Film Review Podcast: “Fargo Season 3”

Posted: April 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I love love love the Coen Brothers classic, “Fargo.”

Yes, ye Achiever acolytes, love it even more, much more, that “The Big Lebowski.”

So resonant was the film that it has spawned a franchise of mini-series on FX. They have been created by Noah Hawley, with the imprimatur of the Coen Bros. themselves.

Each series has a familiarity for those who have seen the flick. Yet each has a different plot with different characters, all played out in Minnesota.

The third season started this past Wednesday on FX, and the wonder shall be revealed over the next 10 weeks or so.

For more, listen up:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Personal Shopper”

Posted: April 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

As I discuss more fully below, this strange, quirky film with the ever disagreeable Kristen Stewart on screen most all of the time poses an interesting question about film reviewers.

“Personal Shopper” has been just about universally lauded by reviewers.

But, any number of regular film loving movie goers were non-plussed by the flick. Including three people whose opinions I admire.

I liked parts of the film but I don’t think they serve its main focus.

For a more complete discussion of the movie, and a theory about the divergence of opinion on films between critics and audience, you’ll need to listen below.


Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “The Fate of the Furious”

Posted: April 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Culture, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

The question you are surely asking yourself when considering this 8th ideation of the our cars are faster and badder than your cars franchise is this: Is it any different than any of the previous seven?

Legit query.


And no.

You’ve seen a lot of this before. But, of course, there are some absurd car scenarios that you — and the filmmakers — hadn’t previously conceptualized. I’ll just drop this phrase, and let it sit so you can wonder, “Let it rain.”

Plus we get Charlize Theron.

Who proves beyond peradventure — as if we didn’t learn it when she crafted the character Imperator Furiosa — she can play B.A.D..

And oh so quietly and eerily evil.

For more on this escapist flick, listen up:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Going In Style”

Posted: April 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Despite the reality that Alan Arkin is really getting up in years, and that the mishuggenah dude I loved in my favorite comedy ever, the original “The In Laws” (Do not accept the lame redux.), I still can’t resist his movies.

And when I saw that he was starring with Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, stalwarts both, I knew I had to see “Going in Style.”

Even though I suspected from the premise that it probably wouldn’t fire.

Three old farts lose their pensions, so they decide to rob a bank. The chances for success were slim, but I ventured forth nonetheless.

So mundane was the screenplay, and the hackneyed plot machinations, that even those three acting aces couldn’t breathe life into it.


For a more in depth analysis, listen below:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Trainspotting 2”

Posted: March 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

The real question here, as it is with many sequels, is why we’d want to go visit that group of feckless Scottish n’er do wells again?

It’s not like the guys at the center of the flick were very likeable. Or that the movie, as groundbreaking as it was in certain visual and soundtracking regards, made gazillions of dollars and there has been a clamoring for another.

But Danny Boyle went back at it with the same cast of no goodnicks twenty years on.

I can’t really give you a full take on the sequel. I booked after a half an hour.

To find out why, you’ll simply have to listen below:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Big Little Lies”

Posted: March 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

Yes, I know there’s usually a film discussed in this space.

That’s why I’ve been comfortable branding myself now and again as the Culture Maven on Film.

But, if you’ve been paying close attention during our time together here, you will note that on occasion I discuss a TV series.

So it is this day, as I expostulate on the glossy Sunday evening HBO soap opera, “Big Little Lies.”

Nicole Kidman. Laura Dern. Adam Scott. (Though in my podcast below I mistakenly and incorrectly say Adam Driver. Were I not so lazy, I’d re-record it.)

Heck, it’s worth a look see if only to find out what Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Election” — Tracy Flick — is like when she grows up and lives in sumptuous surroundings in Monterey.

For more on why you might want to take a look see, you know what to do:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Paterson”

Posted: March 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I’m just not sure I’ve seen a film before which is essentially about poetry.

“Paterson” is just that.




Essentially it’s another little gem from the fellow who is arguably the most underappreciated director in all of American film: Jim Jarmush.

His films only very rarely fail to resonate.

This one certainly is quietly but certainly rich.

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “I Am Not Your Negro”

Posted: March 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

It seems to me, one guy’s opinion of course, that anyone with a reasonable sense of American society understands there has been and is now an undercurrent of racial tension ever present.

This film, based on the expositions of 20th century intellect James Baldwin, is an erudite consideration of that cultural dynamic.

The film is, for obvious reasons, provocative.

But it is not an in your face diatribe.

For anyone who wishes to expand his/her perspective on this issue, Raoul Peck’s deftly crafted, eminently watchable documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” is worth seeing.

For more, listen up:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Get Out”

Posted: March 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I’ve never been a big fan of scary movies.

Which aversion, and an exception, I explain in further detail in my podcast below. (That’s called a tease, something to whet your appetite.)

But, as a long time fan and one who recognizes the extent of Jordan Peele’s talents beyond the obvious comedic genius he possesses, I was looking forward to his film, “Get Out.”

As high as my expectations were, I wasn’t disappointed a bit.

It is a well realized film that is not only scary, but also funny and which presents astute observations of societal mores.

For more in depth discussion of this highly recommended movie, listen up:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “On The Map”

Posted: February 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

How cool is that, especially this sacred time of year — tournament time — I can recommend to you my loyal readers a really well made documentary about . . . basketball.

Imagine that. Two of my obsessions merge. Movies. Hoops.

Double our pleasure. Double our fun.

The film expertly tells the tale of Maccabi Tel Aviv, the upset 1977 European Basketball Champions.

And how said improbable title help galvanize the country of Israel.

For more info about why you should see this film, which is a one and done, Saturday 7:30 Village 8 Theaters, listen below:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “LEGO Batman”

Posted: February 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Ruminations | No Comments »

LEGOs weren’t around when I was a kid. Heck plastic this and plastic that wasn’t around at all.

I led an Erector Set/ Lincoln Logs/ Lionel Train kind of adolescence.

But, at some point, LEGOs took over the world of youth toydom.

And, recently, these ubiquitous plastic thingies, some of which always end up between the pillows of the couch, have made inroads into Big Cinema.

First, “The Lego Movie.” Or, whatever it was called.

Now, “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

Talk about your branding coup. Wow.

Anyhow, here’s my review. Such as it is.

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Lion”

Posted: February 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

Every once in awhile, along comes a film that grabs your heart even if it seems too good and gratifying to be true.

Which is why “Lion” works so well.

It actually happened.

Adolescent from rural India gets left accidentally at a railway station, ends up in Calcutta hundreds and hundreds of miles from home.

Through circumstance, guile, instinct and luck, he ends up with a loving adoptive family in Tasmania.

When he’s in his 20s, he decides he needs to try and find home and let his mother, brother and sister know he survived and he’s alright.

I’ll let you figure out how it ends.

For more, listen up:

Audio MP3