‘The Boss Baby’ Review: Alec Baldwin Is Newborn On A Mission In Funny & Frenetic Toon
It seems that most animated movies aimed at kids these days are mostly exclusively laden with animal characters with human traits, but DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby has other ideas, and as I say in my video review above for lovers of genuinely amusing toons it is a wildly funny, original and entertaining flick for all ages. In fact it really seems a throwback to a zanier Chuck Jones-Ward Kimball form of animated treat — one full of non-stop antics, comic action and… Read
‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ Review: Animals, Nazis & A Superb Jessica Chastain Make For Memorable WWII Story
Nazis, zoo animals and a remarkable true and uplifting story of one woman’s courage and resistance in sheltering 300 Polish Jews during World War II combine for a powerful, riveting and emotionally devastating film The Zookeeper’s Wife, which chronicles yet another little-known aspect of that momentous time. As I say in my video review above, director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland USA, North Country) and screenwriter Angela Workman have crafted an inspiring and… Read
‘Nobodies’ Review: Melissa McCarthy-Produced Comedy Low Wattage Despite Big Cameos
Debuting on March 29 and already renewed for a second season, TV Land’s Nobodies executive produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone is a near-perfect example of what having famous friends can do for you in this town – and how that doesn't always work out for the best.
With its first episode already online and having previewed at SXSW, the single-camera comedy series from and starring Groundlings vets Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras is just not that… Read
‘Life’ Review: Jake Gyllenhaal & Ryan Reynolds Fight Creepy Alien In Killer Space Adventure
Life falls smack into the sci-fi alien genre of movies, so it is my prediction that every single review of it will somehow lead to comparisons in particular with Ridley Scott’s Alien — especially since that sci-fi classic owns this piece of the cinematic pie with numerous sequels and yet another (Alien: Covenant) coming from the man himself in May. And with the more cerebral Arrival having just tackled the alien-vs.-humans theme all the way to a Best Picture Oscar… Read
‘Harlots’ Review: Samantha Morton Lets Loose In Hulu’s Bawdy Brothel Drama
With battling brothel madams, anti-vice crusaders, ripping bodices and intimate transactional relations galore (carnal and otherwise), the March 29 debut of Harlots on Hulu delivers a very different look at the world's oldest profession.
Led by a fantastic Samantha Morton as madam Margaret Wells, the eight-episode first season of the series co-created by Jane Eyre screenwriter Moira Buffini and Alison Newman is, as I say in my video review above, a smart romp. More Fox's… Read
‘Five Came Back’ Review: Hollywood Filmmakers On Front Lines Of WWII As Told In Brilliant Netflix Series
Usually my colleague Dominic Patten covers the TV review beat, but he graciously let me steal this one from him since it really is all about movies and their directors. Netflix’s new three-part, three-hour documentary series Five Came Back chronicles the not-so-well-known efforts of five extraordinary Hollywood directors who put their careers on hold to join with the U.S. government in creating propaganda films during World War II.
The five iconic helmers, Oscar winners… Read
‘Song To Song’ Review: Terrence Malick’s Star-Laden Drama Takes A Long Time To Go Absolutely Nowhere
When you have a movie starring Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman, you might think that would be cause for celebration this weekend. But it turns out that the film they are in, Song To Song, is more like a cause for pain. As I say in my video review above, this latest piece of cinematic indulgence from director Terrence Malick is a waste of talent and time that basically is just the latest in a series of diminishing efforts… Read
‘Desus & Mero’ Review: Viceland’s Bronx Duo Are The Real Late-Night Deal
With Donald Trump in the White House, there is a lot happening on late-night television these days. But if you aren't watching Desus & Mero, then you’re not really paying attention to what’s going on. I wanted to wait a while after the Viceland show debuted on October 17 to see where things would go – and it has gone to good places, night after night.
The half-hour show airing at 11 PM Monday-Thursday and featuring Bodega Boys podcasters Desus Nice and The Kid Mero has… Read
‘Wilson’ Review: Woody Harrelson Hits Manic Button In Absurdly Funny Comedy
The press notes describe the character Wilson as a “big-hearted slob, lonesome bachelor, devoted father and husband, idiot, sociopath, delusional blowhard, and delicate flower.” Except for the last one it sounds like he could be President of the United States. But seriously (which this insanely amusing new comedy is thankfully not, for the most part), director Craig Johnson and writer Daniel Clowes have crafted in Wilson a quirky and offbeat delight about the kind of guy… Read
‘Shots Fired’ Review: Fox’s Ambitious Limited Series Stays Too Safe For Comfort
Set in a fictional North Carolina town ripped apart by two fatal shootings, Fox’s new limited series Shots Fired starts on the precipice of a politically charged and multi-perspective plot, but it doesn't ultimately take off much beyond the bounds of Big 4 procedurals. Debuting on March 22 right before the winter-break return of Empire, the 10-episode Shots Fired has, as I say in my video review above, good and smart intentions but simply should have taken more… Read
‘Mean Dreams’ Review: Bill Paxton Saves Some Of His Best For Last
When I saw the new thriller/teen love story Mean Dreams in Cannes last May, I had no idea that when I would be reviewing it at release time one of its stars, Bill Paxton, would no longer be with us. But sadly, Paxton passed away last month due to complications from heart surgery. At 61, it was much too soon, and his death put a hole in the heart of Hollywood. As I say in my video review above, he left behind not only his new CBS series Training Day, now playing off its… Read
‘American Crime’ Season 3 Review: John Ridley’s Anthology Series Remarkable In Scope
Debuting on March 12, Season 3 of American Crime is the strongest installment yet in the Emmy-winning anthology series from John Ridley and ABC. Spotlighting the binding structures, cruel poverty and crushing consequences of the economic slavery and exploitation in today's America, the eight-episode season is, as I say in my video review above, simply some of the best television to come along in ages.
As the show did in Seasons 1 and 2, the latest American Crime features… Read