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Top Customer Reviews
"The Living End" is a remarkable love story. It begins with Jon (Craig Gilmore) being rather glibly told that he is HIV+. A mild-mannered film critic who never rocked the boat, Jon is dazed and confused. Just as he is wondering what he will do next, Jon meets Luke (perfectly played by Mike Dytri), a stunningly handsome trouble-magnet (and the sweetest hunk you'll ever see) who is on the lam. Their lives are changed forever. With a super-heated film chemistry, Jon and Luke fall in love. With nothing to lose, they set out on a darkly comic and violent crime spree -- Thelma and Louise with a twist. The world around them is dangerous, and the road of love is rocky: they fight, break up, make up, make love, but find that, in the end, they still have each other. Theirs is, quite simply, one of the most gut-wrenching and genuine love stories ever filmed.
This film masterpiece deserved a first class Criterion remastering, but the Strand Releasing version is the next best thing. The picture is bright and clear and there are lots of extras. You will not be left unscathed, or untouched, by Araki's powerful gospel of Jon and the beautiful Luke.
The story goes like this: two guys are introduced to us in separate lifestyles. Jon has just discovered that he is HIV-positive, though his outlook on life is not so hindered as he expected it would be. Luke, a drifter, makes his way to the city, where, upon brutally murdering three gay-bashers, he hitches a ride with unsuspecting Jon back to his place, where quaint small talk turns into a night of passion.
Right from the beginning, their attachment to one another is kinetic and bursting with energy, moreso than in the regular romances Hollywood pelts us with. Yet they have their disputes, and after a fight over Luke beating up a gay-basher, Jon demands that he leave, only to find that he cannot stop thinking about him. When Luke returns, he reveals that he has killed a cop, though Jon seems unmoved by the revelation, and continues to hold and embrace him, a very touching moment.
The two embark on a journey to nowhere, where they discover their love for one another and the many differences they share on their outlook on society and life itself. Luke knows that he loves Jon more than anything else in life, but Jon becomes unsettled by Luke's violent acts and short fuse. The movie then generates into a question of whether they will be together in the end or not.Read more ›
The acting was great and the actors really worked with each other and fit together.
This is a love, all of us dream about! Luke is wild, physical and a little on the crazed-side, handy with a gun. But, he still can relate with his tender side as shown in the shower scene and his admitted love for Jon, as he tells Jon "you will never find anyone who loves you the way I do" And Jon soon realizes this ; although he doesn't like the way Luke snuffs-out homophobic red-necks, he cannot tear himself away.
At one point Jon kicks Luke out,then cannot get him out of his mind.
Luke returns, enters Jon's apartment and Jon awakens to Luke standing before him with the gun in his mouth(this is one of the greatest scenes ever). If for no other reason, you have got to see this scene.
They have their fights, but Luke always maintains his love for Jon. And you feel the deep love Jon has for Luke.
This film came out in 1993, where have I been that I missed this great film. I have nothing to compare it with except the intense film 'BENT'.
But, I know some of the milk-sop movies from our great film capital cannot sit in the same room as this film.
Accolades for Araki, Dytri and Gilmore!!
It WOULD really be great to see what they could do with this in DVD. They might be able to get the pic. and sound fixed. Rated *** but wanted to rate *****!ciao yaaah69
"The Living End" is a story that deals with death. However, unlike most movies Araki has found a balance between Freudian Eros and Thanatos. The life drive and the death drive are equally as important for Jon and Luke, the protagonists. They alternately assume different roles regarding impeding death. For Jon, at first, is denial when he confronts the fact that he has AIDS. He trusts in his doctor's words when is told that this diagnosis does not equal a death sentence. Not just yet anyway. Luke, on the other hand, has a clear self-destructive tendency; he seems to be wandering off amidst repellent streets and dangerous highways, with no goals and no real desire.
They meet. They have sex. But here sex is devoid of the Freudian libido. Sex at first may be a consequence of the life drive but ultimately it's but an act of despair, it's the result of an undeniable lack of hope. And what is hope in the end? Is it an abstract concept or rather the force that prevent us from languishing in a situation in which our success is never guaranteed? I'd venture to say that hope comes down to one element: creation. And it's clear for the viewers that Jon and Luke will never be able to create a life together, their existence has already been forfeit.
"Afterlife is just this pathetic notion people cling to in order to avoid confronting their own mortality" explains Jon to Luke. And according to Slavoj Zizek he is absolutely right. In ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gregg Araki is an auteur of the gay themed art house films genre. Living End is difficult to watch. Especially if you are HIV+ or have ever had a dysfunctional relationship. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark D. R. Stern
shockingly good. Greg Araki= director, excellent. Shows how some people desire to escape the real world and seem to have more fun while others play by the rules but miss out on... Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. A. Brewer
Hey, remember the early 90s and there was this Queer cinema movement. Well i do, and this was one of the stand out films. Read morePublished 19 months ago by William Cate
Again another film with stereotypical uninteresting characters and very poor production values and third rate acting. What a waste of time.Published on March 30, 2014 by Ashton R. Alvis
I found this movie strangely mesmerizing. Two gay guys from very different worlds are thrown together, and the strength of their attraction for each other overcomes the deep... Read morePublished on February 22, 2014 by Lost in Vegas
I choose this rating because this move has some real twists and turns. I liked this movie because it moved at a pace that you didn't know what was going to happen next. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Tsong244
Facing HIV+ in the early days was a death sentence. At least that is what the characters in this story perceive their situation to be. Synchronicity pulls these two men together. Read morePublished on December 13, 2013 by Whiteagle
Over all a good movie. There is lots of violence that is not as appealing to me as I get older. Probably just me. The story line is good and the characters are well developed.Published on November 12, 2013 by D. M. Freind