‘Zoolander 2’ Review: Ben Stiller’s Misguided Sequel Is A Fashion Disaster
I wanted to like Zoolander 2 so much. It has been 15 long years since the original made me laugh a lot and added another great character to star-director Ben Stiller’s canon of memorable comic creations — plus, the fact that he was directing gave me hope. Stiller’s Tropic Thunder was a gem, and he’s a very smart filmmaker. Not this time.
Perhaps it was too many cooks in the kitchen (the script is credited to Stiller and Justin Theroux — another smart guy — & John Hamburg… Read
‘11.22.63’ Review: Hulu’s James Franco JFK Series Full Of Time-Travel Twists
Time travel is one of the great devices of modern TV and film, but rarely do the consequences fully come into focus as would-be superheroes, Gallifreyians and others are employed to tweak the span of history. Debuting on February 15 on Hulu with a new episode every Monday, 11.22.63 is all about truth and consequences. The James Franco-starrer about a back-to-the-future attempt to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy is also full of more twists than you'd expect and… Read
‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Review: Bob Odenkirk Is Back With Even Greater “Moral Flexibility”
After a record-breaking and Emmy-nominated debut season last year, Better Call Saul is back in the saddle February 15 for Season 2. It is, as my video review above says, a richer ride for the Breaking Bad prequel.
For one thing, having established the setup and met the expectations of Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill — the man who will become the slippery and sometimes silver-tongued Saul Goodman — the AMC series now has a real opportunity to evolve the tale toward its… Read
‘Vinyl’ Review: Martin Scorsese & Mick Jagger’s HBO Series Rocks
On the surface, it may not seem the most appropriate Valentine's Day gift, but if you are as in love with rock'n'roll and storytelling from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter, then HBO's Vinyl is a TV kiss you don't want to miss. Debuting on February 14 with a two-hour pilot directed by the Oscar winner, Vinyl, as I say in my video review above, literally and figuratively rocks.
And yes, from its NYC circa 1973 mean streets to blasting the New… Read
‘Deadpool’ Review: This Comic Book Superhero Is Super Fun (And Raunchy)
Although I can’t confess to being a huge fan of superhero comic book movies since most seem so derivative and repetitive, I was thoroughly surprised and entertained by Marvel’s latest, Deadpool. I suppose I shouldn’t have been too shocked that this was really good due to the incredible buzz surrounding the early footage shown at last July’s Comic Con. It stole the show then, and rightly so.
This isn’t just any comic book movie adaptation. No, it revels in making mincemeat… Read
‘Remember’ Review: Oscar Winners Christopher Plummer & Martin Landau Drive Powerful Holocaust Revenge Thriller
Eighty-six-year-old Oscar winner Christopher Plummer ages up a bit in Remember as a 90-year-old World War II Auschwitz concentration camp survivor named Zev. He’s hell-bent on avenging the death of family members when he discovers the Nazi commandant responsible is still alive and living somewhere in America. Suffering from early stages of dementia as well as the loss of his wife, Zev is given a letter from fellow survivor Max (Martin Landau) who helps him embark on a… Read
‘The New Yorker Presents’ Review: Amazon & Alex Gibney Do Magazine Proud
Having first seen the light of day online during Amazon's early 2015 pilot season, and then a preview at the just-wrapped Sundance Film Festival, The New Yorker Presents is launching its full 10-episode first run February 16. The result is compelling and entertaining. In fact, The New Yorker Presents is, as my video review above says, like a typically well-written and well-edited New Yorker piece: insightful and almost without an ounce of fat or unnecessary verbiage… Read
‘Hail, Caesar!’ Review: George Clooney Gets Kidnapped As Coen Brothers Put A Wicked And Funny Spin On Classic Hollywood
Count me in whenever there is a new Coen Brothers movie in town. This multiple Oscar-winning duo has proven they can do it all, from drama to comedy and back again. And now they literally do do it all with their latest, Hail, Caesar!, but they are firmly back in comedy with this sly, wickedly funny and dead-on homage to the Hollywood of the early 50’s.
Although the basic plot revolves around the kidnapping of the fictional Capitol Studio’s top star Baird Whitlock (George C… Read
‘Madoff’ Review: ABC Miniseries Starring Richard Dreyfuss Misses Big Picture
Even though more than $11 billion has been recovered for scammed investors who put their cash in Bernie Madoff's elaborate Ponzi scheme, and Madoff was sentenced to 150 years behind bars, the true drama behind this American saga has yet to be told on the small screen. And while hinted at, it certainly isn't told in ABC's miniseries Madoff, which, nearly eight years after the shock and pain of the Great Recession hit America, is an opportunity lost.
The two-part, four-hour… Read
‘The People V. O.J. Simpson’ Review: The Verdict Is In On FX Series – It’s Very Good
It was heralded as the trial of the century more than 20 years ago, and now it could become one of the television events of 2016. Debuting on FX on February 2, The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, as my video review above says, is a powerful piece of TV that seeks to pierce through the veil of race, class and celebrity both then and now.
Based on Jeffrey Toobin's bestselling 1996 book The Run Of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson and created by Scott… Read
‘The Finest Hours’ Review: Chris Pine & Casey Affleck Deftly Navigate True Coast Guard Tale
If Disney’s new action adventure film The Finest Hours reminds you of a certain George Clooney movie from about 15 years ago called The Perfect Storm, you wouldn’t be wrong. There are similarities as both are Massachusettes-set movies following a group of ordinary men in survival mode on the high seas as a huge Nor’easter hits. But apart from the spectacular effects of lots of giant crashing waves on a comparatively tiny boat, The Finest Hours has more on its mind as it… Read
‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Review: Po Is Back And Better Than Ever
Best. Panda. Ever. That’s how I see the third edition of this DreamWorks Animation money-minting franchise, Kung Fu Panda 3, going down. It is hilarious of course, but also spirited in every way. Interestingly, DWA has come up with two versions including one in the Mandarin language. But at its core, no matter what the lingo, KFP3 speaks to Po lovers around the world.
This time Po (Jack Black) is reunited with his long-lost father (voiced by Bryan Cranston), and they… Read