Archive for the ‘ENTERTAINMENT’ Category

“HOUSE OF GUCCI”–MOVIE THEATRE REVIEW   1 comment


In “House of Gucci” Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino are brothers with Adam Driver the son of the former and Jared Leto son of the latter and there isn’t the slightest resemblance between any of the four except maybe the heights–Irons & Driver tall, Pacino and Leto short. The worst, in more ways than one, are their ‘Italian accents’ which are more than laughable. Whether they adapted their own accents or had a speech coach (who should never be hired again) the fault is at the feet of the director Ridley Scott.
Director Scott is also responsible for accepting, and working with, the screenplay submitted by Becky Johnson and Roberto Bentivegna but for an experienced director he doesn’t seem to know what he is doing regarding any aspect of the film.

I had heard about the performance by Lady Gaga being Oscar nominated worthy and though I have become a huge fan of Lady Gaga (be sure to watch the concert she does with Tony Bennett on Sunday on CBS) except for  what seemed to be 100 costume and hair changes her role, as Driver’s wife, is disjointed and all over the place without any direction and/or guidance by the director. The nicest thing I can say about Salma Hayek is that her husband, who is a CEO of the company that owns Gucci, owes her an original Gucci bag if she doesn’t have one!

The best part of the movie is the ending—2 hours and 38 minutes later–where it tells what happened to each of the major principals in the true story.”House of Gucci” is a waste of time and talent.

Posted November 26, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

STREAMING REVIEWS NOVEMBER 2021 PART 5   Leave a comment


A MUST SEE–STREAMING NOW–“TICK, TICK….BOOM!”
1) “Wanderlust”–Netflix–British series–6 episodes–5 hours & 43 minutes–starting off with a promising premise, starring Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh, as a long married couple agree to affairs with others–we follow 6-7 couples, all ages–ABOUT EPISODE IT ALL FALLS APART.

2) “Tiger King 2”–Netflix–series–5 episodes–3 hours & 33 minutes–Part 1 was crazy, shocking, funny and camp–PART 2 IS NOWHERE AS INTERESTING, INFORMATIVE OR WORTH WATCHING

3) “Sex/Life”–Netflix–season 1–8 episodes–6 hours & 19minutes–woman in a prefect marriage with a a perfect home and baby misses the ‘bad boy’ she was with before meeting her husband–COMPLETE MISSTEP IN EVERY DEPARTMENT

4) “Convergence:Courage in a Crisis”–Netflix–British documentary–1 hour and 53 minutes–10 directors from around the world look at front-line workers who work in under-served COVID communities–SACRIFICES MADE BY COUNTLESS CAREGIVERS

5) “The Movies That Made Us”–Netflix–documentary–6 hours & 25 minutes–with titles like “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th” and “Nighttime On Elm Street” and 5 more films this was, obviously, made for Halloween, if you are into basically horror films this is for you–does divert a bit with films like “Elf”, Coming to America” and does have the classic “Aliens”–MAINLY FOR MOVIE NERDS INTO THIS GENRE

6) “Handsome Devil”–Netflix–Canadian Movie–2 soccer players fall in love–full of ‘coming out’ cliches but handled SO WELL BY FIONN O’SHEA AND NICHOLAS GALITZINE IT ALL SEEMS NEW

Posted November 25, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

“tick, tick…BOOM”–FILM REVIEW PLAYING IN THEATRES AND STREAMING OF NETFLIX   Leave a comment


“Rent” was never a favorite show of mine but I understood how Jonathan Larson’s show brought change to Broadway and also the legend of his death the night of its first performance off-Broadway. What happened before that night is what  “tick,tick…BOOM” is about, a show Larson wrote the book, music and lyrics for–a story of a writer wants to ‘make it’ before he is 30 and he hears the clock ticking away.This is a movie for anyone in their twenties who are dreaming of success in whatever chosen field they have picked whether it being in show business or any other business or whatever road they might take. It is a movie for anyone over thirty who made it or didn’t.I didn’t really get into the film until it was about halfway through and then it completely took me over. I was back to being in my twenties, working as a waiter, writing books and plays, seeing myself as a successful writer. On the screen were words that I had thought, might even had said, both negative and positive. Now, 60 years later, I could laugh and/or cry, watching a guy about to be thirty seeing himself as a failure, thinking life ended at thirty.

While I don’t remember a single song I remember listening to each one as a story being told. You can hear Jonathan Larson’s voice telling you how and what he felt as he reached for success and, possibly, seeing failure.I don’t know how much of the screenplay are actually Larson’s words and what Steven Levenson contributed but it runs smoothly covering all points of a creative mind. Director Lin-Manual Miranda, in many interviews, has credited Larson for making it possible for him to write and get “In The Heights” on Broadway to be followed by “Hamilton”. In a way, here he is thanking Larson for that and in turn does fine work in his first turn as a director.The acting is first rate from Andrew Garfield as Larson to one of the many cameos where if you blink you will miss Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Joel Gray, Brian Stokes Mitchell to name a few, even Miranda as a cook!

The cameos in no way distract from Judith Light as Larson’s agent or Bradley Whitford as Stephen Sondheim, in a way Larson’s mentor. Alexander Shipp as Susan, Larson’s girlfriend and Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa, as a singer in the show within a show are highlights of the cast while Robin de Jesus as Larson’s best friend is a standout.

I was so taken in by the second half of “tick, tick…BOOM” that all I remember is being awash in tears. THIS IS A MUST SEE MOVIE!

Posted November 21, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, ENTERYTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS NOVEMBER 2021 PART 3   Leave a comment


1) “Suddenly Last Summer” American version–Amazon Prime–1 hour & 54 minutes  2) “Suddenly Last Summer”–British version–Amazon Prime–1 hour & 22 minutes–the American version is 30 minutes longer because Gore Vidal reworked Tennessee Williams poetry , visualized his words and also had to rework many of his thoughts as ‘the movie code’ in 1959 wouldn’t really allow Vidal to say what Williams did, while the British version was Williams and only Williams words, his play, consequently, for me, the better version. Though Clift and Lowe are listed as stars their roles are secondary to Hepburn, Taylor, Richardson and Smith and trying to compare Hepburn versus Smith and Taylor versus Jackson is like trying to compare apples and oranges. Each actress does a fine job though Taylor surprised the most being seen as a ‘star’ and very seldom recognized for the actress she was–WATCH BOTH AS A DOUBLE BILL–WILLIAMS POETRY HITS HOME

3) “Motive”–Netflix–documentary–4 episodes–2 hours–if you can make it through the descriptions, the first 10 minutes, of the killings, you might be interested in this 14 year old who killed his parents and 2 sisters–is he just a ‘bad seed’? Had no feelings? Knew exactly what he was doing? It leaves too many questions at the end such as how long did he spend in prison, how is he living unknown today in our information world? HIS LIFE TODAY IS SHOCKING TO ME AND THIS IS NOT AN EASY DOCUMENTARY TO WATCH AND UNDERSTAND

4) “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 36 minutes–is the Pope a wise man or is a wise man the Pope? He speaks wisely but does he act wisely? He says all the right things using the words and thoughts of God but does he do what he says he will do?He talks about the many problems we all face but has he solved any of them? THE POPE TALKS ABOUT THE CHURCH SHOULD BE A POOR CHURCH BUT WHAT IS HE DOING TO MAKE IT THAT WAY?

5) “The Raincoat Killer”–Netflix–Korean documentary–3 episodes–2 hours & 23 minutes–a serial killer killed over 20 people violently and disposed of them in a violent way–the brutality of the murders have stayed with the  police for over 15 years and the less than stellar way they investigated the killer–IF YOU LIKE VIOLENCE THIS IS A DOCUMENTARY FOR YOU

6) “Shameless”–Netflix–series–11th season–10 episodes–9 hours & 7 minutes–I hate to see this series end as I have loved it since its first episode–though ‘Fiona’ was the backbone of the show along with Frank, the father, she quit after the 9th season but the last season is as good as the first–it is outrageous, funny, touching and the emphasis as and has always been about family–everyone, good or bad, is represented in the Gallagher family and you love them all,  including the unlovable ones–A MUST SEE SERIES WITH UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS AND ACTORS

Posted November 12, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS NOVEMBER 2021 PART 2   Leave a comment


1) “Love Hard” –Netflix–movie–1 hour & 46 minutes–the first of many new holiday movies–from the title to the ending everything works together to be a Christmas rom/com–with good chemistry between the leads–NOT A CLASSIC BUT A WINNER

2) “Te Ata”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 45 minutes–based on a true story–I love a movie that makes me want to learn more about the person it is based on–after the movie go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Ata_Fisher  if you are like me you know very little about American Indian history except what you have learned from Hollywood movies–THIS MOVIE IS DIFFERENT AND HAS YOU LOOK AT AN AMERICAN INDIAN’S LIFE

3) “Aquarius”–Netflix–limited series–10 episodes–7 hours & 25 minutes–another series based on Charles Manson that doesn’t tell us how he lured his followers to do the horrendous acts they did for him–it stars David Duchovny who doesn’t add anything to the series–VIOLENT, CRUEL AND JUST ANOTHER DETECTIVE STORY THAT JUST SITS THERE

4) “The Harder They Fall”–Nerflix–movie–2 hours & 4 minutes–based on real people who, probably, never met in real life–there are some good moments and all the western genre happenings are covered–A WESTERN IS A WESTERN

5) “Maid”–Netflix–series–season 1–10 episodes–9 hours–an abused woman who can’t arise above the poverty level to make things better for her and her 3 year old daughter–Margaret Qualley, Andie MacDowell, Tracy Vilar and Anika Noni Rose lead a fine cast–A GOOD SERIES AND LOOKING FORWARD SEASON 2

6) “Destination Wedding”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 27 minutes–Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder have 0 chemistry and what is basically just 2 actors talking–A LOT OF TALKING BUT THAT’S IT

Posted November 8, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS NOVEMBER 2021 PART 1   Leave a comment


1) “Nobody Knows I’m Here”–Netflix–Chilean Movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–a former child singer traumatized becomes a recluse–Jorge Garcia, a fan favorite from the “Lost” series, shines–there is nothing new or surprising here BUT IF YOU WANT A SWEET STORY WITH AN EXPECTED ENDING THIS IS YOUR MOVIE

2) “Greater”–Netflix–documentary–2 hours & 10 minutes–a true, effective story about a young football player who excels where everyone thinks he will fail–except for his mother–the movie is a bit long and goes overboard with the religious angle but IT IS A GOOD TEARJERKER

3) “Homefront”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 40 minutes–Sylvester Stallone wrote the script and was going to star in it but, rightly, decided it needed a young with all the action involved–he got a good substitute with Jason Statham–the last 30 minutes will satisfy all action fans–IT IS A ‘B’ MOVIE FROM YESTERDAY

4) “The Forty-Year-Old Version”–Netflix–2 hours & 9 minutes–movie based on a true story–the director stars in her own story–took me about 30 minutes before I could get into it–sorry, but I am a prude–I don’t handle women using dirty language even if it is called ‘rap’–the movie centers around, yes, a 40 year old woman in a role that isn’t often portrayed on the screen–GOES ON A LITTLE TOO LONG AS IF THE ACTRESS/DIRECTOR FEELS SHE WON’T GET ANOTHER CHANCE AT BOTH BUT SHE DOES BOTH WARRANTING MORE WORK AS BOTH

5) “Mudbound”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 14 minutes–while it is a familiar story about how a white and black family interact, the director and screenwriters get the key scenes, especially one near the end , THOUGH NOT A ‘MUST SEE’ MOVIE IT WILL HOLD YOUR INTEREST BEGINNING TO END

6) “Hypnotic”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 29 minutes–a thriller–nothing new, nothing unexpected–A GOOD MOVIE WHEN YOU NEED/WANT BACKGROUND NOISE OR WANT A HALLOWEEN MOVIE–WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR

Posted November 1, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS OCTOBER 2021 PART 5   Leave a comment

1) “Athlete A”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 43 minutes–about the case brought against a doctor for physically abusing gymnastic athletes including Olympic contenders–hard to listen/watch some of the then girls, now women, talking about what happened–WHEN THEY FINALLY FACE THEIR ABUSER(S) YOU WILL TEAR UP–A MUST SEE

2) “Found”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 38 minutes–3 children were given away by their birth parents (enforced by the country politicians) due to the one child per parents unless you could afford to pay $8,500 for each child–we follow the 3 girls who are adopted by different American parents–as they grow older they get interested in finding their birth parents though they are obviously loved and brought up with many things they wouldn’t have had–THE GIRLS FIND EACH OTHER AND BUILD A DEEP RELATIONSHIP MOVING THE VIEWER TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF ADOPTION AND MAKING ONE’S OWN FAMILY

3) “His House”–Netflix–English movie–1 hour & 33 minutes–a refugee couple from South Sudan move to London–voodoo, ghosts, a dead child, people coming out of walls, floors, ceilings and lights going on and off by themselves–A GOOD HALLOWEEN HORROR FILM

4) “Strong Island”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 47 minutes–a Black man is shot and the man who shot him goes free–we hear what happened that night and the dead man from his 2 sisters, parents and best friend–A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE–REJECTING THE KILLER’S PLEA AS SELF DEFENSE–YOU HAVE TO ANSWER THOSE AND OTHER QUESTIONS

5) “Justin Bieber: our World”–Amazon–documentary–1 hour & 34 minutes–preparing for a virtual performance we follow all the work involved–I know of him but was not familiar with him as an entertainer–you hear one song you have heard them all except for a slow tune and the ONLY difference is that there are only 3 performers on stage otherwise all is the same from the crotch grabbing (men and women),  even in the slow songs, repetitive lyrics, the stage loaded with dancers, musicians, fireworks, etc. His crew, many with him 11 or more years, love him and he loves them–EVERYTHING IS A LOVE FEST AND EVERYTHING IS A BORE EXCEPT–WELL, NO EXCEPTIONS

6) “Operation Hyacinth”–Netflix–Polish film–1 hour & 52 minutes–based on a true story that happened in the mid 1980s–secret police tracking down homosexuals and entering their name into a data base which would eventually have 11,000 names–our hero, a policeman, similar to Al Pacino’s role in “Cruising”, may or may not feel he is gay too, while investigating a possible serial killer of Gays–hyacinth is the Polish equivalent to the Americans pansy when referring to Gays–the possibility of the policeman being gay does add a layer, somewhat of suspense, but aside from genre movies of detectives in the 1940s and later films REGARDING IS HE OR ISN’T HE AND THE MCCARTHY WITCH HUNT MY FEELING WAS BEEN THERE, DONE THAT–NOTHING COMPELLING OR MAKING IT A MUST SEE

Posted October 24, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS OCTOBER 2021 PART 4   Leave a comment


1) “My Name Is Pauli Murray”–Amazon Prime–documentary–1 hour & 31 minutes–I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of or known about this woman–she has so many ‘firsts’ to her name and so many people are indebted to her for what did for them–she was the first female alum of Howard University’s law school, graduating at the top of her class–she co-founded NOW–she did sit-ins 20 years before they became known of–she refused to move to the back of the bus years before Rosa Parks–YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM TO SEE WHAT THIS WOMAN ACCOMPLISHED

2) “Shared Rooms”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 15 minutes–the film follows 3 different couples–the first couple meet through a web site–the second are roommates–the third find themselves ‘parents’ of the nephew of one of them–each story is basic and quick–A FILM FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S

3) “From Zero to I Love You”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 46minutes–a lot of subjects not normally talked about in gay films from inter-racial to married men cheating on their wives with men–AN INTERESTING FILM MORE FOR THE SUBJECT THAN THE TELLING

4) “Giant Little Ones”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 32 minutes–Ah teenagers, young love, gay, straight, transgender, misunderstandings—I am so glad I was never a teenager!! IT IS AN ‘OKAY’ FILM WITH TOO MANY CUTS, SHORT SCENES

5) “Meeting Point”–Netflix–Yugoslavian movie–1 hour & 29 minutes–Man and woman, strangers, meet–complete opposites–trying to find meaning in their lives–JUST MISSES BEING GOOD/INTERESTING–BECOMES BORING

6) “You”–Netflix-series–season 3–10 episodes–8 hours & 10 minutes–Joe, as a killer, has finally met his match, Love, has married her, they have a son and now live in a suburban paradise and immediately she kills a neighbor–no, you are not crazy rooting for Joe–SEASON 4 HAS ALREADY BEEN ORDERED–WITH 2 KILLERS CAN THEY LIVE EVER HAPPILY AFTER?

Posted October 19, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

Streaming Reviews October 2021 Part 3   Leave a comment

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1) “The Voyeurs”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 56 minutes–what I thought would be a take off on “Rear Window” turned out to be something quite different–a young couple, moving into a new apartment, observe a couple across the way having sex and not really caring that others could watch them–I DEFY YOU TO NOT WATCH THE LAST 30 MINUTES AFTER WATCHING THE FIRST 80!

2) “The Starling”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–a husband and wife each deals differently with the death of their young child–A SWEET, TENDER LOVE STORY THAT JUST MISSES BEING MOVING AS IT SHOULD BE

3) “The Defeated”–Netflix–limited series–8 episodes–6 hours & 7 minutes–looks at the world of Berlin at the end of WW2 and the 4 countries wanting to control it–a New York policeman looking for his brother and a woman in charge of a makeshift German police squad whose husband is missing join forces–CONFUSING BUT HOLDS YOUR INTEREST

4) “Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go for it”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–Rita is a dynamo and does say something about living alone that hit with me–she lets you see the woman behind the makeup, even let’s you see her without any makeup and then how she achieves her ‘look’–she is not afraid to talk about her being raped (doesn’t really make clear if it is the same guy who represents her now)–the only minor complaint I have is that she doesn’t acknowledge Chita Rivera’s contribution–COULDN’T HAVE ENJOYED THIS MORE AND SHOWS WHY IT IS

TITLED AS IT IS
5) “Enola Holmes”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 4 minutes–the niece of Sherlock goes looking for her mother who has disappeared–her two uncles are on hand to help her–but they don’t help the movie–TOO LONG AND TOO CUTE–OH WHERE IS WATSON WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

6) “House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths”–Netflix–limited series–3 episodes–2 hours & 15 minutes–the cult like murders of 10 family members–AFTER THE FIRST EPISODE I CALLED IT QUITS (A RARITY FOR ME!)

 

Posted October 16, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

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

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