Norman Lear, Just Another Version of You
This biographic and historical documentary about the life’s work of Norman Lear is a joy to watch. And why not, it recaps a remarkable career of a iconic television producer whose vision of television entertainment literally changed the American culture.
Better yet, this is a truly likable man, with vision, compassion, forward thinking and deep family values. At first though, some of the early clips from All in the Family and The Jeffersons seem harsh and bigoted by today’s standards but upon reflection of the time and place of those shows were bold and groundbreaking. They used humor to drive home tough topics.
Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady skillfully navigate the complex subject matters with a keen focus on Lear as a change agent and ultimately an extraordinary family patriarch. Do see this film. It is a joyful reminder of another era and a remarkable man.
Don’t Think Twice
This fast paced peek at a small Improv dramedy troop in New York and the challenge they face to grow, compete and thrive. There is a fair amount of time devoted to showing how they remain creative, inspired and relevant to themselves and their craft.
It is both entertaining, exhausting and heartbreaking at moments. It is clear these folks rely on one another with close bonds and inter-dependency. Their creativity is inspiring. But their competitive tendencies come at a price.
You might love this film if you are a comedy or entertainment industry fan. The run time is only 90 minutes, but it feel longer. Not because it isn’t good. It is only because the material comes fast and there is a lot to absorb.
Written and starring, Mike Birbiglia. All talented Keegan-Micheal Key, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci and Tami Sagher round out the troop.
Set in the 1951 under the cloud of the Korean war, a college bound Jewish son of a butcher from Newark, N.J. goes to the conservative Wineburg College, in Ohio. It is a Christian school with only one Jewish fraternity on campus.
The young man Marcus, played by Logan Lerman, is intelligent, articulate, a loner and an atheist. He is captivated by the alluring coed, Olivia, played by Sarah Gidon. Finally there is a date and a bit more.
There are lots of twists and turns, plenty of social and period commentary but the films stays focused on this young mans journey. Sad and satisfying at the same time.
Oh my! Where to begin. We were not going to see this movie, it just looked ridiculous at first. Then we started to hear good things, so we decided give it a look. Now remember this is based on a 1980s DC comic book.
We have 10 bizzare imprisioned criminals each with a unique “superpower” who are recruited by the government to fight evil spirits threatening our destruction.
Yes, it is goofy, crazy, absurd, but on closer look it is inventive, truly unique, and playful in a goofy, crazy, absurd sort of way. At first thought: What is this? By the end, pretty clever. Be assured you have never seen anything quite like this.
It has a nice cast: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman and, drum roll… Viola Davis!
If you like Superhero/Comicbook films, this may be interesting. If not, maybe pass on this one. I liked it much more that John and we are rarely on different pages.