“The Outfit”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: October 2nd, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

We chatted about it last week, but shall do so again. Since it is germane.

Acting, really fine acting, can make a movie worthwhile.

It’s not that this week’s consideration, “The Outfit” on Amazon Prime, is not a watch for you to consider.

It’s just that Mark Rylance’s performance as an English ex pat crafter of bespoke suits in mid 50s Chicago makes it more so.

Turns out his first customer years before the action in the film was the neighborhood mob boss. Rylance’s shop, where the entire film is set, is a drop off spot for said boss’s worker bees to bring in the enveloped rake from a numbers racket.

One night the calm of the movie’s sublime opening is shattered.

The Boss’s son shows up having been shot in the stomach in an ambush by the rival gang.

Turns out there’s a rat somewhere in the system.

And a tape.

And FBI involvement.

And the mysterious involvement of Rylance’s at first seemingly innocent assistant, portrayed by Zoey Deutch.

A ratcheting up of action comes about. Along with the normal expository revelations about the characters that is always attendant is these mysteries.

For more details, listen to my podcast below:

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“See How They Run”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 20th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is famously the longest continuously running play ever.

It opened in 1952 at London’s West End, and is still going.

This funny, reasonably clever movie is an homage to Ms. Christie.

It is centered around a murder that happens at a party celebrating the play’s 100th performance.

Sam Rockwell is Detective Stoppard, in charge of tracking down the culprit.

He is marvelous as usual, but the movie is stolen by the oh so delicious performance of Saoirse Ronan as Inspector Stalker, his sidekick.

The flick tracks a familiar Christie-ish plotline, right down to all the suspects gathered in the same room at the end when the culprit is finally revealed.

Tis an entertaining bit of cinema, worth a trip to the movie house, if only to savor Ronan’s brilliantly deadpan performance.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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“Man With A Movie Camera”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 16th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

Well, the joke certainly was on me.

Full with hubris when it comes to, well, knowledge of most anything, especially classic, important films, I thought I knew ’em all.

Which was obviously never the case, and still isn’t, though there is now one more classic bit of cinema on my resumé.

“Man With A Movie Camera” is a Russian documentary, made in 1929 by Dziga Vertov.

It is, a recent study has stated, the most taught bit of cinema in film study classes in colleges across the land.

Not only had I never seen it, I had never heard of it.

Fortunately it is available for free on youtube, and for a few bucks at Amazon Prime. Being the frugal sort, I chose the former to savor its 66 seriously groundbreaking minutes.

For reasons why I believe it would be worthwhile for you to check out, listen to my podcast below:

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“Wire Room”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 9th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

There are times when the sacrifices made to provide you, my loyal readers/ listeners, with complete and authoritative reviews of the latest movies/ TV series is a perilous task.

When I am forced by professional and ethical responsibility to endure cinematic art which could be seriously perilous to my health and well being.

Or worse.

One of those occasions occurred on Thursday September 8, 2022, a 24 hour period that shall, in my universe, live in infamy.

For reasons, set out fully below in my podcast — Which, if you have never heeded my warnings before to listen to, you must this time — I experienced the entire 96 minutes of “Wire Room” on Amazon Prime.

This is to advise I feel blessed to be here this the following morning, all faculties and motor coordination reasonably intact, to report on said effort of filmmaking.

I shall say no more.

To the following podcast, You Must Listen.

Caveat Emptor.

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— c d kaplan


“Man From Reno”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 26th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Film Noir is my most favorite genre of films.

As such matters evolve, it’s been called Neo Noir since the heyday of such movies ended in, oh, around the late 50s or so.

But I came across this delectable entry to the genre from 2015 on Amazon Prime.

There’s an accident at night on a fog enshrouded highway outside San Francisco. A dead body is found in a lake nearby.

Then there’s a famous Japanese mystery writer, who ducks out on a PR tour, and hides out in the city by the bay. Where she meets a dashing fellow, who woos her. Successfully.

Then he disappears. And, as the tale unfolds, we learn is involved with that dead body and the fellow hit in the accident. Along with a mysterious smuggling operation. Imagine our surprise.

Twists and turns ensue.

I truly enjoyed “Man From Reno.”

To find out why, listen to my podcast below:

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“Day Shift”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 18th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

This is an action adventure comedy starring Jamie Foxx as a vampire hunter in the San Fernando Valley.

Not much of it makes sense.

Which, to be honest, is beside the point.

What we get is a couple of hours of silliness, some cartoonish action, a somewhat convoluted but moderately entertaining plot, and the ever cool presence of Snoop Dog, as the mack daddy of vampire hunters. For which subgenre of employment situations there is a union.

Did I mention that in this scenario, good money can be had for harvesting the teeth of slain vampires?

Well, now I have.

Again, the film makes very little sense. Other than its purpose. Which is to be a mindless diversion.

For more info on this Netflix offering, listen to my podcast below:

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“Sunset Blvd,” “Roman Holiday” & “The Third Man”” Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 10th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

This week is something completely different.

Looking for something to watch the other evening, I found myself at Turner Classic Movies, savoring the masterful 1950 mystery, “The Third Man.” Orson Welles playing the character with one of the great names of cinema, Harry Lime.

Similarly bereft of something to do the next night, I returned to for the enchantment of Audrey Hepburn’s breakthrough, “Roman Holiday.” Filmed on location in Rome in the early 50s, also starring Gregory Peck.

Then again a few nights later, I hit the jackpot at TCM with arguably the moviest movie ever put on celluloid, Billy Wilder’s incredible “Sunset Boulevard.” It is too good.

I loved them all to the max. As if you couldn’t tell already.

You should check them out. I explain why, and tell you where in my podcast above.

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— c d kaplan


“Vengeance”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 4th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

BJ Novak wrote it.

BJ Novak directed it.

BJ Novak stars in it.

“It” is “Vengeance,” a somewhat fascinating take about what happens when a NY literati type, full of smug prejudices about the Heartland and its people, finds himself in West Texas at the funeral of a former hook up he hardly remembers.

Apparently the young woman, character named Abilene, had been telling her family that she and Novak’s character were a thing. Then she OD’ed in an oil field during a party. But her brother believes she’s been murdered, demanding that Novak help him track down the killer.

Interesting observations, an increasing sense of humanity and some humor ensue.

For more details, and what I think of the film, listen to my podcast below.

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“Nope”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 26th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Who knew what the future would bring for Jordan Peele, when he was teaming with Keegen-Michael Key for those incredibly funny and perceptive comedy sketches?

Not me.

Turns out that writer/ director Peele is making arguably the most interesting American movies these days.

His latest “Nope” is way more than the flying saucer/ Sci Fi flick that is its base.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, this insightful, frankly spectacular epic is about a brother/ sister experience. While paying its respects to the origin of moving pictures, early rock & roll, 50s-ish silly TV sitcoms and cheesy roadside attractions.

And, much more, including what would matter most in contemporary life, were the world to actually be invaded by aliens.

Upon reflection, all the diverse elements of “Nope” seem to pretty much fit together.

It’s funny, mysterious, intelligent and incredibly well filmed.

For more, listen to my podcast.

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“Year of Spectacular Men”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 20th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

As I contemplate in my podcasted review, I’m not sure if this is really a rom com or not.

Not that it really matters.

It’s funny.

And entertaining.

And sweet.

Izzy graduates from college, and can’t seem to decide what to do. After she breaks up with her boyfriend, she can’t find romance either.

So she bonds with her sister and their mom. Which women the movie is really about, despite the title.

This charmer brought a smile to my face, however we might wish to categorize it.

“The Year of Spectacular Men” is available to stream with an Amazon Prime membership.

For more details, as usual, listen to my podcast below.

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“The Great Gatsby” (1974): Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 14th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming | No Comments »

I’ve always revered F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel of the 20th C, “The Great Gatsby.”

Such that it’s always sitting out, so I can pick it up from time, read a few pages, and relish the author’s masterful prose.

This week, for the first time since college, I read in its entirety, cover to cover. The definitive version from the author’s intended final manuscript.

After which, I felt compelled to go back and rewatch the 1974 cinematic ideation featuring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston.

I am disinclined to compare a movie to its source material, but felt compelled to do so in this instance.

Listen below to understand why:

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“Babe”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 7th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Needing as I often do these days, a sweet and funny movie, I went back to “Babe,” which I loved when seeing it in a movie house at the time of its release in 1995.

It’s now available at Amazon Prime.

Do not be deceived by general description below. This is not just a story for kids.

It was nominated for the Best Motion Picture Oscar after all.

Babe is a pig, won at a fair by Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell). Babe finds himself in new environs, and must adapt to the cast of characters, who are the other animals on the farm.

Caveat: Ferdinand the Duck might make you laugh so hard you fall out of your seat. Literally.

Babe thinks of himself as a border collie.

Oh, there’s no reason to go into plot points and all that.

This is  as charming and smile-inducing as a movie can get.

I loved it as much this time around, as I did the first.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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