Month: September 2018

“Jack Ryan”– New Version of “Homeland”

  This new undertaking (by Amazon Prime) of Tom Clancy’s blockbuster Jack Ryan series pays off big-time. John Krasinski as a boyish Jack Ryan adds unexpected dimension to this eight-episode series focused on a terrorist plot in Syria. If this is your genre, you will inevitably make a comparison with Clancy’s books and the older cinematic depictions of Jack Ryan.   However, standing on its own, the new Jack Ryan series is riveting, albeit with some graphic violence and cultural stereotyping. Reluctantly drafted into being a CIA operative instead of a number-crunching budget...

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society   is a Netflix historical drama based on the 2008 historical best-selling novel of the same name by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, a year after the end of the Second World War, we see Julie Ashton (the talented Lily James –Lady Rose in “Downton Abbey”), a London author writing under a male pen name. She yearns for a writing project in her own voice. Ashton gets a letter from Dawsey Adams, a Guernsey pig farmer, who has a used book with her name and address. Exchanging...

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Mr. Mercedes — “Bates Motel” meets “Mr. Robot”

Mr. Mercedes,  an Audience (DirecTV) mystery-thriller original series, is based on the Stephen King trilogy “Mr. Mercedes”, “Finders Keepers” and “End of Watch”.  The macabre master again conjures alarming boundary-breaking drama, this time in economically depressed Bridgton, Ohio. The opening scene is horrific: a Mercedes sedan mows down a crowd of job-seekers waiting late at night for the next morning’s job fair to open. A few of those waiting in line have babies. A massacre occurs, but the viewer does not know who the driver is or what motivates...

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“BlacKkKlansman”: Part of the American Fabric?

  A  Spike Lee film about white supremacy, BlacKkKlansman is based on Ron Stallworth’s 2006 memoir, which eviscerates the hideous social structures of racism in the US. In 1979 Stallworth (played by newcomer, John David Washington, son of Denzel Washington) becomes the first black detective in Colorado Springs’s police department. The police chief warns Stallworth:  “We’ve never had a black police officer. So you’ll be the Jackie Robinson of the Colorado Springs police department.” Assigned to be an undercover cop at a black power student rally, Stallworth is to gather intelligence...

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