“South Park”: TV Review Podcast

Posted: September 2nd, 2022 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming, TV | 1 Comment »

Oh I am going to catch oh so very much grief for this.

Why on earth would I be heralding the iconic TV series “South Park” a quarter century after its inception, as if it were this new wonder?

Because — mea culpa maxima — I never really knew.

Because of a recent change in my workout routine and venue, I’ve started watching episodes while on the elliptical in the mornings. Some of which have had me laughing so hard I almost fell off. Literally. Others at the JCC Fitness Center walking by look at me, like what’s with this guy, shvitzing like a pig on a spit, laughing uproariously.

Honest. I just never paid attention. My extreme bad.

It is profane, politically incorrect, full with the vilest humor and . . .. brilliant.

Who knew?

Well, duh, most of you I suppose.

Anyway, for a recital of the episodes that have sucked me in, listen to my podcast below:

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“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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“Sunset Blvd,” “Roman Holiday” & “The Third Man”” Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 10th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

This week is something completely different.

Looking for something to watch the other evening, I found myself at Turner Classic Movies, savoring the masterful 1950 mystery, “The Third Man.” Orson Welles playing the character with one of the great names of cinema, Harry Lime.

Similarly bereft of something to do the next night, I returned to for the enchantment of Audrey Hepburn’s breakthrough, “Roman Holiday.” Filmed on location in Rome in the early 50s, also starring Gregory Peck.

Then again a few nights later, I hit the jackpot at TCM with arguably the moviest movie ever put on celluloid, Billy Wilder’s incredible “Sunset Boulevard.” It is too good.

I loved them all to the max. As if you couldn’t tell already.

You should check them out. I explain why, and tell you where in my podcast above.

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— c d kaplan


“Vengeance”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: August 4th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

BJ Novak wrote it.

BJ Novak directed it.

BJ Novak stars in it.

“It” is “Vengeance,” a somewhat fascinating take about what happens when a NY literati type, full of smug prejudices about the Heartland and its people, finds himself in West Texas at the funeral of a former hook up he hardly remembers.

Apparently the young woman, character named Abilene, had been telling her family that she and Novak’s character were a thing. Then she OD’ed in an oil field during a party. But her brother believes she’s been murdered, demanding that Novak help him track down the killer.

Interesting observations, an increasing sense of humanity and some humor ensue.

For more details, and what I think of the film, listen to my podcast below.

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“Nope”: Film Review Podcast

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

Who knew what the future would bring for Jordan Peele, when he was teaming with Keegen-Michael Key for those incredibly funny and perceptive comedy sketches?

Not me.

Turns out that writer/ director Peele is making arguably the most interesting American movies these days.

His latest “Nope” is way more than the flying saucer/ Sci Fi flick that is its base.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, this insightful, frankly spectacular epic is about a brother/ sister experience. While paying its respects to the origin of moving pictures, early rock & roll, 50s-ish silly TV sitcoms and cheesy roadside attractions.

And, much more, including what would matter most in contemporary life, were the world to actually be invaded by aliens.

Upon reflection, all the diverse elements of “Nope” seem to pretty much fit together.

It’s funny, mysterious, intelligent and incredibly well filmed.

For more, listen to my podcast.

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“Year of Spectacular Men”: Film Review Podcast

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

As I contemplate in my podcasted review, I’m not sure if this is really a rom com or not.

Not that it really matters.

It’s funny.

And entertaining.

And sweet.

Izzy graduates from college, and can’t seem to decide what to do. After she breaks up with her boyfriend, she can’t find romance either.

So she bonds with her sister and their mom. Which women the movie is really about, despite the title.

This charmer brought a smile to my face, however we might wish to categorize it.

“The Year of Spectacular Men” is available to stream with an Amazon Prime membership.

For more details, as usual, listen to my podcast below.

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“The Great Gatsby” (1974): Film Review Podcast

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

I’ve always revered F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel of the 20th C, “The Great Gatsby.”

Such that it’s always sitting out, so I can pick it up from time, read a few pages, and relish the author’s masterful prose.

This week, for the first time since college, I read in its entirety, cover to cover. The definitive version from the author’s intended final manuscript.

After which, I felt compelled to go back and rewatch the 1974 cinematic ideation featuring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston.

I am disinclined to compare a movie to its source material, but felt compelled to do so in this instance.

Listen below to understand why:

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“Babe”: Film Review Podcast

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

Needing as I often do these days, a sweet and funny movie, I went back to “Babe,” which I loved when seeing it in a movie house at the time of its release in 1995.

It’s now available at Amazon Prime.

Do not be deceived by general description below. This is not just a story for kids.

It was nominated for the Best Motion Picture Oscar after all.

Babe is a pig, won at a fair by Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell). Babe finds himself in new environs, and must adapt to the cast of characters, who are the other animals on the farm.

Caveat: Ferdinand the Duck might make you laugh so hard you fall out of your seat. Literally.

Babe thinks of himself as a border collie.

Oh, there’s no reason to go into plot points and all that.

This is  as charming and smile-inducing as a movie can get.

I loved it as much this time around, as I did the first.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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“Elvis”: Film Review Podcast

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

It is a significant topic as deep and long as the entire 20th C.

Elvis Presley.

Elvis.

Baz Luhrmann has attempted to tackle it, in his latest release, simply titled, “Elvis.”

Austin Butler is magnificent as Presley, who was known as the “King of Rock & Roll.”

Tom Hanks not so much as the equally important for the tale to be told manager, the self-proclaimed Colonel Tom Parker.

Because I grew up with Elvis and rock & roll, I have many thoughts and emotions about Presley, as well as about Luhrmann’s manner of telling to tale.

For significantly more details of my thoughts on both, listen to the podcast below:

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“The Old Man”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: June 22nd, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Streaming, TV | No Comments »

It seems that thirty years ago, CIA agent Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) went rogue on an operation in Afghanistan.

His superior Harold Harper (John Lithgow), now with the FBI, got drawn into the situation.

It did not go well, or so we learn. But has been swept under the carpet.

Now it’s back, and Chase is being hunted down for termination with extreme prejudice. Why we do not exactly know, at least after two episodes.

Harper is again in the middle of things.

So goes this intriguing new mini-series, “The Old Man,” available on FX and Hulu.

For more reasons why you might choose to watch, listen to my podcast below.

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“JazzFest A New Orleans Story”: Film/ Review Podcast

Posted: June 16th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Music, New Orleans | No Comments »

If you are here, you understand that I am obsessed with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

JazzFest.

I’ve attended 34 of them, all but one since 1988, and refer to the gathering to honor the culture, cuisine and music of the Crescent City as “the gravitational pull of my year.”

So, when a new documentary about the Fest came out, I was all over it. Watched it the first moment available on Amazon Prime. (Even though it’s being screened in theaters nationwide, none are doing so in my town.)

That was a week ago. The delay in this review is simply explained.

Such is my emotional attachment to Fest, it’s taken this long for me to conjure a reasonably objective assessment of the flick.

Which doc is, despite some personal objections I have to editorial decisions made, an invigorating take, which depicts the Fest in all its glory.

I recommend you watch. After, of course, listening to my significantly more informational podcast review below:

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