“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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“CODA”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 16th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Sîan Heder’s film about a conflicted high school girl won most all the major awards at Sundance.

No surprise. For so many reasons, it’s a keeper.

“CODA” can be streamed at Apple TV.

High schooler Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only hearing member of a Gloucester, Mass fishing family. So, she’s been their communicative connection with the rest of the world since a very young age.

She loves to sing. An opportunity to go to the prestigious Berklee school presents itself.

Her family — mother and father, Tony Kotsur and Marlee Matlin, brother, Daniel Durant — need her to stay, so the they can survive financially.

This film is not only deftly crafted, but the sweet ending is welcome in this troubled world of ours.

For significantly more detail and insight — yes, more than usual — listen to my podcast below:

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— c d kaplan


“McCartney 3 2 1”: Film Review Podcast

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

I got into an argument once with a couple of music loving pals — guys who really know their stuff generally — both of whom took a strong stand that the Beatles have been overrated.

Well, forgive them, they know not what they’re talking about.

They’re dead wrong.

This six-part Hulu series underscores just how brilliant most of Lennon, Harrison, Starr and Sir Paul’s creative output remains. They are deservedly considered the greatest pop group ever. It’s not close.

What we get is McCartney in a studio with producer Rick Rubin, going into a smidge of Beatles history, but mostly talking about various and sundry aspects of some of the songs the foursome created in the studio with George Martin.

I came away with an enhanced view of the group’s magnificence and McCartney personally.

For more insight and info, listen to my podcast below:

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“Afternoon Delight”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 26th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

In a time when, for better or worse, the world is opening up again, here’s a review of another film I streamed, this one at Amazon Prime.

How I got to it, and why I felt the flick worthy of public review are all revealed in my podcast below.

So, hint hint, listen to it.

The primary reasons are boffo acting performances. By the woefully underrated Kathryn Hahn. By on the rise actor, Juno Temple. And Josh Radner as Hahn’s hubby.

Temple plays a stripper/ “sex worker,” who ends up through coincidence and circumstance living with the couple.

Their lives change.

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

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“Schmigadoon”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: July 18th, 2021 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

When I first read about the new Apple TV+ series, “Schmigadoon,” I couldn’t stop saying it out loud.

And, smiling every time.

What a concept.

Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key play a struggling couple, who go to a retreat in the woods to rekindle their relationship. They get lost hiking in the rain and fog and end up in . . .

. . . Schmigadoon. Which is a singing, dancing 50s Broadway musical of a town.

Two episodes are now available. Four more coming up, a week at a time.

Fascinating idea. Really well executed.

For more details and insight into “Schmigadoon,” listen to my podcast below:

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