‘The Danish Girl’ Review: Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Turn Transgender Tale Into Universal Love Story
Talk about hitting the zeitgeist. The Danish Girl, which details the story of the first known transgender in the 1920s, opened over the weekend to very good box office numbers in its limited platform release in New York and Los Angeles. Some of that might be attributable to its hot-button topic, which has made headlines recently with among others Caitlyn Jenner and the Emmy-winning Amazon series Transparent. But make no mistake about it, at its heart, The Danish Girl is… Read
‘The Good Dinosaur’ Review: Pixar’s Latest Isn’t Its Greatest, But Kids Won’t Mind
Delayed by story and personnel problems, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur represents the first time the now-legendary animation studio has released two films in one calendar year. Forget that this cannot possibly live up to the standards of its June release, Inside Out (what could?), the screenplay by Meg LeFauve just doesn’t pop. You certainly could see the potential in this story of a young dino (reminding me of Dino, the pet dinosaur in The Flintstones) adrift in the world… Read
‘Superstore’ Review: America Ferrera NBC Comedy Proves Big Not Better
There's a new big box coming to the small screen, but it might not have everything you need. Debuting at 10 PM November 30 with a special two-episode preview right after The Voice, NBC’s Superstore provides the return to primetime of America Ferrera. And while the Ugly Betty and How to Train Your Dragon star usually can elevate anything's she’s in, Ferrera is unable to lift this one out of its torpor. Superstore, as my video review above says, is another one of those… Read
‘Creed’ Review: Sly Stallone Back In The Ring In New Role But Still Packing An Emotional Punch
It has been nearly 40 years since we first met Rocky Balboa. Rocky won the Best Picture Oscar for 1976 and led to five sequels, the most recent in 2006. Sylvester Stallone thought that film, Rocky Balboa, would be a fitting coda for the character that brought him such fame and fortune, but young filmmaker Ryan Coogler — a lifelong fan of the films — had another idea. Now for the first time Stallone did not write the script, which is credited to Coogler and Aaron… Read
‘Secret In Their Eyes’ Review: Oscar-Winning Stars Remake An Oscar-Winning Film – Is It Worth Another Visit?
In 2010, Argentina’s Juan Jose Campanella won a much-deserved Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Secret in Their Eyes. It didn’t take long for producer Mark Johnson to snap up the English-language remake rights. Writer-director Billy Ray was hired to take on the material and give it a new spin that would appeal to more of a mass audience without compromising the original, though it’s still a story about revenge.
As I say in my video review (click the link above), what… Read
‘A Very Murray Christmas’ Review: Miley Cyrus Is Real Gift In Netflix Special
It's that time of the year when holiday specials and themed shows begin coming down like snow on a winter’s night. Near the front of the reindeer herd is A Very Murray Christmas, with, as the title suggests, the nearly universally loved Bill Murray and a cast of famous and fabulously talented friends.
Debuting on Netflix on December 4, the Sofia Coppola-directed one-off really should, as my video review above says, have the words "featuring Miley Cyrus" in bright lights… Read
‘The Man In The High Castle’ Review: Amazon’s Alt-History Series Is A Winner
There has been a great big-screen adaptation of the writings of Philip K. Dick in 1982's Blade Runner, and some less-than-stellar ones since. But now we have the first near-great TV series based on the Hugo Award-winning author work in Amazon's The Man In The High Castle. I thought the pilot had some issues when it went up on Amazon in January, but, as my video review above says, the espionage-rich 10-episode first season that debuts November 20 is a great binge-worthy… Read
‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ Review: Netflix Series Wonderfully Dark & Villainous
If you are waiting for the next great series of 2015, mark November 20 on your calendar. That's when the full, 13-episode first season of Marvel's Jessica Jones goes up on Netflix. The dark thriller starring Krysten Ritter and David Tennant, as my video review above says, is grown-up great and certainly binge appointment viewing.
Like Marvel's last Netflix offering Daredevil, which I loved, the NYC of Jessica Jones is grittier than real-life Manhattan in recent years. And… Read
‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ Review: Jennifer Lawrence Fights To Finish In Dark Finale
When your first three films have made $2.3 billion around the globe, I guess you can do just about anything you want for the finale, and the choice for the filmmakers of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was to go dark. Very dark. This fourth and final entry into the cinematic world of Katniss and company is a bit of overkill, but certainly will please fans who can now say they have lived though the whole epic story which of course was cooked up by Suzanne Collins in… Read
‘The Night Before’ Review: Seth Rogen Establishes New “High” In Christmas Movies
‘Tis clearly the season for holiday movies. No sooner did we digest last week’s Christmas flick Love The Coopers along comes another yuletide offering called The Night Before. But if you think this one is going to be full of cheer and good tidings like most movies of this ilk, think again. We are talking here about a Christmas movie starring Seth Rogen! Take away the trappings of this genre and you really have a film much closer in spirit to Pineapple Express, This Is The… Read
‘Chicago Med’ Review: Dick Wolf’s Newest Windy City Series Unsurprising But Solid
If you expected the third series that Dick Wolf and Universal TV have set in the Windy City to be any different than its predecessors, think again. Chicago Med is set to debut on November 17 on NBC right after The Voice and, as my video review above says, it's a solid procedural for the network – no better and no less.
Despite changes in showrunners in the months leading up to Tuesday’s well-positioned premiere, Chicago Med is exactly what you expect it to be. With… Read
Oscars: Deadline’s Pete Hammond Vs. Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil In Best Actor Prediction Smackdown
Continuing our “spirited” discussion of early trends in the Oscar race, Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and I really go at it in assessing the Best Actor contest and try to figure out who is up and who is down at this very early point in the competition. I am not into the ranking game but love to talk up the possibilities and offer possible clues as to which way the winds are blowing for these talented guys. As always, Best Actor is chock-full of possibilities, and we analyze it… Read