“Nomadland”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: May 4th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I guess I could have watched “Nomadland” well before it won so many awards.

Oscars. Golden Globes. BAFTAs.

But I didn’t.

I certainly had a sense of how stark a contemplation it proved to be. And, frankly, needed during the year long pandemic, pre-vaccine shutdown, a smidge more entertaining escapism during my viewing hours.

The film is dry. And evocative of these strange, plate-shifting times. But is it a metaphor?

It is often most touching. But, without a lot of humor, though it is filled with a sense of community and humanity.

For more observations on “Nomadland,” listen to my podcast below:

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“Another Round”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 28th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” just won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Or, whatever they call that category.

It is the story of four high school teachers, all mired in one form of “mid life crisis” or another, who decide to test out an actually posited theory that people should maintain a blood alcohol level of .05, to be more productive, happy, etc, etc.

Each gets positive results in the initial stages of their daily imbibing. So they kick it up a notch, then another.

There are consequences, but, as best I can tell, no lessons learned by the characters.

I just don’t get this movie.

Is it about systemic alcoholism in Denmark?

Is it actually a comedy as some critics believe? Could fool me.

Whatever. I simply don’t understand the accolades and awards.

For more details and perspective, listen to my podcast below:

 

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“As Tears Go By”: Rock & Roll Repast

Posted: April 26th, 2021 | Filed under: Music | No Comments »

The image is iconic as any from the mid 60s, when mainstream media was taking notice.

The musical fad of teenagers, the one that rocked forth the previous decade, obviously had traction.

Rock & Roll. In all its many manifestations. Blasting from transistor radios, strapped to bicycle handlebars. Pouring from new stations on Friday night’s in the parents’ borrowed station wagon.

The vision, that moment from the boob tube, as it was still dismissively called, black and white. From “Hullabaloo,” which along with “Shindig” was one of two primetime network acknowledgments of the burgeoning culture.

Paul Anka introduced Brian Epstein. Brian Epstein introduced her.

And, there she was, in all her innocence — or so we thought — dressed on Carnaby Street. Straight hair. Bangs. Pale. Impassive.

Perched by some production designer, supported by one arm, her legs tucked under her, immobile on a cube, but for the slightest occasional tilt of the head or time keeping twist of the ankle. Her voice sweet, a whisper. Read the rest of this entry »


“Sound of Metal”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 20th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Riz Ahmed, whom you might remember from the TV series, “The Night Of,” plays Ruben, a recovering addict who is the drummer in a thrash metal duo with his girlfriend Lu, portrayed by Olivia Cooke.

After the set up of their career, such as it is, and their tender relationship, he discovers he’s losing his hearing, and then becomes deaf.

He ends up in a rural haven for the hearing impaired, who are also recovering from substance abuse.

Ahmed brilliantly portrays his character, who somewhat acclimates to his situation, but also longs to continue his life as it was with Lu.

Given the subject matter, much of the movie is silent. Yet Ahmed deftly expresses his emotions through his face and eyes and body language and demeanor.

The actor’s performance is truly worthy of the nomination he’s received for Best Actor statuette.

For considerably more information, and my take on the movie, listen to the podcast below.

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“Statues, This is What We Stand For?”: Film Review/ Preview

Posted: April 13th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

In these current, too contentious times, when society seems to be questioning, oh everything, public monuments, public art and statues are being especially scrutinized.

They have become flash points for societal discourse.

Eminent Louisville documentarian Morgan Atkinson examines the whole phenomenon in his expertly crafted effort, “Statues, This is what We Stand For?”

The one hour film airs on KET this coming Monday, April 19. And will stream after that at Facebook Premiere.

Make a note to watch. It will be well worth your time.

For significantly more information about this entertaining and illuminating documentary, listen to my podcast below.

(It will also be worth five minutes of your time, even though my hackneyed diction adds a “t” at the end of my pronunciation of  the word “statues” a couple of times.)

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“Hemingway”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 8th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming, TV | No Comments »

15th July 1944: American writer and war correspondent Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961). Original Publication: Picture Post – 1748 – Hemingway Looks At The War In Europe – pub. 1944 (Photo by Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Getty Images)

Such was the stature of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway in the 20th C, that the publication of his novels became must read events.

At least, among the literati.

Such is the stature of Ken Burns & Company, that the airing of a new documentary series on PBS is a must watch event.

And, now they’ve merged.

Now streaming at pbs.org, after airing Monday through Wednesday on PBS, is “Hemingway.”

The six hour, three part series, produced and directed by Lynn Novick and Burns, written by Geoffrey C. Wad, and and narrated as usual by Peter Coyote, delves into the interesting life and ways of Papa Hemingway.

Whatever you might think of Hemingway personally, or his writing, the tale is fascinating, well worth the watch.

For more insight, details and observations, including a few complaints, listen to my podcast below.

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“Money Heist”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 2nd, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

Am I a sucker for a good heist flick, or what?

Uh, yeah.

I mean, gimme Charlize Theron stunt driving her own Mini in “The Italian Job,” and I’m there.

Which is why I dove in when I came upon the subtitled Spanish TV series, “Money Heist,” on Netflix.

There’s this mastermind, whom we know as the Professor, who recruits a diverse crew to infiltrate the Royal Mint, print up billions of Euros, and slip away to live happily ever after.

But, ya know, it’s Never. Quite. That. Easy. Is it?

Hostages. Conflict. Etc, etc.

There are 32 episodes. I’ve consumed four so far, and, intrigued, intend to stay the course.

To learn why, listen to my podcast below:

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“The Dig”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: March 25th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

After a year of spending too much time indoors, isolated, the idea of trekking about the countryside fascinates.

So I was taken by this essentially true tale of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo artifacts.

Which takes place in the British countryside, at the manor of one Edith Pretty, portrayed by Carey Mulligan.

She hires an excavator, played by Ralph Fiennes, to see what’s in the mounds on her property.

It is 1939, and WWII is looming.

For many of the reasons, why you might wish to check this out at Netflix, listen to my podcast below.

 

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“McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Film Review Podcast

Posted: March 18th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Here’s the truth, my cinema loving readers and listeners.

Rare is the film as iconic as this Robert Altman classic.

Star of stars Warren Beatty as the former gunslinger come to the dank mining town of the Pacific Northwest to open a saloon, gambling hall, hotel of sorts, and brothel.

Star of stars Julie Christie as the woman who convinces him to let her be the madame of the house of ill repute.

The third major character is Vilmos Zsigmond’s genius, evocative cinematography.

Then there’s Leonard Cohen’s spot on soundtrack.

Altman was an auteur a cut way above most. This is his best creation.

It’s available to stream at Amazon Prime for a few bucks.

For more reasons why you should do so, even if you saw it when released a half century ago, listen to my podcast below.

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“Coming 2 America”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: March 13th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 2 Comments »

There are oh so many things in our lives, especially in these strange times, that are absolutely unnecessary, provide little to no nutritional value of any sort, but which bring a smile, grant us a moment or two of escape, and which we therefore simply savor.

Like the frivolous remake that is “Coming 2 America.”

Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his runnin’ podner Semmi (Arsenio Hall) have to travel again from their home country of Zamunda to NYC.

For reasons that I shall not explain. Because, hey, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

As if that matters in this singing, dancing, sometimes snarky, sometimes too sweet piffle of a flick.

This movie is of no consequence whatsoever. But it made me smile. I’m glad I streamed it on Netflix.

For more info, listen to my podcast:

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“What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: March 3rd, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

So, anybody these days who feigns as I do being a movie critic owes a debt of gratitude to the force that was Pauline Kael, the once and always doyenne of film criticism.

Ms. Kael reigned supreme from the time of her review of “Bonnie and Clyde” in The New Yorker in ’67, until well after her retirement there, more than a decade later.

Her influence lives on.

She was articulate, acerbic, intentionally antagonistic, and always interesting. She raised reviews to a form of craft.

She was loathed as much if not more than she was loved. But her importance cannot be denied.

Rob Garver’s far from perfect, and occasionally confusing documentary is relatively even handed.

It may be of interest only to the most inveterate of cinephiles. It certainly was to me.

The film can be streamed at Amazon Prime.

For more information, listen to my podcast below:

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“I Care A Lot”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 24th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Sometime, even the feistiest and most astute of big time grifters misjudges her prey.

Such happens to Rosamund Pike’s Marla Grayson in this Netflix release.

Grayson’s scam is to find rich senior citizens with little or no family, and lots of money. She becomes their court-appointed conservator, stashes them away in a nursing home, and uses their wealth for her own benefit.

But she misjudged Dianne Wiest’s Jennifer Peterson, who is not as alone or innocent as she appears.

Grayson ends up in a feud and smackdown with the Russian mob, specifically a local boss played by Peter Dinklage.

The film remains moderately interesting, but veers off course from its original and more interesting set up.

For more details, listen to my podcast below:

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