• movie reviews

Ten Series/ Movies to Avoid—Meh!

As we  become more committed to watching and bingeing shows on Netflix and a myriad of streaming platforms, I find an evening can be entirely wasted viewing disappointing shows, some of which are highly praised by others.  I am willing to risk viewing an idiosyncratic film or series now and then, one that flies under the radar and defies categorization as well. Much to my dismay, some of these choices (listed below) have few negative reviews. Others are just—IMHO—poorly written, lack character development, substitute long action sequences for much needed dialogue, or have...

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“Shining Girls”—A Time Machine

Shining Girls, an Apple TV+   thriller series, is based on the 2013 novel The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.  Totaling eight episodes, Shining Girls (released on April 29 of this year) also can be classified under the science-fiction genre. In the opening scene a little girl, sitting on the front stoop of her house, is approached by a twenty-something adult male — a bit sinister and suspicious-looking — who engages in conversation.  A beady-eyed cocky man with an easy slouch and a bloodless dead gaze, he leaves her with a small painted...

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“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”–Full Exposure

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, (Hulu, released on June 17), a two-actor comedic drama  set in a hotel room, tells their story while having sex.  There’s nothing fussy, nothing to distract. Human interaction of the most intimate kind–emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and sensually– is the main theme here. Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a sixty-three year old, recent widow, has never had an orgasm in her 31-year marriage.  Fearing that this may be her last chance to find out what she has been missing, she hires a young 24-year-old male...

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“The First Lady” (2022)–Second to None

Three remarkable women, in The First Lady, a  Showtime mini-series (released April 17),  provided indispensable support to their husbands before and throughout their presidencies.  Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis)–all three made soul-crushing sacrifices, wearing masks of the “political wife” who stands by her man.  Almost miraculously, they achieved meaningful successes on their own, despite the political machinery determined to relegate them to merely decorative roles, a  poise...

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“Four Good Days” (2021) –After Ten Bad Years

Inspired by a Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post article, Four Good Days tackles the almost insurmountable ordeal of drug withdrawal.  And also confronts  the parent-adult child relationship that fails repeatedly to lead to a successful outcome. Thirty-year-old Molly (Mila Kunis) is the  damaged and severely addicted daughter who knocks on the door of her mother’s house after ten years of drug addiction. Deb (Glenn Close), her mother, has since remarried  an extremely empathetic man, Chris (Stephen Root), yet has a deeply disturbed past.  Both tormented...

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“The Batman” (2022)–Another Dark Knight

In this newest movie in the Batman series, simply called The Batman, we see a completely different Batman from the classic Christopher Nolan trilogy starring Christian Bale. In “The Batman,” director Matt Reeves has redefined Batman and his alterego Bruce Wayne.  In this newest of interpretations, a very young newb, Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson of  “The Twilight Saga”),  is just in his second year of training under the tutelage of Alfred (Andy Serkis of “Golub” fame in “The Lord of the Rings”), simultaneously manservant,...

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