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Netflix and Beyond

UNCLE FRANK (Amazon Prime)

There is nothing more disheartening, when a film initially exhibits gripping potential, only to lose its fizz at the midway point; Paul Bettany, Uncle Frank, is “intoxicating” as a gay Professor in New York’s avant garde milieu in the 1970’s; shunned by the mini-mentality of his family in South Carolina, his orientation found a harbor of acceptance, with the radical ... Read More »

COLLECTIVE (On Demand)

If you watch one documentary in the 2020 field of reality, where truth is key and despite the license of the filmmakers, stuns to the core, “Collective” dominates the genre. On October 30th, 2015 a catastrophic fire in the nightclub “Collectiv” in Bucharest, Romania claims the lives of twenty-seven and alters forever the one hundred and eighty who escaped; the ... Read More »

THE NEST (On Demand)

Not to be confused with the best selling 2016 novel by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, the film is a tour de force for actor Jude Law (his investment in the project exceeds expectations); time-worn tale of ambitions gone awry, misshapen goals, individuals defining themselves by their purchasing power; superficiality slaying substantiality; “Rory” (Law) and “Allison” (perceptive performance by Carrie Coon) move ... Read More »

ETHOS (TURKISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) NETFLIX

A stellar, refreshing, compelling series made for contemporary Turkish television; commanding performances in tandem with a notable, intelligent script and scenario; Western viewers are challenged to grasp the dichotomies between the secular and ever encroaching religious conservatism in a Muslim world; hijabs versus free flowing manes; women therapists justifying their scholarship in a closeted milieu, where naked honesty, self-doubt, insecurities ... Read More »

THE CROWN (Netflix)

The “Crown” in its fourth season, vivisects the peccadillos, infidelities, pettiness of those ordained, despite their inadequacies, to reign in perpetuity, keeping the diadem “all in the family”; the impeccable cast: Olivia Coleman (Queen Elizabeth II), Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret); Josh O’Connor, the consummate clone of the romantically doomed Prince Charles, are joined this season ... Read More »

DEFENDING JACOB (Apple TV)

Here is a series where the refined performances transcend the subject matter: Chris Evans is spectacular as assistant district attorney “Andy Barber” fighting to clear his fourteen-year-old son “Jacob” (prodigious Jaeden Martell) of murdering his classmate; Michelle Dockery as Jacob’s mother “Laurie” is categorically impressive as she analyzes her son’s behavior from infancy to the present; Cherry Jones, as Jacob’s ... Read More »

HOME BEFORE DARK (APPLE TV

Karmically, randomly one stumbles, without intent or purpose, upon a series so deliciously, devastatingly dynamic, one questions how/why it escaped one’s filmic radar screen; writer/director Dana Fox’s ardent, innovative, interpretation of real life, nine-year-old journalist, crime solver, Hilde Lysiac is worthy binging for all ages.  “Home Before Dark” soars with the magical, mesmerizing, spellbinding Brooklynn Prince as “Hilde Lisko” solving ... Read More »

LET HIM GO

Dated. Was the only word that resonated throughout the entirety of this sad and beleaguered tale of injustice in the 1960’s wildwest; archival actors Diane Lane and Kevin Costner give seasoned depictions of grandparents traveling across country to retrieve their grandson from the miscreant members of the lawless “Weboy” family (their son has died and his widow remarries into this felonious clan; reasoning behind ... Read More »

ANTEBELLUM (On Demand)

Directors Gerald Bush and Christopher Renz place their directorial debut “Antebellum” in the “horror” genre; in actuality, it is simply, salaciously horrible; a film of such preposterous, ludicrous, inciteful intentions, disgust is the only legitimate reaction to this swill.  Commencing with a focus on the inhumane institution of slavery, the egregious behavior of the Southern populace, dehumanization and savagery perpetrated ... Read More »

BLUDGEONING COVID BOREDOM

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT  (NETFLIX): is a soaring series, devoted to the intricacies of chess, and the fragility of human nature; orphaned at the age of nine, “Beth Harmon” (Isla Johnston/Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers in the bowels of the orphanage a maintenance man (“Mr. Shaibel”, depicted brilliantly by Bill Camp) whose dedication to the game of chess, ignites a passion that steers ... Read More »

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