Nov 13, 2011

[Movies] Buffering (2011)

Buffering (2011)
I have to admit, that'a a pretty good poster for the movie. It doesn't necessary match what the movie is really about nor does it feature the lead actors all the prominently (they're the fellows in the background). But hey, it is a witty poster that incorporates a web-style buffering bar and the notion that the boys are naked. The alternate version has them without the bar, revealing they're in their trunks.

A lot of the movies in the LGBT sphere tend to be low-budget, independent productions that struggle to get the attention (and support) that this segment of the industry needs. This was definitely one of those productions that was clearly a labor of love more than an attempt to just make money. And I suppose that leant a somewhat endearing quality to things.

And while the actors aren't particularly hot and the accents were a tad difficult even for me to understand, they folks behind this movie certainly had a plan and knew what they wanted to accomplish. Whether that goal aligns with what a viewer would desire remains to be seen.

Buffering is a 2011 British LGBT comedy written and directed by Darren Flaxstone and Christian Martin. The movie was released earlier this year with an estimated budget of only $30,000 (if IMDb is to be believed).

At the center of things is a couple trying to make ends meet. Seb (Alex Anthony) has a job as a masseur while Aaron (Conner Mckenzy) has actually been hiding his unemployment from his partner while trying to make money on the side through webcam shows. Seb eventually finds out and after a brief confrontation, the two decide to live a rather austere lifestyle as they try to get themselves out of credit card debt and keep up the payments for utilities and other essentials. But given the size of their home (which is a lot bigger than you'd expect them to manage) and only Seb bringing in money, they soon reach the end of their rope as funds run dry.

Aaron then decides to return to the world of internet porn and sets up a hidden camera to film his more intimate encounters with Seb. Thus the money starts to come in as more and more people tune in to watch them have sex - and pay for it! But naturally Seb finds out about the camera in time and this raises a completely different issue. His past has a significant bit of trauma wedged in tight as related to him being involved in a scandal and facing the scrutiny of the press, thus his general aversion to cameras. But there's also the fact that their sex videos are making decent money that will go a long way to paying off their debts. So what are a gay couple to do?

The premise was certainly interesting, I have to admit. And they tried to take it in an interesting direction. The whole gay-for-pay story isn't completely new, but they tried to add their own spin to things. Naturally they went through a variety of scene themes for the porn montages (good grief, I just said porn montages) to play on different stereotype kinks. So there was a little bondage play and there was dressing up and there was even furry sex. Seriously. So that's a lot of fun stuff.

The acting was a bit wooden. The guys involved clearly wanted to do well and did their best to bring their characters to life. But either lack of experience or lack of skill worked against them so things just weren't quite as dynamic as they could have been. It wasn't bad enough to get in the way of the story or anything like that. But things definitely could have been a lot better.

The story was decent too. It tried to tackle the impact of the current economic situation in the context of an LGBT story. Sure, their credit card bills may not have been about the essentials in life. And yeah, they seemed to have enough for high speed internet with sufficient bandwidth to stream video with easy. But that's no the point! We just have to accept the premise and see how things go from there.

Oh and the person being featured in the center of the poster is a third player they consider introducing in order to spice things up and bring in more viewers. But you'll need to watch the movie to get a better idea of what precisely happened here.

Did I like it? Well, it was entertaining enough, but it's not exactly something I'd watch more than once. But I'm still glad that we went through the experience. So it's really coating through the middle here.

Buffering is a fun movie that has a good sense of humor and a slightly fresher take on the need to take drastic action to make ends meet. It's a movie with heart and a cast that certainly had fun with what they were aiming to do in terms of the movies. The movie ends up with 2.5 odd moments with the mentor character who runs the local sex shop out of a possible 5.

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