“Tár” & “Mrs Harris Goes to Paris”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: March 10th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

On consecutive nights I viewed these two completely different movies.

Both worth considering if you haven’t seen them already.

“Tár” features award-nominated Cate Blanchett as the very intense conductor of the Berlin Symphony.

Over two and a half hours we get to watch her fall apart from her own flaws.

“Mrs Harris Goes to Paris” stars Lesley Manville in 50s Britain. She’s an eminently decent cleaning lady who dreams of heading to the fashion capitol of the world and purchasing a Dior gown.

The latter was for obvious reasons an easier and more enjoyable watch.

Though Blanchett who is always on her game is captivating, if her character is not very likeable.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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“Take Me To The River: New Orleans”: Review

Posted: February 12th, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Knowing my affection for the Crescent City, and its music, as you regular readers do, you’re thinking for sure that I am obsessively inclined to love any documentary which examines New Orleans music.

Truth: Yes.

Truth: There are several however that have left me cold.

Including the recent on about JazzFest. I mean, too much Pit Bull, for heaven’s sake.

But this one, this one, “Take Me to the River: New Orleans,” is a keeper.

Top shelf.

Well conceived.

Well executed.

One of the better docs about the musical creative process I’ve seen.

Now available to be streamed at Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

I explain in detail why in the podcast review below.

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— c d kaplan

“To Leslie”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: February 3rd, 2023 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

In one of the more absurd phenomena of this movie award season, the folks who run the Oscars launched an investigation into the nomination of Andrea Riseborough, the star of “To Leslie.”


This in a town where Big Hollywood has been wooing voters by various and sundry means for decades?

In their infinite wisdom and beneficence, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences backed off, apparently satisfied there was no chicanery afoot.

Wise move.

For Ms. Riseborough’s performance as a down and out alcoholic avoids just about all the clichés that have evolved with such roles over time.

It is absolutely an award worthy portrayal.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

For more on this movie, which would have otherwise go unnoticed, listen to my podcast below.

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— c d kaplan

“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

“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