“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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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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“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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“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


“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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“1971 The Year Music Changed Everything”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: May 27th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 2 Comments »

I was in the middle of it.

More or less.

All the chaos and change that was the counter culture in 1971.

As an idealistic, self righteous new attorney, trying to quell the world’s ills, while consuming as much rock and roll as possible.

Who dropped out for awhile from the courthouse scene to, uh, drive a Gracie Maid ice cream truck. Then return, when a bit more prepared for adulthood. Such as it was.

So, I’m alway interested in these looks back at what we refer to as “back in the day.”

This one on Apple TV has lots of new, previously unseen footage, if not a lot of focus. The latter of which trait may actually be appropriate for the subject matter.

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

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“Ted Lasso”: Film Review Podcast

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

So, I’ve been wanting to watch this heralded Apple TV comedy series for awhile.

But, you know, how many streaming services does a guy need to subscribe to? Enough has always been more than enough.

But I needed a new phone, and the purchase of yet another Apple product — as if I didn’t have more than too many already — gave me a free year of their TV foray.

Now I know why all the fuss over “Ted Lasso,” the coulda/ woulda/ oughta been cloying and overbearing tale of an American football coach from the Heartland, transplanted to Merrie Ol’ to coach an EPL soccer outfit, facing relegation.

It’s just darned charming.

Not a sports fan? Don’t be deterred. The setting is but a vehicle for the storylines.

This is television for the times, when folks are craving something optimistic and sweet and empowering. And funny.

For more insight on why I recommend “Ted Lasso,” listen to the podcast below:

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“Hemingway”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 8th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming, TV | No Comments »

15th July 1944: American writer and war correspondent Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961). Original Publication: Picture Post – 1748 – Hemingway Looks At The War In Europe – pub. 1944 (Photo by Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Getty Images)

Such was the stature of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway in the 20th C, that the publication of his novels became must read events.

At least, among the literati.

Such is the stature of Ken Burns & Company, that the airing of a new documentary series on PBS is a must watch event.

And, now they’ve merged.

Now streaming at pbs.org, after airing Monday through Wednesday on PBS, is “Hemingway.”

The six hour, three part series, produced and directed by Lynn Novick and Burns, written by Geoffrey C. Wad, and and narrated as usual by Peter Coyote, delves into the interesting life and ways of Papa Hemingway.

Whatever you might think of Hemingway personally, or his writing, the tale is fascinating, well worth the watch.

For more insight, details and observations, including a few complaints, listen to my podcast below.

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“Money Heist”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 2nd, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

Am I a sucker for a good heist flick, or what?

Uh, yeah.

I mean, gimme Charlize Theron stunt driving her own Mini in “The Italian Job,” and I’m there.

Which is why I dove in when I came upon the subtitled Spanish TV series, “Money Heist,” on Netflix.

There’s this mastermind, whom we know as the Professor, who recruits a diverse crew to infiltrate the Royal Mint, print up billions of Euros, and slip away to live happily ever after.

But, ya know, it’s Never. Quite. That. Easy. Is it?

Hostages. Conflict. Etc, etc.

There are 32 episodes. I’ve consumed four so far, and, intrigued, intend to stay the course.

To learn why, listen to my podcast below:

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“Fauda” & “Call My Agent”” Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 10th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | 1 Comment »

Gregory MONTEL (Gabriel Sarda), Camille COTTIN (Andrea Martel), Thibault DE MONTALEMBERT (Mathias Barneville), Liliane ROVERE (Arlette Azemar)
Validée : Liliane ROVERE, Thibault DE MONTALEMBERT, Grégory MONTEL, Camille COTTIN
Validée : Michel FELLER, Harold VALENTIN, Cedric KLAPISCH

“Fauda” and “Call My Agent,” two TV series available for streaming on Netflix, are totally different.

Except that the core theme of both is tension. But seriously dissimilar fashion.

“Fauda” is an even handed Israeli series that portrays the violent ongoing combat between Hamas and the counter intelligence apparatus attempting to thwart it.

“Call My Agent” centers on a boutique Paris agency, which represents many of France’s top stars, a lot of whom appear in various episodes, playing themselves.

For a much more detailed look at these endeavors, and why I would bundle them, listen to the 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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