“Succession” & “Ted Lasso”: Final Seasons Reviewed

Posted: April 7th, 2023 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

The other night, while breaking matzoh with some folks, we eventually got around to chatting about TV series we watch.

And telling each other about ones they had never heard of but “had to watch.”

No matter apparently to one of my pals that he and I have totally different tastes.

Soon enough the discussion got around to a a couple of national faves, both in their final season.


“Ted Lasso.”

What do I think of the last go round of the former on HBO and the latter on Apple TV+?

Listen below and find out.

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History of World Part II

Posted: March 19th, 2023 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

For some of us, Mel Brooks has been a national treasure.

(I actually had a conversation the other day with a friend, who has never found Brooks especially funny. Go figure. Well, to each his/her own, I suppose.)

Frankly, he should be heralded if only for the fact he stole Anne Bancroft’s heart at first blush. Mrs. Robinson. You go, dude.

Anyway, even though he’s 95, the fellow who got his start as a writer on the iconic Show of Shows from the early days of black & white TV in the 50s is back.

There’s an 8 part Hulu series, a sequel to an earlier Brooks work. It is “History of the World Part II.”

Here Brooks has help from 15 or so other writers with the sketch comedy.

Does it work?

Ah, for that, listen to my podcast below:

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“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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“Hello Tomorrow”: Review Podcast

Posted: February 24th, 2023 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

How odd is this new Apple TV+ series featuring Billy Crudup?


Such that I spent a bit more time explaining or trying to explain it in the podcast below.

Crudup leads a band of traveling salespeople town to town in a marvelous to look at retro futuristic 50s.

What are they selling?

Places to purchase to live on the  . . . moon.

Not a bad premise, but . . .

. . . after watching the first four episodes, I’m not sure what the point here really is.

It’s incredible to look at, worth a peek just for that.

As for the rest, uh, listen up.

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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

“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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