“La haine”: Film Review

Posted: January 31st, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema | No Comments »

At 5:00 PM on a recent Sunday evening on Baxter Avenue near Highland, a man was shot and killed. The second such incident in that area recently.

One of Louisville’s finest eateries, Jack Fry’s is just a shout away.

This is Cherokee Triangle Territory. A “good” neighborhood. A “safe” neighborhood.

Not so much anymore apparently.

This is the kind of violence that is supposed to happen only on the other side of the tracks, at the other end of town where at a red light you don’t stop.

Call it violence creep. It is a very real thing.

This brutality is, for various reasons, becoming the new normal. Read the rest of this entry »

“Banshees of Inisherin”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 25th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

The setting is quiet, insulated and brooding.

An island off Ireland in the 1920s

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s characters have been drinking together in the same bar at the same time with the same faces at the other tables forever.

One day, out of the blue, without explanation, Gleeson tells Farrell he wants nothing to do with him anymore.

Farrell doesn’t understand.

Martin McDonough’s movie is about him trying to figure it out.

As an audience member, I could only partially get an understanding myself.

“Banshees of Inisherin” can be streamed at HBO Max and Amazon Prime.

For more details, and my take on the film, listen to my podcast below.

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— c d kaplan

On David Crosby & the Byrds in Louisville in ’65

Posted: January 23rd, 2023 | Filed under: Rock & Roll Rewind | No Comments »

Today’s Rock & Roll Rewind:

The Byrds played Louisville in the Summer of ’65.

The group, which invented a whole new genre of music — Folk Rock — had the #1 song in the land, a jangly electric cover of Dylan’s Pete Seeger-ish toe-tapper, “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

The Band featured Roger McGuinn, late of Bobby Darin’s group and the Chad Mitchell Trio, and David Crosby, late of a long forgotten folk group of no consequence.

The Byrds played Gypsy Village, an outdoor nightclub at Fontaine Ferry Park in Shawnee Park. Taking the same stage that such superstars as John Philip Sousa, Satchmo and Frankie Blue Eyes played before them.

Despite a vibrant dance party scene and a number of greal local groups, the rock culture hadn’t fully arrived in Derbytown . . . yet. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred or so of us there.

Other than the sparseness of the assembled, I remember little. Other than this. I specifically recall there were certain tunes I wouldn’t dance to. “You don’t dance to Dylan,” I declared to my date, “you listen to the words.”

Crosby’s later gigs in town with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, then top of the rock shelf, were significantly better attended.

So, yeah, David Crosby.

Another rock & roll icon down. Read the rest of this entry »

“Farewell, Mr. Haffman”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 20th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I’ll be honest up front here.

I’ve seen enough movies about the effects of Nazi occupation to last a lifetime. Or two.

But they are important, to keep that dark dark era of human history fresh.

But I am so grateful I viewed this new and unique entry in the genre, “Farewell, Mr. Haffman.”

The 2022 French film avoids the clichés, delves into how the presence of German soldiers affected the daily lives of Parisians, and not only those in the Nazi’s crosshairs.

It centers on a jeweler, who is able to get his family off to safe harbor, but he is unable to follow them.

The movie should be seen.

“Farewell, Mr. Haffman” is but one of the many truly fine entries in this year’s Louisville Jewish Film Festival.

To hear more about this film, listen to my podcast below.

Tickets can purchased to stream the movie, or to attend its one viewing on Sunday, February 19.

You can click here and get all the info on this offering, as well as all the others in the festival.

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— c d kaplan

“Babylon”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: January 9th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

There are few ways to describe how much I was looking forward to viewing Damien Chazelle’s wannabe blockbuster about Hollywoodland in the Roaring 20s, “Babylon.”

I was smitten at first look of the trailer.

It stars the stars of stars — Brad Pitt and Margo Robbie.

The subject matter — LA in its early days, moviedom in that critical period when transitioning to sound, those hedonistic 20s — certainly intrigued.

So, what does your inveterate movie considerer think of this three hour epic?

Is it worth investing that much of your time?

Listen to my podcast below and find out.

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Review: Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song

Posted: January 5th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

Of popular music’s greatest modern song-crafters, Leonard Cohen is probably the least understood and the most unheralded.

It was not until late in his life, when he toured globally and incessantly, that he got his due.

Much of which acclaim was fostered by the universal popularity of his genius song, “Hallelujah.”

What sets this most excellent music documentary apart from most is how it examines in depth Cohen’s years long creative process with this masterpiece of songwriting.

There is just enough about Cohen’s fascinating life to inform that scrutiny.

For more about this incisive bit of cinema, including where it can be seen, listen to my podcast below:

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“Kimi”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 28th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

What could be more contemporary than a thriller about a worker culling data for a new techno startup, finding something disturbing, becoming the hunted, and then being chased by Russkies with help from some technofreak sitting in his pad in front of a bunch of screens?

So, yeah, that’s what we have here.

“Kimi” directed by the estimable Steven Soderbergh.

You can stream it on HBO Max.

Zoe Kravitz is seriously excellent as the OCD, agoraphobic computer nerd who hears something disturbing that might be a serious crime.

She reports it to her company.

She becomes the hunted, needing guile and wits to try to survive.

For more info, listen to my podcast below.

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“Something from Tiffany’s”: Film Review Podcast

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

So, this upcoming cyclone bomb might just skew for a couple of days the family plans to head out to the cineplex to catch a mindless movie.

So, here’s the antidote. Which you can enjoy without having to scrape ice off the windshield, dressing like Ralphie’s little brother, or navigate the dangerous streets.

“Something From Tiffany’s.” Streaming on Amazon Prime.

It is an oh so predictable yet enjoyable and easy to watch romantic comedy set in glossy NYC during the holiday season.

Zoey Deutch and Kendrick Simpson star. They have chemistry.

For more about what to expect from this feel good offering, listen to my podcast below:

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“Incredible But True”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 12th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming | No Comments »

This indeed small (74 minute) French film “Incredible But True” — available at Amazon Prime — is described also as “quirky.”

Which it oh so much is.

Alain Chabat and Leá Drucker portray a couple looking for a new house.

The one they purchase has a surprising characteristic.

There’s a portal in the basement. When one climbs down it, they end up on the second floor of the house and it’s twelve hours later.

OK, but, uh, that’s not all. There’s another thing that happens.

Tsk, tsk, no spoilers here.

Which may be revealed in my more incisive podcast review below.

Or not.

Listen and find out.

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“The Fabelmans”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: December 6th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

That Steven Spielberg chose to tell his origin story as a filmmaker in a movie as opposed to writing about it is, well . . .

. . . Duh!!!

“The Fabelmans” is in theaters now, and features Michelle Williams as his mother, Paul Dano as his father, and Gabriel LaBelle as the fictionalized teenaged Spielberg.

We learn how the noted director fell in love for the first time with movies. How that fascination blossomed. How he dealt with his parents fraying relationship. How he dealt with being bullied in high school.

If you consider yourself a movie lover, my guess is you want to see “The Fabelmans.”

It’s worth the trip to the movie house.

Learn more from my podcast below.

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— c d kaplan

“Emily the Criminal”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: November 28th, 2022 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Aubrey Plaza is turning out to be one of the more fascinating rising stars in film.

Not only doing comedy, for which she is best known.

But for serious roles that expose the issues facing her thirtysomething generation in these strange times.

Also as a producer.

Plaza is both — producer and serious actor — in “Emily the Criminal.” It streams on Amazon Prime.

Emily is burdened with an underlying rage. And significant debt, toward which she is making no headway while working for a caterer.

She discovers an out.

Working credit card scams.

For more on this very good film, listen to my podcast below.

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“Enola Holmes 2”: Film Review Podcast

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

Remember how much I loved the 2020 release which introduced us to Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock’s similarly astute younger sis, Enola.

Well, she’s back, having opened her own detective agency.

This sequel is just as engaging as the original.

A worker in a match factory goes missing. Her adolescent younger sister gets Enola to help find her.

Two hours of mystery, chicanery, detecting, romance and delightful entertainment ensue.

“Enola Holmes 2” can be streamed on Netflix.

For more details, listen to my podcast below.

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