on the DVD and the script's demand that so many characters provide their personal and family histories. The characters are more psychological profiles than real people.I would have liked the Jeff character (who was not linked to an actor's name) to have had a bigger role since he had the looks and the ability to deliver lines well.The movie is low budget, the acting is fair, but the movie's heart is in an unusually positive and constructive place, showing people's resiliance well. The movie depicts a variety of normal, but nice-looking people, not just the denizens of the local gym. The many skin shots are well done. Uplifting but not deep."
Impressive Independent Film with Imperfections
C. Clay | St Paul Minnesota | 02/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like one review I read that was quite simple, I agree: "I liked this film". It was filled with good qualities, and yes, some flaws. I purchased this film out of curiosity - how could it be rated a 1 and a 5? I had to see for myself.
The Good: I liked the story line, and the valid attempt at making a point (almost documentary style) about speaking out about the gay rights of youth in America. I was around when "ACT UP" first made waves in our country, and this film tries in it's own way to weave a good story line, and sexual excitement.
The Story: Follows the plight of a young lad (Johnny) after his release from several years in a correctional facility. He gets a job, and a small place to live, makes an honest living and will not hustle for sex - Cheers on this point! He actually has great qualities, and soon finds himself in a relationship with a somewhat older guy named Joel. The second story line follows 2 friends of Joel's, one a young wealthy college student, the other a 40-something politician. The 2 forge a relationship (quickly I might add) which includes the movies first intense sexual scene (some might say soft porn - we never see the act, but you'll see more then in an R-rated film). The relationship changes viewpoints and makes our politician come "out" while supporting gay rights. A third story line (sub-plot) is odd, and would likely have been cut from any major studio release. You might call it a filler plot to add some more beauty and sex to the film. Clearly the idea behind the film is to keep the viewer waiting for more (sex that is). The ending is wrapped up nicely...no more details here.
The Bad: The audio is bad. But deal with it. They clearly didn't have a lot of money here. I'm not making excuses, but let's be fair - this is not a Warner Brothers release - because they would never release such an artsy in your face film. The acting and direction are on par for a film with a small budget, and yes, some of it is bad - but could I do better? It often reminded me of a community theater performance. There are no DVD extras, and I wasn't expecting any. It's clearly an original film, and some simply won't like the flaws in acting, direction and sound. The royalty-free background (and often the foreground) music got to be a bit overbearing.
Bottom Line: This would be a great film for a party with friends - you will laugh, either at some of the campy lines, or the film flaws that are in your face! And you'll like it if you want to see some sexual scenes - without the sex actually on camera. Parts of the movie are hot! Definitely not a 5, and definitely not a one. I give it a solid 3 (so close to 4) - and I will likely check out other films from Richard Anthony Films. And if you want the true independents to survive, support films like this one."