Screen Queen

By Chris Azzopardi

Weekend

In an interview with Andrew Haigh on the Criterion Collection release of his second feature film, "Weekend," the director insists he's not keen on having his British indie be classified as just a "gay movie." He has a point: The film is so wonderful - absolutely one of the best of 2011 - that it can stand alongside some of the greatest love stories ever made. Two young men wake up to each other after hooking up the night before at a club, then find themselves sharing intimate conversation that reveals a much deeper connection than either expected. But here's the catch: One of them is moving to the U.S. in a couple days. Haigh's sweet slice-of-life film - featuring breakout roles from Chris New and Tom Cullen - is an emotionally affecting observation on our casual but life-changing encounters. Its insights into relationships, and the subtle approach used to examine them, are revelations that speak universally. Bonus highlights include 30 minutes of interviews with the actors and director on making "Weekend," plus two of Haigh's shorts and a conversation about the sex scenes. Don't go a weekend without this one.

The Hunger Games

The concept is sick: Kids kill each other in a dystopia where 12 districts lottery off their "tributes" to compete in a brutal war of child-on-child violence, rigged traps and cartoonish freaks. That doesn't make box-office beast "The Hunger Games" an easy watch, but done right with a solid cast of young up-and-comers - including Josh Hutcherson of "The Kids Are All Right" - and a script that closely resembles the novel, it's certainly an intriguing one that serves as part-satire, part-cautionary tale. The franchise's first film is a nail-biting sucker punch that's intensely laid out over two hours-plus as Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen, impresses with her steely brand of kick-ass and empathetic sweetness. The not-gay actor Stanley Tucci camps it up as an outrageous talk-show host who seemingly takes skin tips from George Hamilton. Hungry for more? The two-disc Blu-ray should leave you fairly full with over three hours of extra stuff, including a talk with director Gary Ross and an eight-part documentary.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

If you've seen "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" (and what good gay hasn't?), you've probably never looked at Post-its the same. The 1997 girl-comedy is every high school underdog's feel-good film: Two longtime chums (the hilarious duo of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino, whose characters vow to become lesbian if they're unmarried by 30) attend their reunion with a bunch of fibs and bad fashion to out-fab their former classmates. Alan Cumming and Janeane Garofalo make funny cameos as two other outcasts who return to show up their frenemies, but this is ultimately Romy and Michele's show - a timeless female-buddy cult classic with camp, heart and quotables. Good thing this 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition can stand on its own, because there's nothing in the way of extras, except a lame production featurette. We know mono is, like, the best diet ever, but Romy and Michele deserve something bigger.

Revenge: The Complete First Season

The daytime soap opera might have one life to live, but that doesn't mean there's no room for prime-time debauchery and enough drama to give Mary J. Blige a heart attack. Who's creating it? Queer conning hustlers, backstabbing best friends and one ruthless woman out for, well, revenge. Welcome to the crack cocaine of TV dramas - a breakout hit from ABC, starring Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe, that's a throwback to "Dynasty" and pretty much anything else with cattiness, hot guys, murder and gay sex bribes. The gist: VanCamp's character, Emily Thorne, returns to The Hamptons to ruin the lives of those who wrongfully imprisoned her father years ago, including Stowe's Queen Victoria. Besides the addictive first 22-episode season, the set is full of special features: a look into crafty bisexual Nolan Ross, a breakdown of Emily and Victoria's rivalry and something called "Femme Fatale Fashion." That's for you - the gays. You're welcome.

Jaws

The water was a scary place long before "Piranha 3DD." Steven Spielberg's shark-attack original, despite rip-offs and several less-impressive sequels, has as much bite now as it did 37 years ago when the story about a great white terrorizing a seaside community became a worldwide phenomenon. And if any movie deserves a pretty revamp, it's this classic: Now on Blu-ray, "Jaws" doesn't just look and sound better than ever - fully restored with a like-new image and audio overhaul - but gets an impressive array of cool special features. Never-before-seen interview footage of the cast and crew is assembled for a new docu on "The Impact and Legacy of Jaws." Also included are deleted scenes and outtakes, a two-hour making-of and an intriguing look at the "Jaws" makeover. (Clearly, the process would've been less laborsome with a drag queen doing the touch-ups.)

Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at http://www.chris-azzopardi.com.

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+