The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far (New York Times)

June 11, 2017

These film lists, even by film critics are riddled with issues. But they can still be fun to ponder, gleefully clap over, or scream at. Out of the 25 Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott from the New York Times featured, I loved:

Inside Out
Boyhood
Hurt Locker
Munich
Moonlight

Above title links are Reel Charlie reviews.

What about you?
Check out the list at NYTimes.

 

 

 

 

Adam West 1928 – 2017

June 10, 2017

We need more silliness in our lives. The world at large mirrors the dark and violent world of our superheros these days. West’s Batman paved the way for lighter fare like Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool. That’s probably why I loved those new films so much – they hearkened back to the 60’s camp of Batman the TV series.

Read Adam West’s obituary on Variety.
Watch Adam West dance the Batusi as Batman.

Antarctica: Ice and Sky

June 8, 2017

Watched the Luc Jaquet (March of the Penguins) documentary on the life of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, credited as the first scientist to discover evidence of climate change. The film is not a political or activist work. It is a quiet film about Lorius’ many expeditions and his findings. I felt the film could have used more editing. Still it is important to chronicle this man’s achievements. 3 out of 5.

Although the doc appears to be in French during the credits, the film is actually in English.

Animal Kingdom: Season 1

June 7, 2017

I blew through five episodes of the American television series adaptation of the Australian film, Animal Kingdom based on a true crime family. Ellen Barkin executes a strong performance as the matriarch of a California crime family – four sons and a grandson. The testosterone spews everywhere in this household. Raw, hardcore, feral. These boys barely contain themselves enough to get the job done. Scott Speedman, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, and Shawn Hatosy deliver fine performances as the Cody brothers with Finn Cole entering the family as the youngest member now that his mother has OD’d. There’s definitely a pull with this series. It’s hypnotic, gritty, forbidden. It’s also homoerotic with all the guys hanging out shirtless around the pool half the time. You can’t help but keep watching. I made it through five episodes. There’s one awful homophobic bashing I got through early on, but another begins in episode five and I just couldn’t stomach it. Both make sense per the plot. Perhaps you may have a higher tolerance to violence. I simply could no longer watch. Animal Kingdom performs well. 3 out of 5 for me. Higher if you can stomach the violence.

Divorce: Season 1 Episode 1

June 6, 2017

Tried watching the new HBO Sarah Jessica Parker series Divorce. I only watched the first episode. Too sad for me to continue. I think it’s a fascinating premise handled well – great production, good actors involved. But it’s too much sadness for me to wrap myself up in. 3 out of 5.

Bloodline: Season 3

June 5, 2017

Saying goodbye to the Rayburns of Bloodline I felt sadness and relief. Sadness because I came to love several of the characters. Relief because I felt exhausted watching the siblings dig themselves deeper and deeper into their lies and deceit. So many unnecessary deaths. I still blame Danny who brought plague onto his family. This season in particular felt biblical. I was on the edge of my seat each episode wondering what might go wrong next and who might screw up the most. The final two episodes were a bit surreal, but I think it gave the fans what they needed – a final dose of Danny. Trying to side step any spoilers here. Sally drove me crazy, Kevin couldn’t get one thing right and Meg just fled. Poor John left to clean up everyone’s mess. All in all I loved Bloodline. It was a fun romp in the Florida Keys through the eyes of a very damaged family. 4 out of 5.

The Wire turns 15

June 4, 2017

Happy 15th to The Wire which premiered on HBO June 2, 2002. Congrats to creator David Simon and the fantastic crew and actors who created legendary characters Bunk, McNulty, Kima, Bubbles, Lester, Stringer, Avon, Ziggy, Prop Joe, Omar (sigh), Bunny, Stanfield (shudder), Clay Davis (shiiittt), and so many others. If you’ve been meaning to find out what all the buzz is about, now is the time. If you haven’t visited Baltimore recently, revisit The Wire which continues to be one of the best television shows ever created in America. The Wire streams on HBO Now and Amazon Prime.

Reel Charlie reviews:
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5

Gay Hollywood – Thursdays in June (TCM)

June 4, 2017

Yikes, this graphic from TCM’s website makes the station’s Pride Month film series very white and male. Surely there could have been some pictures of Dorothy Arzner, Katherine Hepburn or Agnes Moorehead thrown into the mix. And that’s just the first three women I could think of off the top of my head.

Still it’s fun TCM openly celebrates Pride Month with a great selection of films each year.  See the full list at TCM.

RIP Robert Osborne. We miss you.

‘Sense8′ Cancelled: Netflix Ends The Wachowskis’ Progressive Sci-Fi Drama After Two Seasons (Indiewire)

June 3, 2017

Damn you Netflix. From Indiewire,

Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of Original Content, released the following statement on Thursday regarding the cancellation:

After 23 episodes, 16 cities, and 13 countries, the story of the ‘Sense8’ cluster is coming to an end. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never as there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe, and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.

“Sense8” earned mostly positive reviews for both seasons, with a slight uptick in acclaim for Season 2. IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller gave the follow-up year a B+ in her review and said, “‘Sense8’ may have had a slow start in Season 1, but Season 2 is a hell of a ride. Hold on tight.”

Because of the series’ originality as well as its diverse cast and progressive storylines — including a scene filmed during the largest gay pride celebration in the world — “Sense8” earned a passionate following as well as accolades from the GLAAD Media Awards and the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, among others.

Read the full article on Indiewire.
Read Real Charlie’s reviews of Sense8 Season 1 and Season 2.

What I loved most about Sense8 was the creators’ ability to break through convention and try new things. Some worked gloriously. Others failed. But the pulse of the show was always frenetic and captivatingly addictive. It was an imperfect show I adored. Thank you Sense8 for pushing the envelope and expanding our universe.

Sense8’s Lito and Hernando at San Paolo’s Gay Pride 2016

The Great British Baking Show Returns to PBS for a Fourth Season of Merriment in the Kitchen (PBS)

June 2, 2017

Hell yeah this summer’s going to be delicious! PBS just announced Season 4 of The British Baking Show beginning June 16. From PBS,

PBS announced today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW will return for a fourth season on June 16, 2017, airing Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). This upcoming season is the BBC’s most recent season, which received the highest-ever viewership for the series. PBS also announced it has committed to a fifth season of the series that has previously aired on the BBC.

Read the full article on PBS.


%d bloggers like this: