• 2021

Year: 2021

“Blackbird” (2019)–The Final Flight

In this timely and sensitive film, three generations get together for Christmas dinner–instead of  Thanksgiving, even though it actually is Thanksgiving.  As often happens in real-life family gatherings as well as in Blackbird, there will be dysfunction, a farrago scattered within warm laughter about shared memories and sometimes bitter accusations.  In this drama a dying mother assembles her family to spend a final weekend together before she ends her life. An alarm goes off and Paul (Sam Neill), a doctor and husband to Lily (Susan Sarandon), reaches up to turn off the...

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“The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” (2019)

This 2019 HBO documentary, directed and produced by Alex Gibney (of “Enron:  The Smartest Men in the Room” and “Taxi to the Dark Side”) opens in 2014    with Theranos, a startup in blood-testing technology.  The Inventor is filmed at Theranos’s spectacular Silicon Valley chic headquarters in Palo Alto.  Its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is hailed as the youngest self-made female billionaire by Fortune magazine.  With a multi-billion-dollar valuation, and a recent $400 million investment from many Trump supporters (the Waltons,...

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“Supernova”(2021) –Nebulous?

“A person dies when he loses his memories.” In Supernova we see Sam (Colin Firth), a concert pianist, and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a novelist, traveling across England’s Lake District,  in their RV van  to visit friends, family and places from their past. Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, and Sam and Tusker have been partners for over thirty years. Driving along in their van, Sam and Tusker first engage in the familiar banter of any long-married couple who have spent the majority of their lives together.  Tusker’s early...

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“Only Murders in the Building”–A Cozy Mystery

In this Hulu original mini-series we see two septuagenarians from the entertainment industry begrudgingly have to team together to solve the murder of a young wealthy neighbor–Tim Kono– in The Arconia, a luxury New York City apartment building. Oliver (Martin Short), an out-of-work theatre director who relies upon his estranged son for financial support, imagines that the recent murder would make a popular “true-crime” podcast. Charles (Steve Martin), a retired actor who starred as a TV detective decades ago, will star as the narrator. Mabel, a millennial...

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ON THE VERGE

Guest Reviewer:  Jerry Ludwig, retired Hollywood screenwriter and author of The Black List                Let’s hear it for the ladies.  Actually, let’s hear from the ladies.  “On The Verge” is a popular new Netflix show.  Twelve half hours set in the snazzy Venice and Santa Monica beach playgrounds of L.A.  It features an overlooked section of the audience.  “Sex and the City” was about 30ish women, “The Golden Girls” covered the over-sixty crowd, now we have four (always the optimal number) besties in their fifties.            ...

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“Squid Game”–Hunger Games Meets Snowpiercer: Gangnam Style

This #1 Netflix mega-hit, streaming in nine episodes, is a Korean dystopian story of survival.  A mastermind known as the Front Man, in a mask like Darth Vader, stages a series of deadly childhood games (tug of war, red-light-green-light, and the Korean-specific squid game).  The debt-ridden players, trapped on a remote island, are forced to compete in deadly versions of the gladiator-style games: gunned down if they lose.  Guards with triangles, circles, or squares marked on their masks are anonymous. Squid Game’s sometimes shocking–always bloody–drama...

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