Screened Out – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

By : Stephen Miller
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Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Powers Booth

It was a dark and stormy night in Sin City – a night too much like the first time we wandered into this wicked, twisted cartoon town nine years ago.

This current chapter continues the nifty noir style of the first flick. Besides that, A Dame to Kill For doesn’t offer much reason to see it.

Some fans may appreciate even more film-noir and graphic novel violence-slash-visuals. Frame after frame is bold black and white – even animation – with lurid splashes of color. Mostly blood, some sex, but mostly blood. The characters are appealingly broad and cartoonish. The dialogue is of the scene-chewing variety: “She glides out of her coat like it was Christmas wrapping.” The gory story, however, is too scattershot. This little pic desperately cries for cleverness, cohesion.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Mark your calendars for Tampa Pride!

By : Anonymous
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Tampa Pride set for March in Ybor
A version of Tampa Pride is returning to Hillsborough County in 2015! According to Carrie West of MC Film in Ybor City, Tampa Pride will happen on March 28, 2015, along 7th Avenue in Ybor City. The street festival will incorporate a parade along the historic roadway during the afternoon, which gives local bartenders and entertainers time to rest up from the previous night’s activities. Details aren’t finalized just yet, but West was excited to share the news with Watermark during the July 19 NeighBearHood Takeover party at The Social in Ybor City. Expect a lot of details to start hitting the media and soon, ways to register floats and vendor booths will be available online. We’ll keep you posted!

Speedos and bras
While we are still definitely in the dog days of summer (where’s the A/C?), it’s never too early to think about the holidays or, more specifically, fundraising programs over the cooler months. Jay Aller, outreach coordinator for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, announced July 27 that this year’s Santa Speedo Run is set to return to Ybor City Dec. 14, and will incorporate Mrs. Claus in Bras. The newly expanded title of the one-mile run, Santa Speedo Run and Mrs. Claus in Bras, will hopefully increase female participation in the fundraiser. Last year, more than 150 people turned out for the run, which begins and ends in Centennial Park in Ybor City. Aller also announced the identity of of this year’s chairperson of the event—Watermark editor Steve Blanchard.

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Gay teacher gets apology 42 years after being fired

By : Wire Report
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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — In 1972, Jim Gaylord was a social studies teacher at Tacoma’s Wilson High School.

He was 35, well regarded by students and colleagues and, in the parlance of the day, a confirmed bachelor.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Pride & Passion says ‘Thank you!’

By : Anonymous
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Almost like Christmas
The impressive guys and girls of Balance Tampa Bay donated their time and energy to help out a worthy cause on June 21. More than 60 volunteers painted 1,200 wooden toys for The ToyMakers and donated $1,000 to the non-profit. That money will help the charity rebuild after a fire destroyed a workshop, equipment and supplies in April. This is the second time Balance Tampa Bay has helped out the ToyMakers and president Scott Kligmann said this year the group painted nearly twice as many toys as in 2013. The ToyMakers provide painted, wooden toys to children in physical or emotional distress and have done so since 1982. And Balance Tampa Bay, founded in 2011, will be the charity of choice at the next Watermark Wednesday social, scheduled for July 23 at Stageworks Theatre in Channelside.

All about fun!
If you missed the two shows of the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project’s All About Steve at American Stage the last week of June, you missed a laugh-riot. The hilarious, musical spin on the classic Bette Davis film All About Eve starred Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel (actors who also portray the hilarious Scott & Patti) and helped raise money for local residents battling HIV. In this version of the story, Steve, played by Daniel, is an up and coming drag queen who idolizes, then eclipses, Margo Channing, played by McGee. Musical numbers lampoon current events and, with very little rehearsal, screw-ups had sold-out audiences rolling during both performances on June 23 and 29. Garry Breul, who started Suncoast AIDS Theater Project, welcomed guests both nights and thanked them for their generosity as he explained the importance of helping those living with the disease. Talk about mixed emotions! Next year, rumor has it they’ll skewer Maleficent. Let’s hope that holds true!

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Lea Michele talks lesbian role on Looking, being called a diva and Glee legacy

By : Chris Azzopardi
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“No personal questions” is the caveat before getting on the phone with Lea Michele, TV’s Rachel Berry. It’s an acceptable exception given the Glee star’s painfully tragic last year: Her on- and off-screen boyfriend, Cory Monteith, died suddenly on July 13, 2013, from a drug overdose.

Recorded around the time of Monteith’s passing, those feelings of loss are still raw on Louder, Michele’s debut album. The singer dedicated “You’re Mine” to Monteith, and the crushingly beautiful “If You Say So” was inspired by his last words to her. “I can’t believe it’s true,” she laments on the latter. “I keep looking for you.”

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Nigerian man receives 20 lashes for being gay

By : Staff Report
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Bauchi, Nigeria – A gay Nigerian man has received twenty lashes after an Islamic court has convicted him of engaging in gay acts more than seven years ago.

According to the BBC, the fact that the acts took place so long ago and because Mubarak Ibrahim, 20, told a judge he’s since stopped, the judge opted not to have Ibrahim stoned to death.

Ibrahim was also fined about $30. The BBC reports that he received his lashes while lying on a bench in a packed courtroom and he screamed in pain while the punishment was administered.

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Federal government supports marriage equality in Utah

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Gay couples in Utah have experienced a helter-skelter wave of emotions over the last three weeks: They were suddenly allowed to marry, then saw the weddings stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court and were told the state wouldn’t recognize the unions.

Now, the federal government has intervened and said it will recognize their weddings.

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In his first-ever interview with the LGBT press, Charlie Crist explains why he switched parties, supports same-sex marriage, and wants to be governor again.

By : Tom Dyer
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Orlando –  A union hall was an unlikely venue for Charlie Crist’s first interview with the LGBT press. But the former Republican governor, now Democratic candidate for the same office, has a busy schedule these days. After meeting with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on Saturday, Dec. 14, he made himself available for an exclusive conversation.

To the union members, Crist described his ambitious agenda if elected: creating jobs, boosting education, protecting the environment, expanding health care and voting rights, and even resurrecting high speed rail. And he acknowledged the tough race ahead against Republican incumbent multi-millionaire Rick Scott.

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Gay activist gives 96-year-old woman the gift of home

By : Susan Clary
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Orlando – They couldn’t be more different the 96-year-old African American woman who loves sitting home, chewing tobacco and watching soap operas and the 48-year-old openly gay activist, who dotes on his beagles and loves working in his yard.

Yet, Elizabeth Smith and Randy Ross sit together on a brand new couch in her renovated Carver Shores home smiling and laughing just before Christmas. Ross led the project, which he called “24 Hours for Mrs. Smith,” to raise money and donations for Smith, who lives on $500 a month.

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Overheard in Orlando: New twist on Nutcracker (ouch!)

By : Anonymous
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A new twist on the Nutcracker
The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies is nothing new when you attend a holiday pageant during this festive time of year, but at the Orlando Gay Chorus “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” show on Dec. 14 at Plaza Live, the traditional dance took an untraditional turn. Instead of sweet, darling ballerinas dancing out in adorable pink tutus, four big and beefy guys, along with one tall and furry guy danced out… in adorable pink tutus. The chorus hummed along as the bear-lerinas attempted to dance and pirouette their way to be prima ballerina, but instead had to settle on being the most memorable part of the holiday show.

Back home in time for the holiday
Gay activist Randy Ross, 48, who handles marketing for the Orlando Museum of Art, and 96-year-old Elizabeth Smith are unlikely friends. But the two crossed paths a few months ago when Ross heard Smith was in need. Her Carver Shores home was plagued with problems the bathtub had fallen through the floor, the roof leaked and the house was full of termites. Calls to the city and county for help went unanswered. Her neighbors were worried. Working with a small group of volunteers, Ross raised money and in-kind donations to renovate Smith’s home. Everything from paint and tile to appliances and furniture have been donated in recent months, including professional labor through contractor Eugene Roberson, Jr. All the hard work will culminate in “24 Hours for Mrs. Smith,” at noon on Dec. 22 at 4643 Raleigh St. when Mrs. Smith will return home. The Council of 101 will give her a decorated Christmas tree. If you would like to contribute to the project or volunteer your time, call Ross at 407-401-4409.  

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: A season for singing

By : Anonymous
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Claus goes to Oz
Una Voce: The Florida’ Men’s Chorale, pulled off an entertaining and hilarious holiday show this year by incorporated everyone’s favorite movie musical, The Wizard of Oz into the Christmas season. Audiences followed Dorothy and the men of the chorus on a magical trip through a winter wonderland that looked an awful lot like the Land of Oz. The popular chorale group played to several packed houses over the weekend of Dec. 15 and had audiences begging for more, especially when the purple-haired, green witch made his, uh, we mean “her,” appearance. “The Wizard of Claus” played in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Snyman Sings Again
Well, he never stopped singing, but he will be singing again in Tampa Bay. Counter tenor Jacques Snyman is coming back to St. Petesburg to show off his acrobatic voice, and this time, he’s expecting a big crowd. Snyman, a former Rugby star, bodybuilder and model, recently toured Europe and auditioned for some pretty classy directors. Since discovering his ability to hit notes several octaves above his speaking voice, he’s performed around the globe, all while bringing a message of anti-bullying. He’s back in the states after the holidays and will perform Jan. 26 at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg. Check out the mid-January issue of Watermark for our interview with the sexy and talented performer. In the meantime, check out details at TheStudioAt620.org.

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Stephen Miller’s picks for the top films of 2013

By : Stephen J Miller
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StephenMillerHeadshot_560873495When it comes to film, almost every”Best of the Year List” is a little incomplete. Because of the release schedule, some great films, ones that are eligible for the upcoming awards season, aren’t included in critics’ lists. This is because all films haven’t screened locally yet, or it’s hard to get advance copies.

However, I can send you to the cinema, to Netflick, to Amazon, or to your Redbox (or whatever way you choose) with some solid recommendations. So, although this may not be a complete list of 2013, it can give you ideas of how to fill up your Christmas vacation:

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