“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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“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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“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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“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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