Archive for the ‘FILM REVIEWS’ Category

“Bros.”–MOVIE THEATRE REVIEW   Leave a comment

Let me start off by saying see it!
Luckily I am–it seems–incapable of walking out of a movie no matter how bad it is! Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane have been everywhere advertising “Bros.” as a picture that will change the world but that’s not the case! I don’t know how long it took to get to the location of the film moved to Provincetown–seemed like hours–but I wanted to leave until that point and then the movie seemed to make a complete turnaround and took me over.

We are all used to Hollywood films where boy meets girl–boy and girl fall in love–boy and girl have a fight–eventually boy and girl get back together and live happily ever after. This movie follows the formula only it is boy meets boy and you know how it is going to end, here it is with a slight twist.The screenwriters Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller get a little preachy now and then and the comedy in this romance comedy isn’t that funny but it is a sweet love story along the lines of “You’ve Got Mail” or “Pretty Woman” or any other Hollywood romance movie except here it is a gay love story and gay people will shout ‘stereotypes’ (not true) and be disappointed in the sex scenes while gay friendly non-gay people will sit back, enjoy and, just might, learn something about their friends, family members and next door neighbors.Bobby (Billy Eichner) is a fully out guy who has a thing for gay history and will be curator of a new LBGTQ+ history museum while Aaron( Luke Macfarlane) is a lawyer who organizes wills and estates and out to a certain extent but not at his job or with his family. With misunderstandings they flirt with each other but both are not into relationships for different reasons.

Okay, you can take it from there except a few diversions you may not be ready for or expect.

It probably won’t surprise you that the soundtrack has been arranged by Marc Shaiman who was responsible for the music in “Sleepless in Seattle”, “When Harry Met Sally”,  “Beaches” and other award winners.

There are many surprise cameos by famous people of all shades of the rainbow and those who are their friends while a couple have major roles.

I will admit I had many tears flowing in the last quarter of the movie but I am a crier in the movies. I identified with three characters in the film so that may be the tears but then again I cried in the aforementioned films!

While Eichner seems to want this to be a landmark in Hollywood—and I do hope it does great at the box office–it just misses the mark though I hope it will bring more true to life gay romantic comedies.

An aside: I am currently reading Harvey Fierstein’s memoir “I Was Better Last Night” and he talks about how he set his award winning “Torch Song Trilogy” pre-AIDS and he was attacked by many gays for that and though “Bros.” makes a passing reference to AIDS at the museum, with all the different people represented I don’t recall any living on PREP seen, talked about or mentioned, even in passing.

Posted October 1, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS


1) “Julia”–HBOMAX–limited series–8 episodes–6 hours & 6 minutes–Synopsis: Julia Child’s rise to stardom and the hurdles she had to get over to get there–when I saw Meryl Streep play Julia Child I saw her acting as Julia–here Sarah Lancashire IS Julie Child and I got to know her–Lancashire is surrounded by a really first rate supporting cast starting with David Hyde Pierce–with so many stage actors and a soundtrack from Judy Garland to Nancy Walker “Julia” is a really delightful series.

2) “Gaslit”–STARZ–limited series–8 episodes–7 hours & 3 minutes–Synopsis: revisiting Watergate with the emphasis on Martha Mitchell’s role in it–from Julia Child we turn to Julia Roberts and she does a superb job as ‘the mouth of the South’ and is missed when not on screen–Sean Penn, as John Mitchell, is unrecognizable and does an excellent job–no matter how familiar you may be with Watergate this is a new look and a star-powered drama that grips you just as Julia Roberts does who is fantastic.

3) “Meril Sapere Aude”–NETFLIX–Season 2–8 episodes–5 hours & 55 minutes–Synopsis: the continuing story of Pol Rubio seeking a career in philosophy, his life at the university, his trying to figure out his sexuality and one of his professor’s, Maria Bolano, who has an alcohol problem, a daughter with Down Syndrome and constantly challenges Pol in and out of school–a standout of the cast is Maria Pujalte as the professor–unlike most series with many characters in this series each person has a story that is interesting and moves the story along–Pol says to Alex, “I don’t want to cry,” and Alex replies, “I want you to cry,”–I CRIED!!!, a lot during this series, both seasons.

4) “Sweet Life: Los Angeles”–HBOMAX–Season 1–10 episodes–5 hours & 38 minutes–Synopsis: wealthy young people, mostly 25 years old, and Black–the show basically revolves around 7 of them–there is a lot of humor as we watch them pursue their dreams but there is far more drama–too much drama, especially since I don’t empathize with 25 year olds and find they are wasting a lot of their lives on silly things.

5) “Topsy-Turvy”–HBOMAX–Movie–2 hours & 40 minutes–Synopsis: in 1884 the most successful partnership on the English stage, Gilbert & Sullivan, were in trouble–a very British film in a good way–we see Gilbert & Sullivan actually make “The Mikado” come to life after they have a falling out–“The more I see of men the more I admire dogs”–if you like that and/or identify with it you will love this film! :O)

Posted September 20, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIES, Series, Streaming


This is a must see movie and a reason to go to a movie theatre to see certain picures. Oh the screenplay, director, actors all do their job and occasionally there is a jump out of your seat scene if you are that kind of moviegoer and some of the African scenery is breathtaking BUT the computer generated animation is breathtaking from scenes of the pride among themselves or two of the lions being affectionate to a man and, yes, a lion attacking a car to get at the humans inside.

The human side of the story–the mother of two daughters have died and the father takes them to the birthplace of their mother and they encounter this lion that wants to kill every human who allowed poachers to kill his pride–is no where as interesting as watching what the lion can do and the human eye can no way see how it is done. Well at least this human’s eye who has 20/20 eyesight couldn’t see how it was done.

As my computer guru always says I googled it but that didn’t help. There is a reason I got a 0 in  technical understanding in my NYU vocational exam 60 years ago and that’s so movies like the “Beast” can have me sit in awe as I watch the effects on a 65 foot wide and and 35 foot high screen.

As addicted as I have become to streaming of TV movies I highly suggest going to see Idris Elba, the other actors and, mostly, the lions on the big screen!

Posted August 19, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS


1) “Pray Away”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 41 minutes–synopsis: former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma–I have never felt bad, wrong or any other negative emotion about being gay but many people due to parents, their religion, society, has made them feel that way–this is still rampant today as it was when ‘gay conversion therapy’ was applied by Exodus International in 1976–this is not an easy film to watch as their victims talk of burning themselves with quarters into their skin–“Pray Away”does a stunning job
2) “I Want You Back”–Prime–rom/com film–1 hour & 56 minutes–newly dumped thirty-somethings Peter and Emma team up to sabotage their exes new relationships and win them back for good–it’s funny and romantic and though you know where it is going what more do you want from a romantic comedy?
3) “Marry Me”–Prime–rom/com film-1 hour & 52 minutes–Synopsis: music superstars Kat Valdez & Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans but when Kat learns seconds before her vows that Bastian has been unfaithful she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd–ridiculous? Of course but you get to see Jennifer Lopez dance, sing and go from one fabulous outfit to another and as I said above “it’s funny and romantic and though you know where it is going what more do you want from a romantic comedy?” Well the ‘more’ is JLO with this salute to rom/coms
4) “The Tinder Swindler”–Netflix–British Documentary–1 hour & 54 minutes–Synopsis: posing as a wealthy, jet-setting diamond mogul he wooed women on line, then conned them out of millions–now victims plan for payback–people have been very harsh to these 3+ women  who were swindled by this piece of &^%$ but who hasn’t done a stupid thing in the name of love??–Sadly it ends with showing ‘crime does pay’ for this guy considering what he did and might make you angry at the guy (and the law) but a couple of things the women did will have you saying “YEAH!”

5) “Emergency”–Prime–1 hour & 45 minutes–Synopsis: ready for a night of legendary partying, 3 Black college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation–at the beginning it starts off with a heavy scene in a class where a White lady professor is discussing the ‘N’ word and for the next hour and 20 minutes you know what is going to happen before it happens–the last 20 minutes makes it worthwhile to watch the whole movie–will it end in the hospital? Prison? The cemetery? Life doesn’t always reflect a Hollywood movie!

Posted July 17, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 4   Leave a comment

1) “7 Prisoners”–Netflix–Portuguese film–1 hour & 33 minutes–synopsis:to provide a better life for his family in the country 18 year old Mateus accepts a job in a junkyard in Sao Paulo for his new boss Luca but becomes trapped in the dangerous world of human trafficking–this is not an easy film to watch as it follows what one person does to be ‘free’ though he will never be–a hard, basic film of a coming to age story of poor life in Brazil.

2) “All The Old Knives”–Prime–film–1 hour &42 minutes–synopsis: Two CIA agents and ex-lovers are brought back together years after a failed rescue attempt and forced to blur the lines between profession and passion–a tale of global espionage, moral dilemma and deadly betrayal–a spy/love drama and I still don’t know ‘why’ about the ending But watching Chris Pine, and especially, Thandie Newton get there is interesting and holds your attention.

3) “The Protege”–Prime–action film–1 hour & 49 minutes–synopsis: rescaued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody, Anna is the world’s most skilled contract killer. However when Moody is brutally killed, she vows revenge for the man who taught her everything she knows–violent, silly, fun, lots of fights, shooting, crazy escapes, weird love talk but Maggie Q is dynamite and a joy to watch–go for it–enjoy it–cover your eyes now and then–and forget it.

4) “Found”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 38 minutes–synopsis; the story of three American teenage girls–each adopted from China–who discover they are blood-related cousins–their online meeting inspires the young women to confront the burning questions they have about their lost history–taken to a strange land in a world that is already strange to their just opened eyes and adopted by people they will never look like this is their story and of the women who adopted them accepting their daughter’s need for answers–the girls, Chloe, Lily and Sadie plan a trip to China and we join them in their search for whatever they can find–there is no easy answer to their quest but you will feel their emotions as they discover, not all, things about their early journey.

5) “Merli-Saopere Aude”–Netflix–Spanish series–8 episodes–6 hours– synopsis: Pol Rubio starts to study philosophy at the University of Barcelona while the relationship between him and Bruno begins to strengthen–Pol meets new friends, new teachers apart from having to face conflicts within himself and who he is–each character is interesting and worth the time to get to know them–as interesting as the students are and their relationships to each other it is their professor Bolana who is the most interesting and she is the most explored character in season 1–as they learn who they are we learn who they are and each has a chance to walk away with the series–I can’t wait for season 2!

Posted July 12, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 3   Leave a comment

(Including one of the best comedy series in years!)

1) “The Weekend Away”–Netflix–thriller movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–synopsis: Two best friends, Beth & Kate, who have overcome personal setbacks and no matter what life throws at them they always look forward to their annual weekend away. This year they are on a trip to Croatia and everything is perfect until Beth wakes up to find Kate missing–a fast moving mystery with simple but good twists and one ‘red’ herring which everyone will fall for–a lot of suspects and the one you don’t think did it didn’t nor the other one!
2)’Handsome Devil”–Netflix–English/Irish movie–1 hour & 34 minutes–synopsis:Ned & Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this ruby mad school form an unlikely friendship until it is tested by the authorities–no matter how many times I may see this genre and no matter how many times I will know the ending I will still be moved and cry for the generations after me–what sets this film apart from many of the others is the power of the two leads Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine as odd couple pals and Andrew Scott as one of their teachers.3) “Sinatra: All or Nothing At All”–Netflix–documentary–2 parts–total 4 hours and 5 minutes–synopsis: Sinatra, the bad, the good, is an up-close and personal examination of the life, career and music of the legendary entertainer told in his own words and examined by many close to him–no one sings like Sinatra and no one ever will–we follow him from his birth to his death, his ups and downs, his marriages and affairs–the man who had it all, lost it all and got most of it back–just to listen to him sing the 11 songs throughout the documentary at what he thought would be his last concert is worth your time!
4) “Chloe”–Prime–series–6 episodes–5 hours & 34 minutes–synopsis: Chloe is a woman whose social media obsession with a childhood friend intensifies after the friend dies–I watched all 5 hours & 34 minutes and don’t know why I did–interesting, predictable, stalking mystery  yes but ??????????
5) “The Lake”–Prime–Canadian series–season 1–8 episodes–4 hours & 27 minutes–synopsis: Justin returns from living abroad in the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter that he gave up for adoption. His plans go awry when he finds out his father left the family cottage to his stepsister–smart, clever, funny, different (and except for 10 minutes in the 6th episode) and perfect–outlandish, sarcastic, with the exchanges between Julia Styles and Jordan Gavaris pure gold–I don’t want to oversell it BUT I can’t wait for season 2 as this is one of the best series I have seen in years!

Posted July 8, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 2   Leave a comment

1) “MR. MERCEDES”–Peacock–series–season 1–10 episodes–8 hours & 40 minutes–all 3 seasons available–a Stephen King thriller with excellent performances by retired Detective Bill Hodges (played by Brendan Gleeson) and homicidal tech Brady Hartsfield (played by Harry Treadaway) as adversaries–with superb backup from Mary Louise Parker, Jharrel Jerome and Holland Taylor with David E. Kelley the show-runner and screenwriter of King’s novel the first season will want you to see the other 2 seasons as soon as you recover from season 1.

2) “Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots”–Peacock–movie–a man from Los Angeles visits his friend in San Francisco to look for a guy he met on grinder–he just lost his job, his friend is a drug addict–the spend the night going around to clubs–aside from not wanting to have friends like he does as a rule the same person shouldn’t star, write the screenplay and direct a movie and this films shows why–don’t waste your time.

3) “15 Years”–Prime–Israel film–1 hour & 29 minutes–synopsis:  Yoav’s demons start haunting him after his best friend becomes pregnant without telling him and after his boyfriend of 15 years starts talking about having children too–his life unravels and self destruction seems inevitable–Yoav (Oded Leopold) is 42 years old and Dan (Udi Persi) is 38–the former is scared to death of growing old–did Alma (Ruti Asirsai) and and Yoav have sex or did she have a ‘procedure’? Yoav shuts out anyone he gets close to or gets close to him yet he has a good relationship with both Alma and Dan–bottom line? I really enjoyed this film though I didn’t understand it.

4) “Doom of Love”–Netflix–Turkish film–1 hour & 40 minutes–synopsis: After his ad agency goes bankrupt an indebted Firat falls for a singer at a yoga retreat and joins her on a journey of self-realization–a quiet, scenic love story about a man finding himself through yoga, meditation and love–nothing special but easy to watch and has a ‘different’ ending.

5) “God’s Favorite Idiot”–Netflix–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours& 31 minutes–synopsis: a tech support employee becomes the unwilling messenger of God–Ben Falcone co-stars with and wrote the script for his wife Melissa McCarthy–when she is funny she can have you rolling on the floor with a look but other times you sit and wait and wait and wait and nothing happens–I kept on waiting, waiting and waiting but nothing happened–I really can’t see anyone–especially me–watching the next 8 episodes that are scheduled to be shown ???????–no date given–hope not filmed yet!


There is something special about not expecting much from a movie only to be delightfully surprised and such was the case regarding “Elvis”. I was never a fan of Elvis Presley though when I heard him I liked his singing of some songs but his ‘moves’ I thought were funny. I never saw him in concert except on his worldwide TV spectacular and, if I recall, I didn’t see the whole thing. I, also, know that director Baz Luhrmann loves big gestures and with Elvis I knew he would probably go overboard.

Austin Butler does a great job as Elvis! He has the looks, the moves and though I read some of the songs were sung by Elvis I couldn’t tell the difference where they were his voice and where it might have been Butler just as I couldn’t tell if it was the real Elvis or Butler in the last few minutes of the movie.

Elvis was born a year before me and though I have lived twice as long as he did we both went through some major events in the USA including the assassinations of Jack and Robert Kennedy plus Martin Luther King. We both lived through the Korean and Vietnam wars, the sexual revolution and segregation attitudes.  Our main difference was that he had Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks—more about him in a moment! The Colonel wasn’t one nor was he a US citizen which caused a major change in the  relationship between him and Elvis. He made Elvis one the highest paid actors in Hollywood, was responsible for  getting him on and making a star of him on TV and followed with record breaking concerts plus made him a recording star with more million dollar selling of single records than any other male artist. I know most of what we are told about Elvis in the movie but very little about Parker who was a conman from the get go and took, at the least, 50% of all of Elvis’s earnings.

Baz Luhrmann does, as expected, a spectacular job of directing the many musical various musical numbers plus others besides those of Elvis. The big problem seems to be the 4 screenwriters seemed to have many different ideas of how to approach the various stories in the screenplay and the editing by Jonathan Redmond, Matt Villa and Luhrmann not only mixing everything up but extending the movie to 2 hours and 39 minutes when it could have easily been cut but at least 30 minutes!

The big (no pun intended) to me was Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker! Hank recently came out saying that straight men should not play gay men in movies even though he won an Oscar doing just that. After seeing this I think he should also say that only fat men should play fat men in movies or, like many have, thin actors should eat and get fat instead of getting using latex, botex and whatever else to make his appearance very distracting in addition to having  an accent that just doesn’t fit who the character was. More is told about the man in the end credits than the screenplay does and those faults are strictly on the director’s and actor’s shoulders!
Though I make a ‘big deal’ of the problems in the last 2 paragraphs I strongly suggest seeing this and seeing it on a movie theatre screen if for no other reason than the performance by Austin Butler but there are other reasons to see it.

A note, for whatever it is worth, the theatre auditorium was more crowded than I have seen in awhile plus I am willing to bet most, if not all, of the audience were over 60!

Posted June 24, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW

STREAMING REVIEWS–JUNE 2022–PART 4   Leave a comment

1) ” Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live”–Netflix–1 hour–part of the Netflix ‘Netflix is a joke festival’ being shown in separate statements–I LOVE Jane and Lily and would see them in anything anywhere because just seeing them make me smile–they basically introduce the acts, all who are women except at the end one man comes on–Jane and Lily answer questions that have been submitted by audience members–if only that was the hour but no we get comediennes who prove they can use the ‘f’ word as often as men and be just as ‘dirty’–Jane is the only one (sorry but Lily used it once!) who didn’t use it but then she wasn’t/isn’t a standup comic–sorry, I didn’t laugh once at any of the comics though Jane and Lily did make me smile!

2) “Spiderhead”–Netflix–1 hour & 47 minutes–I am not quite sure what kind of movie this is supposed to be–a mad scientist goes crazy or a sci-fi movie regarding control of minds–is it a take off or a farce or a comedy or thriller or what?!? All I can say is I watched it to the end and all I can tell you is that it a story of a doctor(?) who gives killers all kinds of drugs to control them but…….just from this film I have become a big fan of Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett–it’s hard to tell where the story is going but stick with it.

3) “Outer Range”–Prime–series–season 1–8 episodes–7 hours & 20 minutes–is this a sci-fi western or a western sci-fi? Is there a difference? There is a hole in the center of the earth (that I think goes into another world) on a ranch–people are thrown or jump into the hole and some return 8 years later, some don’t and who the heck is Autumn? Josh Brolin is an interesting actor who always gives a first rate performance as he does here and if you want to know some of the answers season 2 is waiting for you.

4) “Bathtubs Over Broadway”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour and 26 minutes–for many years there was a part of show business that many people didn’t know about called industrial shows–the shows employed many people who made a living working them or in between Broadway shows–many stars came from them and many established composers wrote the music for the shows–the shows were put on by big corporations for their employees–I know about them because my dad took me to 2 Milikin shows–one of the shows, in 1956, cost $3 million while the original production that year of “My Fair Lady” only cost $500,000–Steve Young who was a long time writer for the Late Show with David Letterman and became interested in the recordings of these shows when David started doing “Dave’s Record Collection”–he takes us on a journey looking for and finding these rare recordings and meets, introducing us to singers and dancers who did the show and makes this documentary a fascinating trip to ‘yesterday’–thanks to my Facebook friend who steered me to this.

5) “Toy Boy”–Netflix–Spanish series–season 1–13 episodes–11 hours & 5 minutes–all I can say is that it took me 3 episodes to realize that I had seen, and reviewed, this before and watched 2 seasons so it couldn’t have been THAT bad!

STREAMING REVIEWS–JUNE 2022–PART 2   Leave a comment

1) “Toscana”–Netflix–Danish film–1 hour & 30 minutes–IF you are a food lover the first 10 minutes will get you hooked–it did me!! IF you love breathtaking scenery this is for you–IF you like to see a wise arse chef get his dues, or IF you don’t, this is for you. IF you would you like a fantastic sandwich for a snack? This is the chef for you! IF you would feel good about a woman showing that “I can cook anything better than you” chef doesn’t know everything this is for you! Oh, IF you would like a little romance and a love song sung in Italian this is for you! IF you love watching people fall in love with food this is for you! IF you can finish this sentence, “The most important ingredient when cooking is_______?” you’ll love this movie! IF not you will just enjoy it!

2) “Perfect Pairing”–Netflix–Australian film–1hour & 42 minutes–just by watching the first 5 minutes, along with the title, you know what this is all about–with wine! If it is in Australia you will see it here: sheep shearing, a kangaroo though I missed the koala–instead of cooking like in “Toscana” here we are dealing with wine making and selling and love–you have to see the last look of Max’s dog looking at Baaabra–if you like the movie above you will also like this one!

3) “Halftime”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 36 minutes–mostly revolving around Jennifer Lopez rehearsing and doing the halftime show at the super bowl it also looks at the lady ready to tackle the second 50 years of her life–she is Latin and wears that with pride–you feel her disappointment, her resigning to losing, the best supporting actor’s Oscar for “Hustlers” which everyone thought she would and deserved to win–while the documentary shows THAT green dress and doesn’t touch on the renewal of her and Afflick but this is an entertaining hour and a half though you won’t learn anything new about her but the hard work she does o be her best.

4) “I Love Dick”–Prime–series–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours & 32 minutes–of course the title is a double-entendre with co-star Kevin Bacon’s film name giving his co-star Kathryn Hahn the chance to say/do a lot of leering, on the edge of ‘dirty’ lines–sex, nudity, a lot of nudity, mainly woman showing full frontal nudity while men show a butt here and there–if I didn’t know better I would have sworn this was written and directed by a man but no, it is written and directed by a woman and shows that women can be as crude and crass as men!

5) “Dirty Lines”–Netflix–Dutch series–season 1–6 episodes–4 hours & 37 minutes–two brothers start a first time sex phone line in Amsterdam–a lot of sex tapes, sex talk–and, guess what? It was written and directed by a man and just shows how crass and crude men can be and women (see #4) can learn even more than them–it is being sold as a comedy–I didn’t laugh!

Posted June 17, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Series, Streaming

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