Serial Mom (Blu-ray)

March 25, 2019

Watched John Waters’ delicious camp classic, Serial Mom on Blu-ray. Love, love, love this film. John is one of my favorite directors of all-time. Bravo to his true crime satire. Click on the image below for Reel Charlie’s updated review of Serial Mom.

The Favourite (Blu-ray)

March 24, 2019

What an odd, mixed bag The Favourite proved to be. I heard mixed reviews from friends, so I was prepared. Nominated for ten (10!) Oscars, Yorgos Lanthimos’ bizarre romp through early 18th Century England ended up feeling disjointed. Oscar winner for Best Actress Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne reigned for twelve years after the crown passed from her uncle to her father to her older sister and brother in-law before landing in her lap. Some facts the film got right: Anne had seventeen pregnancies but none of her children survived. She had a close relationship (cis straight white male historian’s term for lesbian relationship) with Rachel Weisz’ character Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough which soured. Remarkably, even mainstream publications report bias against LGBTQ figures as well as female monarchs as reason many of us are only now hearing the truth about Queen Anne and her lesbian love triangle. Kudos to the filmmaker and writers. The rest of the details of the film are erratic at best. Olivia Colman’s performance is as good as I imagined. So happy she is finally getting her just due. Sandy Powell’s costumes, Nadia Stacey’s make up and hair, Komeil S. Hosseini eerie, experimental film score, and Robbie Ryan’s dizzying cinematography elevate the film to a chaotic brilliance. But not enough for me to love The Favourite. Those bits of perfection were tempered with less than stellar performances from Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. The use of absurdity, in particular the dance sequence, the PM and his duck Horatio, and the naked man being pummeled with pomegranates sequence seemed forced rather than gleefully ridiculous. To me if felt as if the film tried on several hats of what it wanted to be and then forgot to pick a winner during the editing process. And speaking of editing, why not make the film a tight 90 minutes instead of meandering to 119? Crazy or stunning, I’m glad films are being made featuring lesbian and bisexual characters. I just wish we could see more LGBTQ women at the helm of these projects. 3 out of 5 for The Favourite.

The Crown: Season 2 (take 2)

March 23, 2019

Re-watched the sophomore season of The Crown in anticipation of her Holiness Olivia Colman taking the reigns from Claire Foy for Season 3. This is great comfort food for costume drama queens and kings everywhere. Click on the image below for Reel Charlie’s updated review.

The Crown currently streams on Netflix.

Downton Abbey: Season 6 (take 3)

March 21, 2019

Watching this on Blu-ray continues to be a feast for the eyes. Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of Downton Abbey: Season 6 (The Final Season). Can’t wait for the feature film this year!

Far From (Blu-ray) Heaven

March 20, 2019

So this came yesterday. Thank you Kino Lorber. Thank you Todd Haynes. I think I’ll savor the new Far From Heaven Blu-ray for the weekend. I can’t wait to see the depth of cinematography in this special edition. Meanwhile, click on the image below for Reel Charlie’s current review.

Netflix’ Tales of the City #armisteadmaupin

March 20, 2019

I shivered when I saw this photo on Towleroad today,

Murray Bartlett is going to make the best Mouse. I am so excited for Netflix’ Tales of the City series from Armistead Maupin. Click on the image above to see five more teaser photos.


Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) (Blu-ray)

March 19, 2019

Tom Tykwer’s techno drama, Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) exploded onto the scene and helped define foreign language film for a new generation. Through music and suspense, Tykwer weaved a classic tale of salvation in 1998 which still has us holding our breath all these years later. And to top it off, Tykwer’s story feels very contemporary. A precursor to the strong female-focused stories we are seeing in film and television thanks to the #TimesUp generation. Want to get a job done? Send in Lola. While everyone else is falling apart around her, Lola racks her brain to come up with a full-proof plan to find 100,000 Deutschmarks in 30 minutes to save her boyfriend Manni from peril. Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreau are brilliantly cast as the star-crossed lovers. Potente’s outdoor running sequences define the film’s kinetic energy. And the masterful loop beginning at the 35 minute mark makes us cheer out loud when we realize what’s in store. Besides Tykwer and the leads, kudos to cinematographer Frank Griebe and Tykwer’s music partners Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek for the crazy great score. Can’t say enough good things about this beautiful film. It defined a new kind of cinema for me when I discovered it way back when. Now I want to re-watch Tykwer’s The Princess and the Warrior and Heaven next. Why hasn’t Criterion or Cohen remastered these? 5 out of 5 for this classic German techho masterpiece.

Star Trek: Insurrection

March 17, 2019

There’s something almost quaint about The Next Generation (TNG) Star Trek feature films. A combination of corny lines and violence that never turns the stomach, these films hearken back to a time when big office blockbusters could appeal more to the Sci-Fi nerds than the present-day American audiences hungry for total annihilation. Which is why I’m probably the perfect candidate to watch the now-classic films from the 90’s. Star Trek: Insurrection finds the crew battling the Son’a to keep the small Ba’ku population on their planet. A little indigenous storytelling, a little New Age post-technology Shangri-La, a whole lot of TNG. Directed by Jonathan Frakes, this Star Trek turns the franchise into perfect comfort food for any lover of the series, Sci-Fi, or an easy other worldly story. 4 out of 5.

Star Trek: Insurrection currently streams on Amazon Prime.

Clue (take 2)

March 15, 2019

Second time watching this classic whodunit for Reel Charlie. What a cast! Silly, satisfying, and with lots of screaming. Watching Eileen Brennan, Leslie Ann Warren, and Madeline Kahn in the same room is pure comedic magic.

Delicious: Season 3

March 13, 2019

More fun, light-hearted antics from Delicious – the folks who bring you good food, great location shots and Dawn French. What’s not to love? Season 3 really focuses on the two women, partners in the business and daughter Teresa. Nothing earth-shattering about this show. Just a feel-good, comfort food (literal and figurative) kind of experience. Nighttime soap drama mixed in with yummy food styling and a lot of love. So happy they extended the series to a third season. 3.5 out of 5.

Delicious currently streams on Acorn TV.

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