Turtle Hill, Brooklyn (2013)

Turtle Hill, Brooklyn (2013)
  • 187
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 2013 ()
  • Running time: 95 min
  • Original Title: Turtle Hill, Brooklyn
  • Voted: 187

TURTLE HILL, BROOKLYN is a funny, sincere, slice of life about a couple just trying to figure it out. Mateo and Will invite their friends over for Will's 30th birthday. After a few surprise visitors, they get through the day, but realize that doubting your partner isn't nearly as scary as doubting yourself.

1Brian W. SeibertWill
2Ricardo ValdezMateo
3Joie BauerAlan
4Ariel BonillaLuis
  • Just a quiet birthday party in Brooklyn by 8

    Turtle Hill, Brooklyn (2011) was directed by Ryan Gielen. It was co-written by its two stars, Brian W. Seibert and Ricardo Valdez.

    The movie takes place on a hot summer's day in the home of Will (Siebert) and Mateo (Valdez). They are preparing for Will's 30th birthday party. Of course, they have to get the house ready for their guests, but they also have to try to figure out why they are not the happy, loving couple they want to be.

    Will's sister arrives unexpectedly, and finds Mateo dressed only in a kilt. She is astonished and horrified to realize that her brother is in a gay relationship. Big problem number one--Will has told Mateo that he has come out to his family, but clearly he hasn't. Big problem number two is a secret that Mateo has kept from Bill. That secret is revealed as the party progresses.

    The acting in the movie is excellent. Friends--straight and gay--arrive, liquor and conversation are flowing, and everything appears to be as it should be. We know that there's a serious underlying tension between the two men, but this isn't obvious to most of their friends.

    This movie was filmed, of necessity, with a low budget. Because of this, the set is simply the couple's house and back yard. Without even any establishing shots to show us where we are, that situation is somewhat claustrophobic. (It's possible that Gielen didn't show us the street on which the house was located because he didn't have permission to do this. Or, it's possible that the neighborhood of "Turtle Hill" doesn't exist. I've never heard of it, although possibly it's been renamed, along with so many other NYC neighborhoods.)

    It wasn't really a great party, and it wasn't really a great film, but the movie had its moments, and its charm, and it's worth seeing if it's readily available. We saw it in the Little Theatre as part of the noteworthy ImageOut--the Rochester LGBT Film and Video Festival.

  • There's something wrong with the pace but everything else is good by 7

    I think that a lot of reviewers were very hard on this movie. Sure, it's no classic but there are a lot of real drinkers out there and this isn't one of them. The acting here is very good and it's filmed well but there's something wrong with the pace of the piece, maybe editing. Some of the characters could have been a bit more rounded and Mateo and Will are never seen in any form of blissful relationship, so when it goes belly up we really aren't that invested. It could have been better, but god knows, it could have been much worse. Both leads are cute and relateable, that's what saves this from being a terrible movie... I gave it 7 stars.

  • Slice of life...that isn't! by 2

    Always a good rule of thumb to never watch films where the writers are also in the starring roles. They are usually very disappointing. This film is no exception. It's a bit of low budget rubbish that seems to operate on the belief that everyone's life is a story. There's no story here at all. The films is a slow paced pile of rubbish. Don't waste time on it at all!

  • Nothing new here.... by 5

    A fly-on-the-wall style drama that centres around the 30th birthday party of a gay guy in New York that has a few party games, reveals a few unpleasant secrets and generally retreads a well worn path of gay deceit, campness and betrayal.... In the end, I reckon the pi?ata got off lightly. Yada yada yada...

  • Mildly interesting by 5

    I can certainly give this film an 'E' for effort, although by the time it was over, I found myself wondering why I'd bothered. The answer is that there are so few really good gay films out there, that I wanted to give it a chance. And perhaps, I kept hoping that it would get better as the party progressed.

    For some reason, the film made me think of that old classic 'Boys in the Band', although it was neither as good nor as dramatic as that particular conic gay film.

    The people in attendance at Will's birthday party were all too believable, and reminded me why as a gay man, I don't particularly like most gay people, especially those portrayed on film.

    Other than Will, there weren't even any especially good-looking men in the cast. Will had a nice body, but was apparently too lazy to shave. I would certainly like to see the actor in another film, and given more material with which to work.

1Andrew Rivaracinematographer
2Ryan Gielendirector
3Morgan Nevilleeditor
4Holly Lynn Ellisproducer