“Greener Pastures”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 1st, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

So my main purpose here is to hip you to the annual Louisville Jewish Film Festival, which is, thank you Omicron for better or worse, virtual again this year.

Meaning you can view these intriguing films in the comfort of your own home. So, that’s cool.

Which Dov, the centerpiece of “Greener Pastures,” cannot do, because he’s living in a retirement community, after his pension fund went belly up, and he has no money to buy back his home, which he desperately desires to do.

Then he hatches a plot to sell marijuana, available sorta easily to seniors in Israel, and earn the moolah necessary.

Of course, impediments present themselves as the plan unfolds.

You can learn all the details about the festival itself by clicking on this link.

You can learn more details about “Greener Pastures” by listening to my podcast below:

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“Wild Rose”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 27th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Rose-Lynn (Marvelous Jessie Buckley) spent a year in jail.

Which didn’t diminish in the least her desire to move to Nashville, and become a country music star. She’s got a great voice, but . . .

. . . she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

. . . she has two kids, who have been living with her disapproving mother (Julie Waters).

. . . her irresponsibility keeps getting in her way.

It’s a story that could have been really trite, but thanks to Nicole Taylor’s screenplay, Tom Harper’s direction, and especially the performance of up and comer supreme Ms. Buckley, this small film really works.

For more info, listen to my podcast below:

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“Clickbait”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 21st, 2022 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming, TV | No Comments »

CLICKBAIT (L to R) ZOE KAZAN as PIA BREWER and BETTY GABRIEL as SOPHIE BREWER in episode 108 of CLICKBAIT Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

There I went. Getting sucked in again to a streaming series on Netflix.

It’s past bedtime. I know, but, OK, one more.

It’s way way way past bedtime. Really, Chuck, just one more then I’ll hit the hay.

“Clickbait” is an eight part series on Netflix. Which I powerwatched in less than 48 hours.

Not that it’s the greatest thing since “The Wire.” But, because I have the time. And it’s more than reasonably compelling and well done, somewhat uniquely.

A well liked physical therapist for a volleyball team doesn’t show up for work.

Then a video of him being held captive lands on the interweb. He’s holding a sign that says, “At 5 Million Views I Die.”

A frantic search for the fellow, and his captors ensues.

Of course, the video goes viral, soon surpassing that number.

Eight episodes, more than a few McGuffins later, and we find out what happened to him, if anything — This is a no spoiler zone — and who is responsible.

My podcast/ review actually contains significantly more information. You can listen below:

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“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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“Street Gang How We Got to Sesame Street”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 17th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

There are not many television shows as iconic, long lasting, and, frankly, important as “Sesame Street.”

Actually none that I can think of off the top of my head.

It was seriously revolutionary for its time. And since.

The merger of education and entertainment for adolescents. The alphabet. Numbers. Words. Plus the importance of accepting everybody as they are. Including oneself.

This HBO documentary reveals the origins and personalities that turned this treasure into an American staple.

Since I was in my 20s when the they show started, and didn’t have any kids, it was but peripheral for me. But, even with that, its importance resonated.

I saw “Street Gang How We Got to Sesame Street” on HBO. Which means it’s also available to stream on HBO Max, and On Demand, etc. Plus it can be streamed a few other places.

For more info on the documentary, and what I thought of it, listen to my podcast below:

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“The Power of Dog” : Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 8th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast | 4 Comments »

This Jane Campion written and directed drama is, ladies and gentlemen, a whole lot of motion picture.

Set on a cattle ranch in the Big Sky Country of Montana in 1925, it features an eminent cast starring Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smith-McPhee,

Two very different brothers own that sprawling ranch. One is a truly nasty and acerbic fellow. The other, quiet, decorous. The latter takes a wife, who with her son, moves into the Victorian manse on the ranch, where the brothers live.

Significant tensions ensue. All instigated by the anger of Cumberbatch’s character toward all.

The visually sumptuous film patiently reveals the reason for the interpersonal dynamics.

The ending will surprise.

It is a powerful film, one of the best and one of my favorites of the year.

It’s no longer showing on a big screen in Louisville, but can be streamed on Netflix.

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— c d kaplan


“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 Shrink Next Door”: TV Review/ Podcast

Posted: November 16th, 2021 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

I was drawn into this eight part Apple TV+ mini-series by the three principal actors.

Will Ferrell. Kathryn Hahn. Paul Rudd.

Favorites all.

But, warning, this is not a comedy.

It is, truth be told, based on a real life situation. In which a NYC psychiatrist, under the cover of therapy, took over a patient’s business and personal life. Including his home.

What do I think of this series?

Thought you’d never ask.

The answer is to be discovered in my podcast below:

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— c d kaplan