Friday, August 04, 2017


A child custody story is enhanced by the performances in Gifted. A brother promises his sister that her gifted daughter will have a normal life. When his sister dies, and the grandmother and social services step in on behalf of the child, an interesting story unfolds. There is enough heart in this drama to keep it from being trite or cheesy. I liked this film.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Big Little Lies

The HBO miniseries Big Little Lies plays out in seven episodes. The story of suburban families dealing with life, feelings and relationships is well written and acted. It is presented as a mystery, and the clues to who-done-it are parsed out bit by bit. The cast brings the drama home. I enjoyed this series very much.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Following the Battle of Dunkirk there were the logistics of getting over 300,000 soldiers out of Dunkirk and back to the UK. No small feat, especially with the enemy shooting at you. In the film Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan takes on the depiction of this historic time from 3 perspectives. Air, land and sea. The scenes are harrowing and I was struck by how young the soldiers were. There is a focus on a few characters to connect the audience, but for the majority of the scenes were are in the midst of shooting and bombing. Well shot and structured, an intense film depicting a dramatic time in history.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Blade Runner (1982)

For all of the theatrics, I feel like nothing really happens in Blade Runner. I know this film has been highly acclaimed and is considered brilliant by many, but I was just plain bored.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Defending Your Life

Who sets a love story in the afterlife? Albert Brooks tells a sweet, creative tale in Defending Your Life. The story makes the rules of the great beyond very clear, and the performances are just great. The less you know going in the better. Fun fantasy ride. Well done.

Kong: Skull Island

Though the story sounds solid on paper, in execution, Kong: Skull Island comes off a bit silly. The actors give it their all, but I didn't buy it. The CGI was OK, but the monsters weren't much more than eating machines. This was an OK rental, but not as enthralling as past Kong movies for me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Judd Apatow Live

Judd Apatow is doing stand up again after a 22 year break and he brought his act to Providence. I bought tickets, invited a friend and we went to the Columbus Theatre in Providence. The upstairs theater is a small space, 200 seats, and sitting in the back row-center we were only 20 feet from the stage. Wayne Federman opened. He was light, and used the piano on the stage. A talented player and very funny guy. Apatow took the stage carrying his notes and a beer. He was prepping to tape a special for Netflix on Friday. His material moved easily from politics to family to work to sex to food as his subjects.The bits were funny and the hour flew. In the end, my face hurt from laughing and I felt a little lighter. A very fun night.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

After enjoying the Netflix series GLOW I took a look at a documentary that features the actual wrestlers. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is an eye-opening look at this world. Physically demanding with the pressure of giving a good performance, these women have heart and a true love of the theater of professional wrestling. So many of the first-hand accounts come down to the expression of that love. Really interesting film.