Archive for the ‘MOVIES’ Category

STREAMING REVIEWS SEPTEMBER 2022 PART 4   Leave a comment

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

STREAMING REVIEWS SEPTEMBER 2022 PART 3   Leave a comment

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1) “My Daughter’s Killer”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 23 minutes–Synopsis: A father fights for decades to bring his daughter’s killer to justice in France and Germany before taking extreme measures–we follow the father as he goes through the actual fight he has to bring his daughter’s killer to justice and how the man, a doctor, got away with raping women–heartbreaking and in a way it asks does 2 wrongs make a right?
2) “The Next 365 Days”–Netflix–part of a film trilogy–1 hour & 52 minutes–Synopsis: Laura & Massimo’s relationship hangs in the balance as they try to overcome trust issues–I am glad I didn’t see the first 2 films–when 400 sex scenes are boring what else is there to say?
3) “Spider-man:No Way Home”–Starz–film–2 hours & 28 minutes–Synopsis: Spider-man times 3 fights 3 past villains–a lot of special effects and, I guess, 3 Spider-men will please certain people but I am not one of them.
4) “Girl”–Netflix–Belgium film–1 hour & 45 minutes–Synopsis: A transgender girl training to become a ballerina–the dance sequences add greatly to the fight that Lara is having with a body that isn’t changing as fast as is her need–the more I learn about transgender people the more I want to learn and this added to my knowledge though I still get mixed up with ‘he/her/they’!

5) “A Crime on the Bayou”–Starz–Documentary–1 hour and 31 minutes–Synopsis: a 1966 Louisiana incident that underlines the absurdities of Southern racial justice–a black man puts his hand on the elbow of a white youth and the man is accused of ‘cruelty to a juvenile’–we follow the many cases brought  against the man over several years just to ‘prove’ he is guilty–discrimination is a horror no matter what group it is against and no matter how many films you see about the topic they all affect you if you believe in human justice.

A Note: not streaming but on The CW station, Tuesday nights at 8 PM is an excellent series about “Leonardo”!

Posted September 13, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS ON A RAINY DAY SEPTEMBER 2022 PART 2   1 comment


1) “Never Have I Ever”–Netflix–series–Season 3–10 episodes–4 hours & 36 minutes–Synopsis: coming of age comedy/drama revolving around Devi, a young Indian teenager in Sherman Oaks, California, wanting to change her status–teenagers in high school only here we follow 3 girls who want to lose their virginity before they graduate–a realistic look at teenagers, their fears, concerns, doubts–better than most
2) “Sex Club 101”–Starz–Documentary–47 minutes–Synopsis: exploration of sex clubs from etiquette standards to daily life–I was going to sex clubs 70 years ago and they try to represent is as new–BORING!
3) “Barbra: The Music…the Memories..the Magic”–Netflix–Concert–1 hour & 48 minutes–Synopsis: the title says it all–she sings her many hits, talks about Broadway, movies and gives the audience what they came for–recorded in 2016 in Miami–just what any Streisand fan (me for one) wants to see and hear and she delivers though a bit too polished at times–who cares??
4) “Nice Guys”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 56 minutes–Synopsis: a private eye and a tough guy get tangled up in the seamy side of 1970s Los Angeles as they investigate an adult film star’s mysterious death–starts off on a good note and then goes downhill the next 100 minutes–it’s good to see Russell Crowe but I am still waiting for the star he was to come back.
5) “Barry”–HBOMAX–series–dark comedy–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours & 55 minutes–Synopsis: a depressed, low-rent hit man wants to start a new life as an actor but……though it takes a sharp turn in the 7th episode it was too late for me–it’s been a big hit and I am in the minority but have no desire to see seasons 2 & 3.

Posted September 9, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS—JUNE 2022–PART 1   Leave a comment


1) “Emergency”–Prime–2022 movie (many movies and series have this title–be sure to get this version)–1 hour & 45 minutes–from the beginning we think we know where it is going and it does but then it changes and we hope we are wrong–a tenseness enters our brain without us being aware–there are some laughs–some funny some not–Strong performances in a strong movie–last shot of Kunle will haunt you!

2) “The Pursuit of Love”–Prime–season 1–3 episodes–3 hours–2 women are friends for life as different as they may be from each other and as different as their lives become–takes place in the 1930s and 1940s in England & Europe–being co-dependent the women each are progressive in their own way–nothing special but enjoyable.

3) “Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The unheard Tapes”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 44 minutes–I must admit I was never particularly a fan of MM (as she was known) though I did see most of her pictures and read the gossip about her–might attract those over 60 and/or movie addicts–the screenplay tries to make a big mystery of the tapes and her, especially her death but I doubt you will learn anything new about MM even if you are 20 years old–unless you want to find out the basics of her life this really isn’t worth your time.

4) “The Invisible Thread”-Netflix–Italian movie–1 hour & 45 minutes–Leone is the son of 2 fathers and at that time two men couldn’t get married or legally adopt a child so they found a surrogate woman to have a child for them and is very involved in his life though she lives in the USA–by the time he is 11 the two men can have a legal civil union and when a teenager both names of his father was allowed on the birth certificate–sounds like a happy family but what kind of movie would that make?! Let’s throw in a possible divorce, Leone falling in love with a girl at school but how can that be–he must be gay with 2 gay fathers!–a mixture of drama and comedy and when the question of who is Leone’s biological father you will find yourself rooting for one or the other but it will be Leone who takes a beating with all that is going on.

5) “Ricky Gervais: Supernature”–Netflix–standup comic film–1 hour & 4 minutes–do you want to hear a crude, rude comic explain comedy poorly this is for you–all it did was make me vow to NOT see any more standup comic shows!

Posted June 6, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series

STREAMING REVIEWS—MAY 2022—PART 4   Leave a comment


1) “Blood Sisters”–Netflix–Nigerian limited series–4 episodes–3 hours & 44 minutes–Uduak, (played by Kate Henshaw-Nuttal) is like no other mother you have ever seen–including Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”!! She is evil, nasty, bitchy–name it–and she excels at the drama–her clothes are WOW as many of the costumes and accessories are but HER outfits, attitude, jewelry and the looks she gives, as mother of the groom who doesn’t approve of the bride, are none you have never seen before–the themes are relatable to families everywhere if not as melodramatic–and the series is full of melodrama–there are a couple of good twists in the series but the whole show belongs to Kate Henshan-Nuttal–a must see to believe!

2) “Bordertown”–Netflix–Finnish series–3 seasons–season 1–11 episodes–10 hours & 27 minutes– the leading man is on of the most boring characters I have seen in years–as he is in charge of the murder investigation of young girls, which is not new to the first story called the “Doll House”–whether he is boring or written that way I don’t know but I gave up by the 6th episode–it is good if you want to be put to sleep!

3) “The Kids in the Hall”–Amazon Prime–8 episodes–3 hours & 23 minutes–maybe the ‘kids’ gave their all when they first came on the scene but it seems they have nothing more to give–anyone, like me, who aren’t familiar with them won’t understand why this was made and those who did see them when they were young will wonder why this has been made!

4) “Our Father”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 37 minutes–Doctor Cline inseminated at least 94 women with his sperm who have had a child by him and not their consent–he truly believes he did it in the name of God–he told the women the sperm was donated by a pool of medical students–we hear from many of the siblings not knowing each other about their health problems, mental problems among other things all this has caused by this one doctor (and, eventually, at least 44 others who did the same thing). We only hear from the women and except for his belief that God made him do it we learn nothing about the man–there were no laws against what he did and he received a one-year suspended sentence, a $500 fine and ultimately, served no prison time–this is a horror story with the monster walking away.

5) “Operation Mincemeat”–Netflix–British film–2 hours & 7 minutes–based on the true story of an elaborate subterfuge during WW 2–the title was based on a beginning author who served in the outfit–Ian Flemming–it is a high class production with, as expected, excellent acting–the last shot after the ‘what happened to…?’ is as fitting an ending to a true story as you can get–as much as I love American movies only the English can make a movie like this and make it so good!

6) “David Spade; Nothing Personal”–Netflix–standup special–1 hour & 6 minutes–he is a professional who has been around over 30 years–yet I felt I was watching a guy trying standup comedy for the first time–yes the “F” word, penis jokes, crass stories–nothing funny–nothing memorable–all forgotten 2 minutes after whatever he says–even the crudeness regarding Sly Stallone and others–a complete waste of time!

Posted May 24, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming, TELEVISION

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” Movie Review   2 comments


No matter what reviews may say if you are a Downton Abbey fan you will see this movie! It was one of the biggest audiences I have seen at The Gateway Theatre at a Friday matinee since before the  COVID epidemic! (I am wondering how the crowd next Friday at “Top Gun; Maverak” will compare–I’ll let you know!) Plus it is never too late, even if somewhat confusing to who is who, for a newcomer to be introduced to the goings and comings of a family and their servants.

Upfront I must say I enjoyed this latest chapter of the aristocratic Crawley clan and their servants, a highly rated and watched series on PBS and a winner of their first made for movie theatres taking in a box office of $194 million though I have a few negative feelings the first being that this seems to been have made for TV where it could have run in 8-9 episodes covering all the multi part stories they tell here.

The main story revolves around Dowager countess Violet Grantham, played by the perfect Maggie Smith, inheriting a villa in the South of France which brings up an episode in her past. There is also why she will be leaving it to her granddaughter while also bringing up the question of who really is the father of her son Robert. The latter with his wife Cora and a bevy of servants leave for France as the Duchess is to ill to make the trip herself.

At the same time a film crew is invading  Downton Abbey to film a movie in exchange to paying  for the leaking roof. Throw in a possible romance between the director of the film and Lady Mary along with the change of silent movies to ‘talkies’ and the problems it may or may not cause the two stars on the movie. Oh yes, let’s not forget the possible romance between the  lead actor of the silent movie and the butler of the house. Throw in the wife of the man who left the Duchess the villa and her son’s reaction to the inheritance and to who it was left to and why.

And we haven’t even gone into all the servant’s problems and the bridge between them and the various Crawley family members or the retired butler’s presence or the current butler’s homosexuality or the former footman turned schoolmaster who is very knowledgeable about the new movie ‘business’ in the multi screen stories.

While not a MUST SEE for those who aren’t familiar with the Downton Abbey series it is a more than entertaining film with an excellent cast, some laughter, a few tears and an honest look of the division of the poor and rich in a period of English history, their changing of positions and adjustments made by both as the 20th century advances.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” is worth the money and time to see in a movie theatre!

Posted May 20, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

Streaming reviews–week of March 1, 2022   Leave a comment


1) “Midnight In Paris”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 36 minutes–if you could go back in time when and where would you go? In this fantasy Woody Allen (Owen Wilson) picks Paris in the time of Cole Porter, Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Scott F. and Zelda Fitzgerald, to name a few he meets, hangs out with and finds himself–of all the stars involved Marion Cotillard, as Picasso’s current lover is truly a standout, giving the beauties of Paris competition–it is a fantasy world and story and picture–get lost in it!

2) “Adrift”–Netflix–movie–true story—1 hour & 36 minutes–Shailene Woodley & Sam Caflin are a young attractive couple with good chemistry in the love scenes part of the film–water scenes, no pun intended, are crystal clear–unless you know the true story the ending will be a surprise–stay for the credits and what happened after!

3) “In From The Cold”–Netflix–series–season 1–6 hours & 28 minutes–a good thriller but little is made of important parts of the script, especially the ‘morphing’ which did turn me off–the mother and daughter aspect lends some humor and heart to the series–action, heart, humor, physical action, a professional woman who can beat any man makes for a good but not quite believable thriller.

4) “Donkeyhead”–Netflix–Canadian film–1 hour & 45 minutes–does every family member keep secrets from each other? With their father dying 4 siblings come together and, yes, each have their secret–a good cast, humor, touching and filmed in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, (a place I am not familiar with) all make this a winner!

5) “The Hand of God”–Netflix–Italian film–2 hours & 9 minutes–though I was impressed with the scenes of Naples I was not at all impressed with the story of a kid who wants to be a film director and becomes one as an adult–it centers around a rude, crude and large family of which I could only ‘like” one of them–a waste of time except for the Naples scenes which were filmed better in the ‘old’ Italian movies with Sophie Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, etc.

Streaming Reviews February 27, 2022   Leave a comment

1) “Anxious People”–Netflix–Scandinavian crime series–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 51 minutes–a comedy thriller that is not funny or thrilling–the solution to the crime is interesting but way too late–I suffered through all 6 episodes so you wouldn’t!

2) “Bird Box”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 2 minutes–watch the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes and you have seen the movie–I love Sandra Bullock but……use the 92 minutes between the beginning and end to do something with your life
3) “A Madea Homecoming”–Netflix–11th(?) Madea movie–1 hour & 47 minutes–I am a huge fan of Tyler Perry as an actor, director, writer, producer, etc., but, sorry, I can’t stand his Madea character and movies–I did laugh—once–near the end at the sheep ‘joke’ and, yes, dropped a few tears , also near the end, in the graduation speech where he got his message across–if you have to, watch the last 20-30 minutes–I gave Madea another chance but never again

4) “Harlem”–Amazon Prime–series–season 1–10 episodes–5 hours 45 minutes–about 4 girlfriends making it in the Big Apple–they live, laugh, love, have sex, fun and are interesting–of course, the 4 are completely different so why they are friends are not really explained–it is fun and interesting to watch and I will probably tune into season 2 without feeling I am wasting my time (See 3 movies above!)

5) “The Edge of Seventeen”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–I was/never will be a 17 year old girl so I can’t identify with Hailee Steinfeld–for that matter I wasn’t a typical high school teenager as I was too busy living my other life but this gives me a good idea how ‘the other half’ lives/lived–a better than average teen story with Steinfeld a good lead–enjoy!

6) “Munich: The Edge of War”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 10 minutes–a very timely movie–it is also a very politically and talky film about Hitler & Chamberlain a year before they would be at war making an agreement not to go to war–the love story/personal stories could have been eliminated for a much better film–a historical drama very timely with good acting and, considering what happened, an ironic true story, definitely worth seeing

Posted February 27, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Streaming movies, series and a new Streaming service reviews   1 comment


1) “A Hero”–Amazon Prime–Iranian film–2 hours & 7 minutes–Oscar nominated for best picture 2021 tells the story of Rahim, who is in prison for failing to repay a loan he had taken. After getting a leave from prison, Rahim tries to execute an audacious plan to repay his creditor but faces a moral dilemma in the process–lies are an important part of this film and they come constantly–social media is the ‘star’ of this movie

2) “Dark Desire”–Netflix–Mexican/Spanish thriller series–season 2–10 episodes–5 hours & 8 minutes–sex, sex and, oh yes, sex, soft porn–your choice

3) “The Kindness of Strangers”–Netflix–American film–1 hour & 55 minutes–Clara, wife of an abusive policeman, mother of 2 boys, takes the kids and runs away to Manhattan–without even a nod to Tennessee Williams and certainly nothing to do with “A Streetcar Named Desire”–a different kind of film with many different people to hold your interest,except Clara and the boys, all the characters are ‘characters’ but we only get to know the flimsy surface roles they are playing as if written before the main story was

4) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”–Amazon Prime–series–season 4–each Friday, through March, 2 more episodes will be shown–if you liked the first 3 seasons you will like the 4th–sort of defeats the idea of streaming versus cable or broadcast viewing

5) A new streaming service REVRY for the LGBTQRSTUVW (just add your own letters) mainly for the Gay & Lesbian community–I, basically, watched 2 examples of their ‘product’ 6) “Steam” the musical–a 19 minute film(?) about a conductor falling for a train robber and 7) “Hot To Trot”–documentary–1 hour & 28 minutes–about the Gay ballroom dance contest scene–I cancelled my 1 week trial and would suggest subscribing either to Netflix, Amazon Prime or HereTV if interested in watching Gay (or LBTQRSTUVW, etc.) content

Posted February 21, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming

One Movie Theatre and 2 Streaming Reviews!   Leave a comment


1) “The Worst Person In The World”–Gateway Theatre–Nowegian movie filmed in Oslo–2 hours & 1 minute–as tempted as I am to call this movie the worst film in the world I honestly can’t just as I wouldn’t call the lead Renate Reinsve the worst actress in the world because if it wasn’t for her there wouldn’t be a film and she is playing opposite two strong males, Anders Danielsen and Herbert Nordrum–is the worst person in the world a 30 year old who doesn’t know who she is, what she wants or has  affairs the two aforementioned actors? I don’t think so–the film is told in 12 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue–don’t look for a ‘happily ever after’ Hollywood ending–just look for the chapters to go by but don’t applaud when it gets to 10 or 11–two women in the audience called it tedious while one guy called it boring–I think all 3 were being kind!

2) “My Bride”–Netflix–a Egyptian film in Arabic–1 hour & 33 minutes–the first half is a typical old fashioned Hollywood romantic comedy than all of a sudden turns into heavy drama including spousal abuse–it is a look at arranged versus ‘accidental’ meeting marriages–an old time rom/com/drama done in a fairly short film with bad subtitles–do something else for an hour and 33 minutes!

3) “The Stolen”–Netflix–a New Zealand Film–1 hour & 38 minutes–it is a western, a thriller, a road film, with twists here and there–it is beautifully filmed but that is a fair representation of New Zealand–sadly the stories try to cover too much and with the novelty of it being a female western the villains are men and the women are called ‘whores’–shocking? NO!–if more time had been spent on the women’s stories and the female western angle it would have at least been interesting!Sorry folks but I don’t recommend any of them though getting out to see a movie in a theatre is still fun for me!!

Posted February 18, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming

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