“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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“Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 15th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Kristen Wiig as Star and Annie Mumolo as Barb in Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate

Now for something really stupid. And silly. And funny.

And, given all that’s going on in real life, absolutely a welcome pleasure.

Long time collaborators Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo wrote this, and play best pals, who lose their jobs, so set off to sunny Florida for adventure.

Where they frolic, find love, buy seashell bracelets, and foil a nefarious plot to kill off the town with infectious mosquitos at the annual Seafood Jam.

It’s all a bunch of smile-inducing hooey. Just what the doctor ordered.

For more details, listen to my podcast below.

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“Fauda” & “Call My Agent”” Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 10th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 1 Comment »

Gregory MONTEL (Gabriel Sarda), Camille COTTIN (Andrea Martel), Thibault DE MONTALEMBERT (Mathias Barneville), Liliane ROVERE (Arlette Azemar)
Validée : Liliane ROVERE, Thibault DE MONTALEMBERT, Grégory MONTEL, Camille COTTIN
Validée : Michel FELLER, Harold VALENTIN, Cedric KLAPISCH

“Fauda” and “Call My Agent,” two TV series available for streaming on Netflix, are totally different.

Except that the core theme of both is tension. But seriously dissimilar fashion.

“Fauda” is an even handed Israeli series that portrays the violent ongoing combat between Hamas and the counter intelligence apparatus attempting to thwart it.

“Call My Agent” centers on a boutique Paris agency, which represents many of France’s top stars, a lot of whom appear in various episodes, playing themselves.

For a much more detailed look at these endeavors, and why I would bundle them, listen to the podcast below.

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“Shiva Baby”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 1st, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

In Emma Seligman’s adroitly crafted first film, Danielle (Rachel Sennott) reluctantly joins her parents at a post funeral gathering.

Where she almost immediately sees the last two people she wants to run into.

A fellow with whom she’s just had sex.

And a former lover.

Plus there are her parents friends, all of whom want to know what she’s doing, why she’s not in college, and why she doesn’t have a boyfriend yet?

The concise and worthy 80 minute movie is but one of the entries in this year’s Louisville Jewish Film Festival, which is all virtual. To learn about the other enticing movies, and streaming information, click here.

For more about “Shiva Baby,” check out my podcast below:

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“Lupin”: Film Review/Podcast

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

So, this five part French series now on Netflix, begins with a clever heist of a famous necklace during a charity auction at the Louvre.

The series revolves around Assane Diop, the charming con man/ burglar who masterminds the theft.

Turns out that his immigrant father was accused of stealing that necklace years before, from the rich family he worked for. And convicted.

Father later committed suicide in prison.

Diop is out to prove his father’s innocence.

Diop is out to gain revenge on those responsible.

For more information and insight into “Lupin,” listen to the podcast below.

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