DVD Capsules

Dir. Wash Westmoreland

Gay Republicans? WTF? Unfortunately, this doc doesn’t really examine why exactly some gay Americans choose to be a part of a political party that actively and vociferously opposes their lifestyle. Instead the film more or less takes for granted that “gay Republican” is an oxymoron and chooses to focus on the internal rifts of the Log Cabin Republicans, the only openly gay delegation in the Republican Party. It focuses even more narrowly on what happened during the 2004 election when the so-called “defense of marriage” amendment was introduced with Bush’s support. While it includes some very worthwhile and intriguing personalities, it plays more like an extended news segment than a comprehensive look at gay Republicans as a whole. The film has definite merit, but it could’ve benefited more by being less implicitly polemical and more explicitly objective. What indeed makes a gay man or woman choose the party that says being gay is a sin?. —Kristopher Monroe

Dir. Maxie D. Collier
Koch Vision

“Paper Chasers” seems to be an attempt at documenting the behind-the-scenes of various entrepreneurs in the world of hip hop, from clothing to music and almost everything in between. But it turns out to be a frustrating mess of unfocused interviews and footage. The film never decides what it wants to be. Does it want to be a reality show about making a documentary? There sure is a hell of a lot of footage of the filmmakers and their squabbles. Does it want to be about what the hip hop industry has become? What it can be? Where it’s going? A self-help, how-to-make-it guide? It would’ve been great if it had charted the rise and/or fall of the various personalities it includes, like Ludacris, Fat Joe, Master P and the folks at FUBU and various record labels. It turns out to be an hour and a half of an assortment of sometimes conflicting messages and snippets of personal anecdotes, any one of which would’ve made a great movie. Too bad we don’t get enough of them. —KM