Archive for the ‘Documentaries’ Category

STREAMING REVIEWS OCTOBER 2021 PART 2   Leave a comment


1) “Diana The Musical” film of Broadway show to open next month–Netflix–1 hour & 57 minutes–after not hearing ONE thing good about this musical I had to watch it–I may be the only one who enjoyed it!–the music, lyrics, the precision choreography, the cast, the magic of changing costumes on stage as show progresses–who cares if they ‘pick’ a little on Diana, a lot on Charles and even the queen and who really knows who said what to who–it’s fiction loosely based on fact–FORGET IT IS ABOUT HER & ENJOY IT–IT IS NOT A CLASSIC BUT ENTERTAINING AND THEATER MAGIC

2) “Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things”–Netflix–a documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–there is only one Ella Fitzgerald–she could work magic with lyrics whether it is jazz, blues, scat, bop–whether it is a ballad like “But Not For Me” or using her voice as an instrument singing “High High The Moon” she owns the songs–I was surprised to hear about Marilyn Monroe—MARILYN MONROE!!–gets credit for her becoming a success in nightclubs–A MUST SEE BY A MUST HEAR SINGER

3) “Dear White People”–Netflix-series–season 4 and end of series–10 episodes–5 hours & 46 minutes–the first 3 seasons really held my interest but the musical sequences that takes up so many of the episodes in season 4 takes away from what is happening and what may happen to them in the future–WATCH THE FIRST 3 SEASONS AND SKIP ALL THE MUSICAL NUMBERS IN SEASON 4

4) “The Guilty”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–Jake Gyllenhaal is a policeman being ‘punished’ and is assigned to the 911 station–I have always thought Gyllenhaal was/is underrated though his reviews are always get raves whether he is in a film or doing a play or musical on Broadway but he doesn’t seem to be a “STAR”–HE IS EXCELLENT IN THIS WHERE HE IS ALMOST ALONE ON SCREEN MOST OF THE TIME

5) “Birds of Paradise”–Prime Amazon—1 hour & 53 minutes–Kate, poor and on a scholarship, and Martine, wealthy and spoiled who has lost her brother and the scholarship is in his name, are competing for the only spot open for a dancer with the National de Paris opera company–they couldn’t be any more different (except I kept on getting confused who was who!) and for a world of male dancers who are stereotyped as being gay you would never know it from this film–BOTH THE 1977 FILM “THE TURNING POINT” AND EVEN THE 2010 “BLACK SWAN” WOULD BE WORTH SEEING AGAIN INSTEAD OF SEEING THIS ‘DRAMA’

6) “Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami”–Netflix–documentary–limited series–6 episodes–4 hours & 30 minutes–Augusto Falcon and Sal Magluta are larger than life and made billions of dollars running drugs in the USA–they are smart high school dropouts and almost command the story but Marilyn Bonachea, Sal’s girlfriend, steals the documentary–THE GUYS MAKE “SCARFACE” LOOK LIKE AN AMATEUR AND MARILYN HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED!

Posted October 11, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

Streaming Reviews October 2021 Part 1   Leave a comment

1) “Closer”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–somehow or another I missed this Julia Roberts 2004 movie and I was glad I got caught up with it if only for that Roberts smile scene–based on a play it really only has the 4 stars as the players with one minor role–it looks at the love lives of 4 people intertwined with odd ideas of ‘love’–the 4 stars are excellent–movie okay–ANY MOVIE WITH A JULIA ROBERTS RADIATING THAT SMILE IS WORTH SEEING

2) “Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father”–Netflix–season five–2 hours & 3 minutes–Michael, Jack’s father, has been the STAR of the series from its opening segment and he brings the series to a close with his effortless charm–MICHAEL’S REACTIONS TO HIS SON’S EFFORTS WILL HAVE YOU LAUGHING OUT LOUD

3) “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 54 minutes–a 2004 film is just a big cliche from beginning to end–DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME

4) “Britney vs Spears”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 33 minutes–I wouldn’t know a Britney Spear’s song if I heard it and she sang it in front of me–haven’t been following this whole conservatorship deal until the last couple of months and while I write and watch this I think anyone who has worked as hard as she has the past 8 years putting shows together has to have it together–WORTH WATCHING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE WHOLE LEGAL FIGHT INVOLVES

5) “Attack of the Hollywood Cliches”–Netflix–documentary–58 minutes–the title says it all except for the fact that Rob Lowe, who narrates the film, really makes a fool of himself–WATCH IT ONLY IF YOU NEED BACKGROUND NOISE WHILE YOU DO SOMETHING ELSE

6) “Worth”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 58 minutes–based on real events of 9/11–Michael Keaton plays Kenneth Feinberg who is the mediator regarding financial settlements for the survivors including Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), who lost his wife, and Frank Donato (Chris Tardio), who’s brother, a fireman, raced back into the buildings to help save people and didn’t make it out alive–this is a hard film to watch as families tell specific stories of lost relatives–HOW MUCH MONEY IS A LIFE WORTH ? WATCH END CREDITS TO GET SOME IDEA–A NOT EASY TO WATCH BUT A MUST SEE FILM

Posted October 2, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

Streaming Reviews September 2021 Part 5   Leave a comment

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1) “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 56 minutes–I had heard a bit about it being sort of an off-Broadway musical that was opening in London but the synopsis, “Teenage boys wants to become a professional drag queen”, turned me off but I decided to watch it for a few minutes–1 hour & 56 minutes flew by and I had watched the whole movie–Max Harwood is excellent as the teenager and Richard E. Grant is dynamite as his ‘drag teacher’, his professional Godmother–some very good production numbers–BE SURE TO WATCH THE END CREDITS AND ‘MEET’ THE REAL MOTHER AND SON THIS IS BASED ON–A MUST SEE MOVIE!

2) “Lucifer”–Netflix–series–season 6–10 episodes–8 hours & 44 minutes–as good as the first season–first rate all the way-a lot of fun while the serious aspects of the devil and G-d are handled straight and with feeling–you get to know all the characters and believe in Adam and Eve along with the various angels and children of G-d–THIS HAS BEEN A FIRST RATE SERIES AND ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE AND TOM ELLIS AS LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR, THE DEVIL, LEADS AN OUTSTANDING CAST

3) “The River Runner”–Netflix–documentary–filmed in Tibet–1 hour & 25 minutes–paddling is not an easy sport and though we are following 4 men wanting to be the first to paddle across 4 great rivers the film is interested particularly in Scott Lindgren’s quest and it becomes obvious why–SHOWS WHAT MAKES A CHAMP A CHAMP–EXCELLENT

4) “The Social Dilemma”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 34 minutes–though most of us are aware of how the Internet knows so much about us not many know how they are using that information and how media companies are starting, if not already, are ruling the world–THIS DOCUMENTARY MAY MAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE USE THE INTERNET LESS–I SUGGEST SEEING THIS WITH “CLICK BAIT” (SEE PART 4 REVIEW)–INTERESTING AND , POSSIBLY, FRIGHTENING DOUBLE BILL

5) “Open Your Eyes”–Netflix–Polish sci-fi series–season 1–6 episodes–4 hours & 41 minutes–absolutely crazy!–didn’t understand it or what was happening BUT I LOVED IT! I HAD NO IDEA WHO THE LEAD IS AND/OR WHERE SHE WAS NOR DOES SHE AND I WATCHED IT ALL IN ONE SEATING

6) “Sex Education”–Netflix–season 3–8 episodes–7 hours & 29 minutes–seems like a tired story about teenagers trying to find themselves–having or not having sex–trust issues–problems with adults–but it all feels fresh as WE GET TO KNOW ALL SIDES OF THE INDIVIDUAL TEENAGERS AND THOUGH SOME HAVE RUN OF THE MILL PROBLEMS THEY HANDLE THEM DIFFERENTLY AND IN INTERESTING WAYS

A RARITY–ALL 6 STREAMING SHOWS ARE WINNERS AND ALL FOR DIFFERENT REASONS!

Posted September 26, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

Streaming Reviews–August 2021–Part 4   Leave a comment


1) “Mulligans”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 32 minutes–many older men come out after getting married and having children—some knew they were gay before getting married and can give you many reasons why they married while some don’t understand, realize their attraction to men later on in life–in this film Tyler’s dad finds himself falling in love with his son’s friend who is gay and the consequences–AN INTERESTING AND DIFFERENT STORY WRITTEN BY THE MAN IT HAPPENED TO

2) “How To Become a Tyrant”–Netflix–series–6 episodes–2 hours & 35 minutes–are one of the traits of a tyrant is being born one or is “Tyrants” just boring?–strange that a man who can take over a country and rule for years can be so non-charismatic–THE FILM FAILS TO SHOW THE “IT” OF THESE 6 MEN

3) “The Pursuit of Love”–Amazon Prime–limited series–3 episodes–3 hours–a modern story taking place in the 1920s regarding the friendship of two women during childhood, marriages, pregnancies who are there for each other–Dominic West is a standout–NOT A “BRIDGERTON” OR “THE CROWN”–I COULDN’T GET PAST THE SECOND EPISODE

4) Outer Banks”–Netflix–series–2 seasons–total 17 hours & 48 minutes–as I wrote about season 1; teenage drama isn’t very original but entertaining in an old fashioned way though the sex is definitely 2020–SEASON TWO WAS HARD TO GET THROUGH

5) “Those People”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 28 minutes–many scenes of Manhattan at night when it looks beautiful and rich–just as what 4 leads are yet the one who isn’t rich holds the screen and story together–TOO BAD THE STORY DOESN’T REVOLVE AROUND HIM

6)  “Tab Hunter Confidential”–Amazon Prime–documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–his last film was in 1992–was with his partner 35 years–died in 2018 at the age of 86, 3 days before he would have celebrated his 87th birthday–avid horse owner and winning rider–based on his autobiography about being gay without coming out in the Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s–A SALUTE TO THE RARE SURVIVOR OF BEING A ‘HOT’ IDOL IN HOLLYWOOD AND LEADING HIS OWN PRIVATE LIFE

Streaming Reviews–August 2021—Part 3   Leave a comment


1) “The Two Popes”–Netflix–filmed in Argentina and Italy–2 hours and 6 minutes–2 master actors–an excellent script–did the 2 Popes meet and speak the words the screenwriter Anthony McCarten says they did? Who cares? It makes for great movie making–yes, I know/knew the ending but I swear I didn’t breath watching the outcome except for tears I shred–POWERFUL, BASED ON THE TRUE STORY, FILM

2) “The Meyerwitz Story”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 50 minutes–Let’s talk about family dysfunction which always makes for a good movie–well with a cast where Candice Bergan has a cameo, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller have to fight Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson to be noticed on screen you know this is a good movie–DUSTIN HOFFMAN & ADAM SANDLER ALMOST WALK AWAY WITH THE MOVIE BUT THE COMPETITION IS STRONG

3) “Paddleton”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 28 minutes–2 lonely men, neighbors, spend every evening together watching a Kung Fu movie and eating pizza–Michael (Mark Duplass) has just been diagnosed with cancer and Andy (Ray Romano) agrees to see him through the end–it is the rare story of 2 men, not gay, being good friends with one recruiting the other to seek a physician assisted suicide for/with him–THIS FILM TOOK ME COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE IN A GOOD WAY

4) “Holding The Man”–Netflix–Australian movie–2 hours & 8 minutes–I first saw, and reviewed, this in August 2020, and watching it now I felt I was seeing it for the first time–here was my review then ” Based on a true story and book written by Timothy Conigrave who died 10 days after finishing the book at the age of 34. It is about the love between him, a drama student, and John Caleo, a football player, who met in school, came of age during the AIDS crisis and were together for the next 15 years. Though some parts may have called for it the movie is free of maudlin sentiment, nor is it indignant or evangelizing, just a beautiful love story that may have a ‘happy ever after ending’ depending on how you see it.” STILL A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY

5) “The Movies That Made us”–Netflix–documentary series—season 2–4 episodes–3 hours and 8 minutes–films covered: Back to The Future, Pretty Woman, Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump–don’t know how many times I saw “Pretty Woman” but after watching this I want to see it again–THIS IS DEFINITELY FOR ANY MOVIE FAN

6) “Pray Away”–netflix–documentary–1 hour & 20 minutes–‘christians’ can be harmful and do so much harm in the name of Jesus yet don’t listen to Him–the ‘love’ of ‘leaders’ of ‘ex-gays’ groups kill more people in the name of the Lord–this is the story of one such organization, Exodus, a conversion therapy group and others like them–many tell their story– followers and opponents–and yet 2 of the people who have started other groups refused to be interviewed–many ran these groups without a degree in any mental health field, social work, counseling, psychiatry BUT they had a certification from the Lord to pray the gay away–many of the stories end in tragedy from the harm they have caused and, sadly, many are gay–THIS FILM EXPOSES THE CHARLATANS OF THE CHURCH WHO SEEM TO MAKE A GOOD LIVING OFF THE MISERY OF OTHERS–HARD TO WATCH BUT A MUST SEE

Streaming Reviews week of June 27, 2021   Leave a comment


1)  “2 Hearts”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 40 minutes–you know where it is going 15 minutes after it starts but you’ll enjoy it and cry at the end–A GOOD OLD FASHIONED TEAR JERKER

2) “Daddy”–Prime Amazon–2015 movie–1 hour & 28 minutes–The screenplay throws a shocker at about the halfway point leading to another look at what makes a ‘family’–CERTAINLY WORTH SEEING

3) “The Last Days”–Prime Amazon–1998 Documentary–1 hour & 27 minutes–5 survivors of the Holocaust–no matter how many times you see/hear these stories and say ‘never again’ in many places this is happening again–THE HORROR IS YOU MUST HEAR/SEE IT AGAIN

4) “Collateral Beauty”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 37 minutes–a STAR and a standout cast and screenplay–SOMEWHAT MYSTICAL BUT SHORT, INTERESTING FILM

5) “Sist3rs On Track”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 36 minutes–story of 3 sisters who use their running ability out of hardship–with help–INSPIRIRING, INTERESTING STORY OF THE SISTERS AND THEIR COACH

6) “Nail Bomber: Manhunt”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 12 minutes–true story of London bombings in 1999–the horrific story about attacks on minorities–NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION REGARDING BOMBER AND/OR VICTIMS

Netflix–5 documentaries–reviews   Leave a comment


1) “Cheer”–6 episodes–5 hours and 57 minutes–interesting from various angles: the work these kids put in every day is phenomenal–don’t think most professional athletes could keep up with them. For many this is their only chance in life–some of the backstories are heartbreaking. Many of the routines are jaw-dropping. Their coach, Monica Aldama, expects the best of them, is hard on them but is there for each and every one of them when she is needed. Their injuries can make you cringe and you wonder, in the end, is it worth the trophy and, then, what, if anything, is there for these kids after the final competition?  Definitely worth seeing!
2) “The Silence of Others”–1 hour and 7 minutes–3 different stories intertwined chronicling Spain’s battles regarding the past, basically Franco’s rule and the present dealing with it. We see police attacking civilians, a wall built between loved ones, children who were taken away from their parents, laws made to prevent criminals from being prosecuted and, though meant not to it makes you compare what is happening today. It centers around an Amnesty Law passed in 1977 to forget the past as knocking down statues today in the USA hopes to attain!  In many instances, it tears at your heart such as an 88-year-old daughter given the bones of her father killed in his twenties and buried in a mass grave.
3) “Father Soldier Son”–1 hour and thirty-nine minutes. A very touching film about a man who fills all 3 roles. This is the story of the father, soldier and son who returns and what happens after. Very touching at times while hard to watch at certain points.
4) “The Last Dance”–10 episodes–8 hours and 11 minutes–Many see Michael Jordon as one of the great basketball players ever if not the greatest athlete ever and he will agree with you. Yes he is sure of himself, he feels he is very competitive and does not believes team should be spelled without an I and he is the I. The film revolves around him and the Bulls, the team he believes needed him and in many ways proved that was true. There is some time given to other players like Dennis Rodman who was finding (losing?) himself,  Scottie Pippen who always delivered but felt he was way underpaid, Magic Johnson, the coaches, owners but there is no forgetting this is about Jordan and his need to be the best at everything. I had two problems with the documentary with the first being a constant going back and forth in time and the second being too many basketball games which become repetitious over time as only one shows Jordon being responsible for a loss so the rest are of him making a basket from everywhere and anywhere.5) “The Business of Drugs”–6 episodes–4 hours and 16 minutes–Informative in a boring presentation.

Posted July 24, 2020 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

Movies, Series, Documentaries on Netflix–Reviews   3 comments

movies and series Netflix week of June 8 2020

1) “13 Reasons Why”–I tried, I really tried, but I had to quit after the 4th episode. I could not get interested in the story or any character. 4 seasons–49 episodes–average time per episode is 57 minutes.
 
2) “Atlantics”–movie–1 hour and 44 minutes–forget it unless you really LOVE ghosts!
 
3) “Lenox Hill”–Documentary–8 episodes–about 7 hours–I watched 4 episodes and that was enough! Interesting but not enough to involve me for 4 more episodes.
 
4) “Queen of the South”–series–4 seasons–each episode about 41 minutes. I saw this series when it started on the USA channel and I ‘fell in love’ with Alice Braga who kept me glued to the TV set. Then I cut the cable and figured that was it but it is now on Netflix starting where I had left it. She is mesmerizing as a lowly money changer in Mexico and then becoming the head of a drug cartel. There is a bit too much violence for me but I can’t/won’t take my eyes off Braga.  Yes, some of it is silly but there is a lot of suspense and a first-rate cast.
 
5) “Cargo”–movie–1 hour 43 minutes–Forget it even if you are into zombies. A double bill of “Atlantics” and “Cargo” could make you give up TV forever!!
 
6) “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich”–Documentary–4 episodes–3 hours and 44 minutes in total. The women/girls most under 21, get a chance to tell their side of the story. The men all deny whatever the women say. Alan Dershowitz is ‘lower’ than Epstein which is saying a lot! You can skip the middle 2 episodes and watch the 4th which gives their women their day in court!
 
A Bonus: Only if you have watched all of “Money Heist” see “Money Heist: The Phenomenon”–a 57 minute documentary with a lot of spoilers. It tells how the series became such a big hit plus how and what happened to the actors! The series alone was worth cutting the cable and getting Netflix!
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