“Dead To Me”: A Balancing Act

Guest reviewer:  David A. Kennedy, horticulturalist and author of the thriller, RICOCHET Mortality, deceit, redemption – these are bread-and-butter themes for the storyteller. Add a little meat to them bones, and you might have something special. Netflix’s Dead To Me (two seasons with the third coming this fall.) attempts that balancing act, and as a comedy-drama, no less. And, for the most part, it succeeds quite well. In the pilot episode, Jen (Christine Applegate) meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) at a group bereavement meeting. Jen recently lost husband Ted in a hit-and-run...

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“Roar”–Hear My Voice

Roar is a new Apple mini-series, a show-and-tell of eight feminist vignettes based upon Cecelia Ahern’s 2018 short story anthology. Highlighting the unexpected onslaught of devastating events from family, friends, corporations, and community, Roar   attempts to address what women are trying to express about themselves.  The opening graphic–a feminist scream of a vulva-suggesting mouth stretching wide inside of a rose–perhaps says it best.  Hear my voice! Each of the self-contained episodes begins with the title “The Woman Who…”...

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Ozark (Finale)–No Exit

This masterful series, breathtaking in all four seasons, has now come to an end. Season 4 Part 2 of Ozark debuted April 29, delivering the conclusion to the Byrde family saga. Ozark is exhausting, brimming  with betrayal, murder, money-laundering, and more murder, and brutal family dynamics.  What’s the meaning of it all? The viewer sees  character arcs over time that always hint that the two parents, Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney), and their children will redeem themselves.  After all, they  have committed  unspeakable...

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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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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey–The Rise and Fall of Memory

Based on the short story by masterful writer Walter Mosley, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey opens with a 91-year-old man, Ptolemy Grey (the remarkable Samuel L. Jackson) sinking deeper into isolation from dementia. The caregiving of his favorite nephew, Reggie, is one exception to his isolation.  Vowing to give Reggie justice, we know three things about Ptolemy:  he has a gun, he has a plan, and he has nothing left to lose.  That is the triple-threat of a hook. Similar to the 1990 film, “Awakenings”,  there is an ephemeral medical treatment for Ptolemy’s...

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The Eyes of Tammy Faye–A New Perspective

In the biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye, we see Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastain in her Academy Award winning role) and her husband Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) as pioneers of televangelism,”sermons on the screen”.    Opening in the 1950’s with two young, fervent small-town Christians believing in the mission of spreading the gospel, Tammy Faye and her soon-to-be-husband become traveling preachers. They gain a following with their appeal both to children and their parents by entertaining through stories and music.  Tammy Faye is pivotal in designing...

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