‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Review: Elisabeth Moss-Led Adaptation Is Gripping, Chilling
If ever a television series could border on being too relevant, Hulu's gripping, chilling and brutal adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, which launches with its first three episodes on April 26, would be the one – which is why, as I say in my video review above, it is not to be missed.
From its opening scenes of an attempted escape to Canada from an punishingly patriarchal America reeling from a supposed massive terrorist attack and a new religious regime in power, the Eli… Read
‘Genius’ Review: Nat Geo’s Geoffrey Rush-Led Einstein Drama Solid But Lacks Shine
Genius, the new anthology series that looks at the life of Albert Einstein and debuts tonight on National Geographic, is better than most but not brilliant. Starring Geoffrey Rush as the older version of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and Johnny Flynn as the younger and somewhat swashbuckling Einstein, the 10-episode first installment executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer is at its core deceivingly conventional. With it also pulling double duty as Nat Geo’s… Read
‘Unforgettable’ Review: Katherine Heigl Proves She Can Be Very Good At Playing Very Bad
In the spirit of Fatal Attraction, Sleeping With The Enemy and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (and their endless imitators) comes yet another predictable variation in the form of the suspense thriller Unforgettable. The title alone is obvious catnip for critics, and it would just be too easy to take the Un away, but quite frankly I am not sure what the title has to do with this movie anyway. So yes, the premise is not exactly memorable, but what the movie does have going… Read
Broadway Review: Bette Midler Is A Perfect Match For ‘Hello, Dolly!’
Like mortarboards on graduation day and lizards in Little Orphan Annie, happy critics tend to fling words in the air, leap into paroxysms of ecstasy and throw caution to the wind when something makes us happy. I probably speak for the general critical consortium when I say – duh! – that Bette Midler on Broadway makes us happy.
So I won’t bore you with the Anglo-Austrian roots of the Hello, Dolly! creation myth, the contortions exerted upon it by the likes of Thornton… Read
‘Born In China’ Review: Disneynature Animal Documentary Is A Sweeping & Majestic Treat For Any Age
Disneynature revived the true-life documentary tradition of Walt Disney in 2009 and faithfully has delivered a new, and increasingly wondrous, adventure around every Earth Day — from Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee to Bears, Monkey Kingdom and now Born in China. Some of the proceeds from the first week’s box office for these films goes right back into the cause, a nice and rare gesture from a major studiom where it all seems to be about money these days. In the… Read
‘Let It Fall’ Review: John Ridley’s L.A. Riots Docu Best Of Bunch On 25th Anniversary
As the 25th anniversary approaches of the riots that swept Los Angeles in the aftermath of the acquittal of four LAPD officers who beat Rodney King, five documentaries are on the horizon examining what happened in 1992 and why. As I say in my video review above, the John Ridley-directed Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 is the best of the varied bunch.
Starting with the John Singleton-helmed L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later, which airs tonight on A&E, the films… Read
‘American Gods’ Review: Starz’s Adaptation Of Neil Gaiman Novel Simply Divine
Starz's cunning adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods may be the most ambitious and successful series the premium cabler has launched since it hit the reset button a few years back.
The eight-episode series executive produced by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green that debuts April 30 is do-not-miss television lived large on the big-picture topics and themes of our time as old-world deities and new-world manifestations spar and war across the American cultural… Read
‘Guerrilla’ Review: Frieda Pinto Shines In Shrewd But Slow John Ridley Miniseries
A television team-up between John Ridley and Idris Elba is a good idea that works on more than just paper in the April 16-debuting and 1970s London-set Guerrilla, but the real stars of this smart though sometimes slow effort are Frieda Pinto and Rory Kinnear.
As a bohemian turned gun wielding urban revolutionary and the Scotland Yard cop on the Black Power desk who is hunting down Pinto's Jas Mitra and her allies, the Slumdog Millionaire star and James Bond franchise alum… Read
‘The Leftovers’ Final Season Review: HBO Drama Departs With Greatness
Having started out in 2014 as a successful adaptation of Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel, the April 16-debuting third and final season of HBO’s The Leftovers has officially achieved television greatness. Simply put, the eight-episode last run of the series executive produced by Damon Lindelof and Perrotta is a moving and powerful piece of American art that leaves nothing on the table.
Not to reveal spoilers, but the mostly Lindelof co-written final season has an auspicious… Read
‘Norman’ Review: Richard Gere At Top Of His Game As Small-Time New York Operator
Continuing an impressive run of performances in indie films, Richard Gere is simply terrific in Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer, the original title when it premiered at last fall’s Telluride and Toronto film festivals, but now just shortened to Norman. But don’t think this role was tailor-made for the star or that he was the natural choice.
It’s an offbeat part and he throws himself completely into it as a small time operator, the kind of guy… Read
‘The Fate Of The Furious’ Review: Despite Bond-Style Ludicrous Antics, Latest Sequel Delivers The Stunts Fans Expect
For my money, 2015’s Furious 7 was in every way the most satisfying and certainly emotional of Universal’s multibillion-dollar fast-car franchise. Of course, a lot of that was due to the way the filmmakers handled the sudden and tragic death of co-star Paul Walker, who played Brian. That character is “retired” in the latest edition of the series which, ratchets up the action and testosterone-driven set pieces to the point the franchise is looking more and more like a… Read
‘Going In Style’ Review: Trio Of Oscar Winners Liven Up Reboot
In 1979, George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg starred as retirees who instead of just waiting to die decide to put some excitement into their lives by robbing a bank. That basic idea has been reimagined for a new era in Warner Bros/New Line’s Going In Style with a trio of Oscar winners in Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. Although no one was particularly asking for a remake of the original from director Martin Brest, it seems to me, as I say in my video… Read