“Belfast”: Film Review Podcast

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

It is not unusual for folks visiting the neighborhood of their adolescence to conjure up visions from that time.

Memories sweet and sour.

Play pals. Incidents. Arguments. Ball games. First kiss.

The spot where you played pitch and catch with your dad. The grandfather of a buddy who had the coldest glass of water you ever tasted.

If you’re a filmmaker with the leverage of Kenneth Branagh, you get to make a film about it.

“Belfast” is the story, told mostly in black and white, of his neighborhood in 1969, at the beginning of the Protestant vs. Catholic turmoil.

For more insight, and my take on the movie, which is beloved by many, listen to the podcast below.

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“The Lost Daughter”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 5th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 2 Comments »

I am an admirer of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acting.

Even more so perhaps, the bold and courageous choices she’s made throughout her career in the films and part she chooses.

“Secretary” and “42d Street” immediately come to mind. But there are others.

So, I am not surprised in her first foray into the director/ screenwriter’s chair, she would choose difficult, disturbing subject matter.

“The Lost Daughter,” streaming on Netflix, takes a look at motherhood and careers, sometime out of balance. How choices have to be made by good women, good mothers, caring women, feeling a compulsion to escape.

The movie features Olivia Coleman as Leda, a fortysomething professor on solo vacation in the Greek Isles. Looking for solitude. That is shattered by visions from her mothering past instigated by her interaction with a younger woman, struggling with motherhood. (Dakota Johnson)

In flashbacks, star on the rise Jesse Buckley plays Leda, trying to cope with her two adolescent daughters, and a burgeoning academic career.

For more info and insight on this excellent adult drama, listen to my podcast below.

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“Don’t Look Up”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 26th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 4 Comments »

DON’T LOOK UP (L to R) JENNIFER LAWRENCE as KATE DIBIASKY, LEONARDO DICAPRIO as DR. RANDALL MINDY. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2021

OK, no reason to mince words.

This film was a major disappointment.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leo DeCaprio, who are excellent actually despite what they’ve been given to work with, it’s about the discovery of a comet that’s certain to doom earth. Like extinctionn of dinosauer stuff.

And what happens when the duo tries to warn authorities and the populace.

It’s written and directed by Adam McKay, who seriously misses the mark.

I have a theory as to the major conceptual flaw that the endeavor suffers.

To learn more details about the movie and this adroit observation of mine, you’ll need to listen to the podcast below.

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— c d kaplan


“Office Christmas Party”: Film Review Podcast

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

Hear me now and believe me later.

“Office Christmas Party” is really silly.

And, kind of stupid.

But, one guy’s opinion, it’s really funny.

And, it is my favorite holiday movie of the moment.

I saw it years ago in the theater. Smiled most all of the way through. Ran across it on cable last week. And it’s playing right now on FX, this Monday night before Christmas.

I remained bemused as I recorded my more informative podcast review, which you can listen to below. Continuing to feel the same as I write this tease of a review.

If you don’t come across it on a cable channel, you can stream it at Amazon Prime.

For more details on “Office Christmas Party,” oh you know the drift, listen below:

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“Get Back”: Film Review Podcast

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

Before diving into this, one must ask him/herself, do I really wish to spend 8 hours in the recording studio with the Beatles?

Do I want to watch the dynamic of the world’s best and easily most famous pop band, as they interact while disintegrating?

Do I wish to view the laborious process that goes into creating a song, like, oh, “Get Back?” Or how “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” came about?

Do I want to note Yoko Ono’s everpresence and wonder whaaaaaa?

Do I want to watch the fellows in fur jackets sit around and smoke, and argue in an understated way, or frolic about . . . or just exist?

Well, I’m an addict for rock & roll anecdotia. I watched it all.

But, to be blunt, found some of it to be tedious.

For more about the three part, Peter Jackson-directed series on Disney+, listen to my podcast below. Which is actually more informative than usual. Or, so I say.

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— c d kaplan


“Red Notice”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: November 23rd, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Everything you need to know about “Red Notice,” a glossy, action adventure heist flick, you can learn from my podcast below.

OK, a little more info.

Gal Gadot plays either the world’s most notorious art thief, or the second most notorious.

Ryan Reynolds plays the other, who is either #1 or #2 on the Interpol Top 10.

Dwayne Johnson plays a US agent of some ilk, chasing after them.

Perilous escapes, glamorous locales, snarky one-liners are included.

Alright then, now, for more complete info and my take, listen below:

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— c d kaplan


“The Paper Chase”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: November 7th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I’d long forgotten that when I was in law school decades ago, one of my favorite classes, with my favorite professor, was Contracts.

Which came to mind after somebody’s comment on an internet thread led me to rewatch the 1973 movie, “The Paper Chase.”

In which Timothy Bottoms plays a bright and earnest freshman at Harvard Law.

And John Houseman plays his imperious Contracts professor.

Also about as Bottoms’ love interest is Lindsay Wagner. Who, in the movie, happens to be said professor”s daughter.

For more details, and my take on the movie, listen to the podcast below:

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— c d kaplan


“The French Dispatch”: Film Review Podcast

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

There are certain directors whose films I always anticipate seeing, and do go see.

Wes Anderson is one of them.

To be honest, some of his movie leave me cold. But they are always interesting. Quirky. Full of snark.

And, visually unique in Anderson’s peculiar style.

“The French Dispatch” is his latest. It’s showing in theaters now.

It’s about a fictional literary magazine, centered in a fictional French town, which is oh so cleverly named Ennui sur Blasé.

The cast is Top Shelf. Too many to name here, though I do so in my podcast.

(It does include Tilda Swinton, whose last name I mangle in my recording. Sorry.)

What do I think about the movie?

Ah, here’s the rub. You gotta listen to the podcast below:

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“The Velvet Underground”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: October 19th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Music | No Comments »

To be honest, I was somewhat taken aback a few years ago when Lou Reed passed away.

There was a far greater outpouring of mainstream grief than I would have ever expected.

His music, dark and emotive and poetic, had obviously struck more of a chord than I imagined.

As aware as I have been of the Velvet Underground, I have to admit an unfamiliarity with most of the band’s output.

Yet, I’ve always understood the importance of the group that germinated in the avant garde art scene of Manhattan in the 60s.

Director Todd Haynes beautifully lays out the whole fascinating tale in his marvelous documentary, “The Velvet Underground.”

It’s available for streaming at Apple TV+.

For a more detailed take on the film, listen to my podcast below:

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“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”: Film Review Podcast

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

I must admit.

In the early days of cable, when surfing about was new and exciting, I’d always linger for a bit at the PTL Network.

Just to see what that Love Couple of Lord, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, was up to.

Trying to slip their hands into pocketbooks and old coffee cans of acolytes all across the land mostly.

Jim Bakker, was and remains, even after a stint in the Federal pen, a huckster of the highest order.

Tammy Faye, the focus of this theatrical release, a more compelling study.

Jessica Chastain gives an award worthy portrayal of the Mrs.

For more insight and details about “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” listen to my podcast below:

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“That Man From Rio”: Film Review/ Podcast

Posted: September 14th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

So, who is on your list of the coolest dudes ever to appear on the Silver Screen?

Cary Grant? Of course, in that suave sort of way.

Paul Newman? I’ve seen women melt at the mere mention of his blue eyes.

Steve McQueen? Oh yeah. Even if he was in “The Blob.” Or, maybe, because he was.

And, one guy’s opinion, Jean-Paul Belmondo.

The dude had it.

He passed away last week.

So, I wanted to watch at least one of his films. Which I have, “That Man From Rio.” And hope to savor more.

Did the ’64 action/ adventure hold up, after all these decades. Was Belmondo as danged hip as I remember?

Bonus Tease: What’s Steven Spielberg’s connection to the French film?

All is revealed in my podcast below:

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“The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 2nd, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

It was obvious from this film debut in 1966 that Alan Arkin would become an icon of screen comedy.

Here he plays a member of the crew of a Russian spy submarine, that gets stranded on a sandbar off the coast of a Massachusetts island. He leads a landing party to commandeer a boat to pull them free.

The citizenry panics. It was, after all, the middle of the Cold War, when the movie was set.

The Oscar-nominated film is silly and funny and entertaining. Arkin is brilliant. (He was also nominated for a statuette.) So, too Jonathan Winters, Brian Keith, character actors Ben Blue and Tessie O’Shea.

But, most especially, Paul Ford, as the bombastic old military guy, who is ready to start World War III.

I came across Norman Jewison’s flick at Amazon Prime, when I was looking for something mindless and funny. I hadn’t seen it since its release back when.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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