“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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“Hacks”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: October 5th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

I’m a man of serious likes and dislikes. And strong, not easily swayed opinions about same.

So, when I noticed that another TV series slithered away with a couple comedy Emmys that might have gone to my beloved “Ted Lasso,” I had to take notice.

HBO Max’s “Hacks” focuses on an aging comedian of long standing residency at a hotel/ casino in Vegas. To freshen her material, prolong her career, she hires a twentysomething, out of work writer.

Jean Smart is the former. Hannah Einbinder, the latter.

Both have anger issues. They don’t become besties. From such tension, dark humor springs forth.

The series is worthy.

For significantly more detail, listen to my podcast below. (Ignore my mention that it’s set in Hollywood. I had a brain fart. It’s Las Vegas.)

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“Scenes From A Marriage”: TV Review Podcast

Posted: September 28th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 1 Comment »

I never particularly liked Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes From A Marriage,” which hit America in the mid 1970s.

OK, that’s a lie.

I loathed it. Considered it the most boring thing I’d ever seen.

That grisly memory notwithstanding, I was intrigued by HBO’s limited series remake.

It stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac.

What’s my take on the TV redux?

Ah, here’s the rub. You have to listen to my podcast below to find out.

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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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Only Murders in the Building: TV Review/ Podcast

Posted: September 9th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 1 Comment »

So Steve Martin’s, Martin Short’s and Selena Gomez’s characters live in one of those hotsy totsy NYC co-ops. Upper East Side, Upper West Side, uh, not sure.

Anyway, they’re not very friendly to each other, hardly know each other.

Then, a fellow resident dies. Police rule it a suicide.

In the aftermath, the trio learn of their shared affinity for a crime podcast.

They believe the death to be a murder. So, amateur sleuths, together now they investigate on their own.

Then, start their own podcast.

That’s the set up to this new Hulu streaming series. It’s four episodes in. New ones drop on Tuesdays.

My take.

This is where you’ll need to listen to my podcast review. The link is just 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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“Ted Lasso S2”: TV Review Podcast

Posted: August 23rd, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

Like many, I totally fell for Season 1 of the incredibly endearing Apple TV+ series, “Ted Lasso.”

Loved the characters. Loved the situations. Loved the cornpone wisdom of Jason Sudeikis’ fish out of water midwesterner, who finds himself coaching an English soccer club.

So sweet it was, I frankly wasn’t sure it could hold together for another go round.

Well, the second season is now unfolding on a weekly basis. Five episodes in, and your inveterate critic remains smitten. Maybe even more than ever.

In a world run amuck, it’s an entertaining, delightful, appealing respite.

It just makes me smile, and feel good inside. What a blessing that is.

For more insight, 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

“Bosch”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 12th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 1 Comment »

Because it seems that I, like most of the rest of the TV/ Streaming/ Movie Going public, can’t get enough grisly police dramas, I finally settled into watch a series at Amazon Prime that’s been around awhile. Another reason is that heading back into the movie house remains fraught with peril.

So, “Bosch.”

That it was developed by Eric Ellis Overmyer informs why, despite some hackneyed plotlines, it’s a cut above most of this kind of fare. Overmyer was involved with “The Wire,” which I know that you know that I consider the Gold Standard.

LA Homicide Detective Harry Bosch a/k/a Hieronymus Bosch (Titus Welliver) — yes, like the 16th C Dutch artist of the oh so grisly “Garden of Earthly Delights” — does have some family history that makes him unique. But the character will feel familiar.

Great intuitive cop. Renegade. Always stepping over the line. Constantly in trouble with some in chain of command. Affairs with fellow officers. Divorced, rarely seeing daughter who adores him.

There are also some peripheral plotlines, which I could do without. Like the Assistant Chief of Police who wants the top job, so cuts a deal with the DA, who is running for mayor. Been there, done that.

Season One features two main plotlines. The discovery of a 12 year old’s bones, buried in the hills of Laurel Canyon. And a serial killer, Raynard Waits, easily the most interesting character in the initial ten episodes, excellently played with acute, understated menace by Jason Gedrick.

There are other subtle touches that intrigue. How Bosch’s life is filled with redheaded woman, for one. The nuanced characters of fellow homicide detectives, know as Crate and Barrel, for another example.

There are 68 episodes of the series through a number of seasons.

Meaning, given my fascination, I’ve only 58 more to power watch.

For more, 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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