Screen Savor

  • Screen Savor: Movie Reviews

    Keep up with the latest movie releases with SFGN's Gregg Shapiro: 

  • Screen Savor: Murder most foul

    The Kenneth Branagh-directed remake of “Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox), in which Branagh also stars as Agatha Christie’s Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot, inspires its own set of mysteries. For example, why would anyone remake a perfectly good movie? The 1974 version, directed by Sidney Lumet, was considered to be one of the best movies of that year. Ingrid Bergman won her third career Oscar for her portrayal of missionary Greta.

  • Screen Savor: No Laughing Matter

    Move over, Pennywise. The scariest movie clown of all time has arrived in theaters (and IMAX) and his name is Joker. Actually, his name is Arthur Fleck, and he’s played with frightening precision by methodical method actor Joaquin Phoenix in the ultimate origin story, “Joker” (WB/DC Universe). A bit on the white pancake make-up nose, “Joker” is as serious as a heart attack, which is both good and bad for comic book geeks and novices alike.

  • Screen Savor: No Love Lost

    “Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight), about the famed 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, is that rare movie that successfully combines biography, sports and queer subject matter for a thoroughly entertaining and educating experience. First and foremost, credit goes to co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Oscar-winner Little Miss Sunshine). Even though we know the outcome (King walloped unrepentant male chauvinist pig Riggs), they managed to make it feel fresh and exhilarating.

  • Screen Savor: Not so simple Simon

    At first glance, you might not think that gay director Greg Berlanti’s 2018 gay rom-com(ing out movie) “Love, Simon” (Fox 2000) has much in common with the Oscar-nominated 2017 gay rom-dram “Call Me By Your Name”, but you’d be wrong. First of all, both films are based on novels. “Love, Simon” is based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 Y/A novel "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” while “Call Me By Your Name” is based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman. Additionally, both novelists are, as it turns out, straight.

  • Screen Savor: Nowhere To Hide W/Trailer

    Among his many detestable achievements, Donald John Trump, the 45th POTUS, has made Hitler popular again.

  • Screen Savor: Oh, The Horror!

    You know how somethings improve with age? Well, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (Scream Factory), now available in a collector’s edition Blu-ray, isn’t one of them. An incoherent mess when it was first released, the catastrophic 1977 sequel to “The Exorcist”, directed by John Boorman (“Deliverance” and “Hope and Glory”), features an intoxicated Richard Burton at his scenery-chomping worst. Even the few returning cast members, including Linda Blair, Kitty Winn and Max Von Sydow, couldn’t give this doomed production the credibility that it needed.

  • Screen Savor: Over the Rainbow W/Trailer

    Renée Zellweger is not the first actress to portray Judy Garland. She is, however, the second to portray Garland in the later period of her life and career.

  • Screen Savor: Peter Pan syndrome

    Gay men didn’t invent the Peter Pan syndrome. However, many of them have gone a long way to perfect it, refusing to grow up or age.

  • Screen Savor: Phantom menace

    There’s more than one intricate stitch sewn into the fabric of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated “Phantom Thread” (Focus). As the final film of retiring actor Daniel Day-Lewis, it’s not only a high point for the performer who already has three Oscars to his name, but also for the filmmaker and supporting cast members.

  • Screen Savor: Playing Favourites

    If you’ve seen any of award-winning Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos brilliantly twisted cinematic output, including 2015’s “The Lobster” and 2017’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, then you know that he has been working his way towards his Golden Globe-nominated masterpiece “The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight) for a while.
  • Screen Savor: Playing it Straight

    James Sweeney’s queer rom-com “Straight Up” (Strand) has more in common with Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” than you might expect. Like Allen did for “Annie Hall”, Sweeney wrote, directed and stars in “Straight Up”.
  • Screen Savor: Poster Boy

    At a mere 21 years-old, Oscar-nominated and sexually “fluid” Lucas Hedges is one of the busiest actors on film. Since his remarkable performance in 2016’s “Manchester By the Sea”, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination, Hedges received raves for his work in “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, both released in 2017.
  • Screen Savor: Read all about it W/Trailer

    Actor/writer/director Emilio Estevez might have a thing about libraries. In one of his earliest and most popular movie roles, he played jock Andrew in John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club”, in which he served detention in a high school library with other Brat Pack misfits. Estevez, who continued to appear onscreen in a series of high-profile movies throughout the remainder of the late 20thcentury and into the 21st, also had a passion for being behind the camera, beginning with his 1986 writer/director debut “Wisdom” and continuing with his Golden Globe-nominated feature “Bobby”.

  • Screen Savor: San Francisco Chronicled

    San Francisco’s transformation from hippie enclave to gay mecca to overpriced techie town has been well-chronicled in recent years. The subject is chiefly front and center this summer. It’s viewed through an LGBTQ lens in the new Netflix version of the Armistead Maupin series  “Tales of the City” and through the eyes of the African-American community in the exceptional indie theatrical release “The Last Black Man In San Francisco” (A24).

  • Screen Savor: Simply incredible

    A lot has happened in the animated Pixar universe in the 14 years since we last saw the incredible Parr family of superheroes. After taking home an Oscar for 2004’s The Incredibles, writer/director Brad Bird scored another win with 2007’s Ratatouille. Pixar (and Disney) wracked up a smashing series of successes with Cars, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Inside Out, Finding Dory and, most recently, Coco, to mention a few.

  • Screen Savor: Skating Away

    Do two movies about teenage skateboarders released within months of the other in the same year qualify as a trend? What if both movies feature single mothers trying to keep their respective offspring out of harm’s way? If so, we have a trend.

  • Screen Savor: Slave to Fashion

    The late, gay, groundbreaking fashion designer Halston (born Roy Halston Frowick) is such a fascinating subject that two separate filmmakers have made documentaries about him in this decade. In my 2012 review of Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, I said, “If you can overlook writer/director Whitney Sudler-Smith’s unnecessary and self-indulgent intrusiveness, his doc…is informative, enjoyable and respectful of its topic.”

  • Screen Savor: So long, farewell

    While there is nothing overtly queer about Lulu Wang’s marvelous dramedy“The Farewell”(A24), it’s hard not see similarities between it and Ang Lee’s “The Wedding Banquet” and Alice Wu’s “Saving Face”. All three films have a shared focus on the importance of marriage, family and reputation in Chinese culture.

  • Screen Savor: Soaked in emotion

    Let’s face it, Florida gets a bad rap. Between the “Florida man” stories on the nightly news, the relocation of Trump to the state (making him just another “Florida man” now), and the early December 2019 gun violence in Pensacola and Coral Gables, the Sunshine State’s radiance is under attack.