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10 March 2007



Can't wait to see this movie. Sounds interesting. Evan Ross decided to drop that baby image and take on a meaty, adult role. Good for him.


I saw the movie. It really was an excellent film. It was very introspective and Queen Latifah's character had so much dignity. Evan was remarkable.

Samuel I

That really was a strong film. I was so surprised to see Evan in that role. He was comfoirtable and brought so much humanity to his character.. I really was happy to see a movie that featured black gay characters.. They weren't perfect, but none of us are anyway. Maybe some young brothers watched the movie and can take notice.


Not really interested in watching a film whose central character is a gay black hiv positive teen. Not very inspiring.

Andy in Seattle

Though the script suffers a bit from a Educational Talking Points (you can almost say "check" every time an AIDS Education Moment happens) it is a strong presentation thanks to great casting and moving performances.


R, why don't/didn't you want to see the film? Sorry, but many young black gay men are positive--have you seen the numbers? Many black gay men are positive, many straight black men AND women are positive.

I found the film very inspiring. A mother reconnects with her daughter and Omari acts a bridge between their relationship. Yea, he dies--many people do. But he died and Latifah and her daughter became closer.

If anything, more people should watch, learn and listen.


Andy, good point about the "talking points", haha, I think you mean when it became preachy? Yeah, I saw that too hopefully not too much like a movie of the week. But it proved its point.


This film hit home for me. Omari is so much like the boys on Christopher Street and in the Village, young, sleeping between different people's houses, hanging out with wannabe rappers and yes, some are HIV. Probably many more than realize. It was a good film.

There are few black gay charactyesr on TV, if any, but they all don't have to be perfect. Look at Noah's Arc. All these pretty pictures and no substance.


It's back on now on HBO West.


Noah's Arc had Wilson Cruz who played an HIV positive character.


That was a joke, right?

Noah's Arc introduced several social issues but never developed the story arcs. The Wilson Cruz character was HIV positive but that was simply a side issue. Ricky couldn't deal with it and left him.

Earl FF

Noah's Arc was good for what it is. Too many within the community are trying to romanticize its impact. The HIV issue was just a prop.

Back to "Life Support", the writing is decent and its true that Evan Ross is not, what did Rod say, a pretty picture. That's all the more reason to watch because life isn't pretty and we all have met many young boys like his charcter. There are all over New York City. So, it was fairly realistic. But there is no reason to compare it to Noah's Arc, that was a sitcom and a poorly written and acted one at that. Pretty boys, weak lines, but it was still important.

Erich H

As Andy said, once you got over Life Support's AIDS prevention talking points its very enjoyable, The casting was remarkable and the acting quite good. A little heavy at times but these type of movies tend to be.

One more thing, to Rod. Thanks for chatting this one up. I hadn't heard about Evan's role until you mentioned. Maybe many of us don't want to see or hear about black gay teenagers and HIV but according to the stats we need to.

Rod McCullom

I'm glad that many of you enjoyed the movie. As Andy mentioned, there were a few points that were reminiscent of an "ABC After School Special" but the casting and acting was truly inspired. Tracee Ellis Ross had that one scene but she carried it and carried it well.

Amare was very Christopher Street, btw. Evan Ross put his lil heart into that role. Mom would be proud of both of her children, congratulations.


I watched this movie with a friend and afterwards we had a good discussion over another bowl of popcorn.

Our reactions were different. I liked "Life Support" for what it was, an educational docudrama. Some parts were fun, some parts were sad, but that was life per se. The fact is, there are many HIV positive young black gay men (or people in general) and sometimes we don't make the good choices. "Anna" (Latifah) was an example of someone who made bad choice sbut now is doing much better. I have an aunt like that, an uncle and a very good friend.

On the other hand, my buddy did not like the movie. He thought "Omari" (Evan) had too many strikes against him--he was born HIV positive and gay and chose to live a life on the streets. Also, my boy did not like the fact that he died. "Why does the HIV positive gay guy always die?" he asked. He also likes more saccharine type roles for black gay men and thinks that since we see so few black gay men in the movie sand television, our portrayals should be more fun and take our minds off of the strikes against our community.

I disagree. We need the good and the bad. If we continue to tell fairy tales and invent a veneer of sugary sweet stories, we ignore the real problems. Also, that is why I like this website, we can learn about HIV positive news, gay men in Africa, politics and hot models and men. And unfortunately my friend doesn't like this site he says it's too heavy for him. Oh well. All in all, "Life Support" was decent, three stars out of five.


One more thing. I fully read the Nelson George interview and he says that Evan Ross's character was based upon a real young amn who was born HIV positive, was gay and eventually died. You can't fault him for basing this character on a real person.

Franklyn Smith

"Life Support" was a strong, powerful film, very typical of the fine caliber of HBO's filmmaking. It was especially heartening to see Evan Ross taking on such a complex character so early in his career. He plays gay very well. You go Evan, from now on you have our support!

LaTrell Hunter

"Life Support" was just so-so, kinda standard made for tv movie. But Evan acted his lil azz off, that was good to see.

West Side Poz

"Life Support" was an average message film, but the casting and acting were superb. Latifah, Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Anna Deavere Smith all turned in outstanding performances. And the young lady who played Kelly, the daughter, fabulous!

On a more personal level, my thanks to Rod and Rod 2.0 for continuing to keep HIV news to the front burner for black gay men. Keeping up with AIDS is not popular and rarely makes a splash....unless it was the mess at Cocoboyz or Raz B on Noah's Arc. But it's "refreshing" (as Wilson Cruz said) to see a blog where posts are chosen because they are important, not because it's a popular topic (Dreamgirls, Oprah, Down Low) or will generate plenty of comments. From one HIV positive 25 year old man on Chicago's West Side, "thank you."


"Kelly" was played by Rachel Nicks.

j. brotherlove

I wasn't blown away. But overall, I think Life Support is an important film. There are strong moments throughout the film (other than the moments).

I was particularly impressed by Rachel Nicks who played Kelly. I can't wait to see her in something else.

And I got a chuckle out of Darrin Dewitt Henson's character on the DL.


Good analysis, Brotherlove. Standard fare, important message, some strong moments.

Did I miss Darrin Henson? I don't remember seeing him ....


Off topic question. Rod, how do you determine what will be your lead photo and top news story in the "week in review"? By far, this is my favorite feature on your blog.

Every week I hold off visiting all weekend until late Saturday or early Sunday to see if my guess for the weekly lead will wins. Sometimes it does.

This week, I was thinking it would be Scooter Libby, but, for some reason you didn't cover the trial. Also, you didn't cover the Ann Coulter porn angle. But I liked the fact you lead with Evan Ross and "Life Support." So what gives?

Rod McCullom

No one has ever asked me that one before. It's simply a digital version of those week in review packages that we do in television news. This was an odd week--the site was dark Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday, and it was difficult to play catch-up on Libby while working on several other projects and this blog. For the weekly review, all the top stories will be linked, along with some smaller ones that you may have missed. The lead and photo are usually stories that have some legs or could define the week.

As far as the Ann Coulter-Matt Sanchez side show. Rod Majors, umm Matt Sanchez, appeared in several black and inter-racial gay porn movies. However, his current profile says "no blacks or Asians." I'd like to honor his wishes.

Oliver W

"Life Support" wasn't the best-written film--it was downright preaching at times--but it featured a powerful cast (Anna Devere Smith!!!!) that delivered some wonderful performances. Smith, Evan Ross and Rachel Nicks were quite impressive.

And Miss Tracee Ellis Ross TURNED IT and stole the scene from Miss Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah.

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