STONEWALL – Rated R

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Producer/Writer/Director Roland Emmerich ~ the man who brought us such epic films as WHITE HOUSE DOWN, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, brings to the big screen a tale depicting the Stonewall Riots of 1969 ~ and the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in New York City, with his latest film – STONEWALL.

Raised In a rural area of Indiana in the 1960’s, and trying desperately to come to terms with his own sexuality, Danny (Jeremy Irvine) is falling for his life-long friend Joe (Karl Glusman), and vice versa.

When their friends discover their relationship, Joe decides to take the stance that he was drugged by Danny to partake of his advances, when he is questioned by his coach, and Danny’s father, Coach Winter (David Cubitt).

Even though Danny’s Father has had an-inkling or two his son was gay for quite some time, facing it head-on, and this abruptly, was never in the cards.

Torn from leaving his sister Phoebe (Joey King) behind, and his mother too, Danny decides that facing the wrath from his so-called friends ~ and his own father for that matter ~ isn’t what he wants to do…so Danny heads to New York City to attend Columbia University ~ and to find out what life is really like once your out…

When Danny hits NYC, he meets Ray/Ramona (Johnny Beauchamp), and few of his fellow gay friends, including Orphan Annie (Caleb Landry Jones). Ray and his friends take Danny in, and show him the ropes of what life is like on the streets of NYC. Ecstatic about the fact that he doesn’t have to hide his sexuality any longer, Danny ends up meeting a gay rights activist named Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who convinces him to move in with him, and to help Trevor preach their cause…

As things heat up in the village between the gay community and law enforcement, it seems that Danny and his friends are left with no alternative, but to start rioting in order to seek justice against the constant repression and injustice that faces them at every turn…

I give STONEWALL a rating of ~ WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE OF NETFLIX ~ with such epic creations as Emmerichs’ previous films, I was expecting STONEWALL to be a cataclysmic masterpiece telling the history and plight of the Gay and Lesbian movement in our country. Sadly, it was more about Danny’s coming of age and embracing his sexual orientation, than the protests and rioting of the Gay and Lesbian communities in New York in 1969. Irvine was good in his role as Danny, as was Meyers and Beauchamp in their respective roles too ~ but, even when you incorporate their roles with the few scenes that included Ron Perlman ~as I usually love his work ~ this film still went absolutely no where. It truly plays out nothing more than a MADE FOR TV MOVIE when it was all said and done. I have to admire all of the individuals who fought for their civil liberties and the civil rights of their fellow LGBT comrades “back in the day” ~ I mean who would have thought in my lifetime that we would have gone from rioting in the streets just to be accepted and heard, to the supreme court granting all civil liberties, including marriage FOR ALL PEOPLE, but this film doesn’t give the LGBT community, or their plight, any Justice at all. Suffice to say, that if you go into something with high expectations, like I did with STONEWALL, many times ~ as was proven to me yet again ~ you set yourself up for a letdown, and that is exactly what this film ended up being for me…A TOTAL LETDOWN!!

Kathy Kaiser