Screen Savor

  • 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.

  • Screen Savor: Soaking Wet in The January Junkyard W/Trailer

    January is where movies go to die. It’s a scrap heap of long-delayed releases and otherwise forgettable flicks. Occasionally there are exceptions; but they are few and far between.

  • Screen Savor: SoBe it

    Co-filmmakers Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch strike a sunny and satisfying balance between presenting an homage to a bygone era in Miami Beach and a tribute to the late photographer Andy Sweet, whose work documented said time period, in their affectionate documentary “The Last Resort”. The co-directors incorporate marvelous period film footage, both amateur and professional. Additionally, interviews with Sweet’s friend, classmate and fellow photographer Gary Monroe, Jewish historian Susan Gladstone, crime writer and novelist Edna Buchanan (who first came to Miami Beach in the early ‘60s), Sweet’s sister Ellen Sweet Moss and his brother-in-law Stan Hughes, Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books, filmmaker and Miami native Kelly Reichardt, and gallerist Denise Bibro, add to the spirit of the documentary.

  • Screen Savor: Some Of My Favorite Movies Of The Year So Far W/Trailers 

    (Mirror) The first three months of the year make up the part of the winter movie season where bad movies go to die. Films deemed unworthy of release at other times of the year are unleashed on unsuspecting moviegoers, resulting in tragic box office returns and scathing reviews. 

  • Screen Savor: Space Oddity W/Trailer

    Brad Pitt is having quite a year on screen So good, in fact, that he may find himself with a pair of Oscar nominations; for Best Supporting Actor for playing indispensable stuntman Cliff in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” and Best Actor for his portrayal of astronaut Major Roy McBride in James Gray’s “Ad Astra” (20thCentury Fox).

  • Screen Savor: Still standing W/ Trailer

    Arriving in theaters about six months apart, it’s almost impossible not to find a multitude of similarities between the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” (Paramount) and the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. So, let’s dispense of them right away. Elton John and Freddie Mercury were both musically gifted, piano-playing, substance-abusing, dentally-challenged, flamboyant gay men who favored flashy stage-wear and whose music dominated all of the 1970s and most of the 1980s. Additionally, it was actor/director Dexter Fletcher, at the helm of  “Rocketman”, who completed “Bohemian Rhapsody” when director Bryan Singer was fired.

  • Screen Savor: Super Smart W/Trailer

    To say that “Booksmart” (Anapurna/United Artists), actress-turned-filmmaker Olivia Wilde’s feature-length directorial debut, is where “Mean Girls” meets “Superbad” is not reductive, but actually a well-earned compliment. Co-screenwriters Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman have taken the best elements of those movies and synthesized them into an original and instant comedy classic.