“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


“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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“Causeway”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: November 14th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming | No Comments »

How wonderful it is to be able to again watch Louisville’s favorite actor Jennifer Lawrence in something new.

Where she is featured for her acting chops, not her star power.

The movie is titled “Causeway,” and is available to stream on Apple TV+.

Lawrence plays Lynsey, traumatized while abroad serving in the military, who must return home to New Orleans after rehab.

It is not her happy place.

She develops a relationship with a body shop owner portrayed by Bryan Tyree Henry, who is also suffering psychologically from a tribulation of consequence in his life.

Their scenes together makes it all worthwhile.

For more, listen to my podcast below.

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“The Gunfigher”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: November 7th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming | No Comments »

Because of my fascination with Margaret Qualley — she played the Manson girl Brad Pitt keeps running into in “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” — that I watched and Amazon Prime offering titled “My Salinger Year.”

A sweet if eventually unremarkable film based on a memoir.

But, as I sat down to knock out my review, a pal sent me a link to a really clever and very very funny nine minute short on youtube.

It starts out with the classic old western trope of a gunslinger walking into a saloon, where a couple of brothers are ready to shoot him down. Nick Offerman does voice over narration.

Things take a turn.

To significant comedic effect.

Such is the easy access I’m not boring you with a podcasted review, which you probably would not have listened to anyway. I am simply including the link to the movie.

You can watch it here.

— c d kaplan


“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: October 31st, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming | No Comments »

There are many transcendent artists, regardless of medium, who are misunderstood. And arguably under-appreciated by many for their influence and importance.

Louis Armstrong — Satchmo — is certainly among them.

The life of this trumpet genius, and how the world reacted to him, are well documented in this Apple TV+ film by Sacha Jenkins.

Much of it in Armstrong’s own words, since he taped many of his interviews and conversations. And was a serious letter writer.

The documentary includes enough of Satchmo’s sublime music to sate.

And it is revelatory in providing context of how his private life and thoughts were different than his public persona.

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

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“Amsterdam”: Move Review Podcast

Posted: October 20th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

The cast of David O Russell’s new movie “Amsterdam” is stellar.

Literally. In that it has a lot of stars.

Margot Robbie. Christian Bale. Robert DeNiro. John David Washington. Zoe Saldana. Michael Shannon. Mike Myers. Anya Taylor Joy. And the proverbial many more.

A trio of eventual besties hooks up during the ravages of WWI. They frolic about Amsterdam in the aftermath of the war.

A decade and a half later, back in the States, all with personal issues, they get drawn back together and into a mysterious plot by some to overthrow the US government.

Does the two and a half hour movie work?

For the answer to that, you’ll need to listen to my podcast below:

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— c d kaplan


“The Outfit”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: October 2nd, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

We chatted about it last week, but shall do so again. Since it is germane.

Acting, really fine acting, can make a movie worthwhile.

It’s not that this week’s consideration, “The Outfit” on Amazon Prime, is not a watch for you to consider.

It’s just that Mark Rylance’s performance as an English ex pat crafter of bespoke suits in mid 50s Chicago makes it more so.

Turns out his first customer years before the action in the film was the neighborhood mob boss. Rylance’s shop, where the entire film is set, is a drop off spot for said boss’s worker bees to bring in the enveloped rake from a numbers racket.

One night the calm of the movie’s sublime opening is shattered.

The Boss’s son shows up having been shot in the stomach in an ambush by the rival gang.

Turns out there’s a rat somewhere in the system.

And a tape.

And FBI involvement.

And the mysterious involvement of Rylance’s at first seemingly innocent assistant, portrayed by Zoey Deutch.

A ratcheting up of action comes about. Along with the normal expository revelations about the characters that is always attendant is these mysteries.

For more details, listen to my podcast below:

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“See How They Run”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 20th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is famously the longest continuously running play ever.

It opened in 1952 at London’s West End, and is still going.

This funny, reasonably clever movie is an homage to Ms. Christie.

It is centered around a murder that happens at a party celebrating the play’s 100th performance.

Sam Rockwell is Detective Stoppard, in charge of tracking down the culprit.

He is marvelous as usual, but the movie is stolen by the oh so delicious performance of Saoirse Ronan as Inspector Stalker, his sidekick.

The flick tracks a familiar Christie-ish plotline, right down to all the suspects gathered in the same room at the end when the culprit is finally revealed.

Tis an entertaining bit of cinema, worth a trip to the movie house, if only to savor Ronan’s brilliantly deadpan performance.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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“Man With A Movie Camera”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 16th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

Well, the joke certainly was on me.

Full with hubris when it comes to, well, knowledge of most anything, especially classic, important films, I thought I knew ’em all.

Which was obviously never the case, and still isn’t, though there is now one more classic bit of cinema on my resumé.

“Man With A Movie Camera” is a Russian documentary, made in 1929 by Dziga Vertov.

It is, a recent study has stated, the most taught bit of cinema in film study classes in colleges across the land.

Not only had I never seen it, I had never heard of it.

Fortunately it is available for free on youtube, and for a few bucks at Amazon Prime. Being the frugal sort, I chose the former to savor its 66 seriously groundbreaking minutes.

For reasons why I believe it would be worthwhile for you to check out, listen to my podcast below:

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“Wire Room”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: September 9th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

There are times when the sacrifices made to provide you, my loyal readers/ listeners, with complete and authoritative reviews of the latest movies/ TV series is a perilous task.

When I am forced by professional and ethical responsibility to endure cinematic art which could be seriously perilous to my health and well being.

Or worse.

One of those occasions occurred on Thursday September 8, 2022, a 24 hour period that shall, in my universe, live in infamy.

For reasons, set out fully below in my podcast — Which, if you have never heeded my warnings before to listen to, you must this time — I experienced the entire 96 minutes of “Wire Room” on Amazon Prime.

This is to advise I feel blessed to be here this the following morning, all faculties and motor coordination reasonably intact, to report on said effort of filmmaking.

I shall say no more.

To the following podcast, You Must Listen.

Caveat Emptor.

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— c d kaplan


“Man From Reno”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 26th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Film Noir is my most favorite genre of films.

As such matters evolve, it’s been called Neo Noir since the heyday of such movies ended in, oh, around the late 50s or so.

But I came across this delectable entry to the genre from 2015 on Amazon Prime.

There’s an accident at night on a fog enshrouded highway outside San Francisco. A dead body is found in a lake nearby.

Then there’s a famous Japanese mystery writer, who ducks out on a PR tour, and hides out in the city by the bay. Where she meets a dashing fellow, who woos her. Successfully.

Then he disappears. And, as the tale unfolds, we learn is involved with that dead body and the fellow hit in the accident. Along with a mysterious smuggling operation. Imagine our surprise.

Twists and turns ensue.

I truly enjoyed “Man From Reno.”

To find out why, listen to my podcast below:

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“Day Shift”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 18th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

This is an action adventure comedy starring Jamie Foxx as a vampire hunter in the San Fernando Valley.

Not much of it makes sense.

Which, to be honest, is beside the point.

What we get is a couple of hours of silliness, some cartoonish action, a somewhat convoluted but moderately entertaining plot, and the ever cool presence of Snoop Dog, as the mack daddy of vampire hunters. For which subgenre of employment situations there is a union.

Did I mention that in this scenario, good money can be had for harvesting the teeth of slain vampires?

Well, now I have.

Again, the film makes very little sense. Other than its purpose. Which is to be a mindless diversion.

For more info on this Netflix offering, listen to my podcast below:

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