REVIEW: Shorta (2020)

“Shorta,” Still Image — Photo: Tine Harden / Jacob Møller / Scanbox.

Directed by Anders Ølholm & Frederik Louis Hviid — Screenplay by Anders Ølholm & Frederik Louis Hviid.

Shorta (which is apparently an Arabic word for ‘police’) is a Danish action-thriller about the so-called blue wall of silence, i.e. a tendency for police officers to withhold information and not report on their colleagues’ misconduct. The film follows two police officers — Jens (played by Simon Sears) and Mike (played by Jacob Lohmann) — who are on patrol. In the film, law enforcement has been asked not to go into the fictionalized ghetto ‘Svalegården’ since the last significant encounter between police officers and the inhabitants of Svalegården led to officers kneeling on the back of the neck of a young man, Talib Ben Hassi, who is, at the beginning of the film, in a coma. Continue reading “REVIEW: Shorta (2020)”

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. II: ‘Your Honor,’ ‘For All Mankind,’ and ‘Framing Britney Spears’

Joel Kinnaman in “For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+. — Photo: Apple TV+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at a couple of shows that I have watched a lot in the first months of 2021 — specifically Your Honor and For All Mankind. But I also give you my thoughts on a documentary that everyone talked about in February. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. II: ‘Your Honor,’ ‘For All Mankind,’ and ‘Framing Britney Spears’”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “Breaking the Fourth Wall”

Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the seventh episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the seventh episode of WandaVision — titled Breaking the Fourth Wall — Darcy (played by Kat Dennings) brings Vision (played by Paul Bettany) back up to speed, while Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) decides to have a day all to herself, which means that ‘Agnes’ (played by Kathryn Hahn) has to take care of the twins. Meanwhile, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) tries to get back inside the Hex. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “Breaking the Fourth Wall””

REVIEW: WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the sixth episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the sixth episode of WandaVision — titled All-New Halloween Spooktacular! — Tommy (played by Jett Klyne) and Billy (played by Julian Hilliard) get ready to celebrate their first Halloween inside the Hex with their family, including their mysterious “uncle,” Pietro (played by Evan Peters), who Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) seems slightly suspicious of (perhaps because he, well, has been ‘recast,’ as a character in the previous episode said). Meanwhile, Vision (played by Paul Bettany) has decided to lie to his family and explore Westview on his own. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!””

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. I: ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘The Way Back,’ and More

The Way Back Still Image
Ben Affleck in ‘The Way Back.’ — Photo: Richard Foreman / Warner Bros.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at a couple of films that I didn’t get the chance to watch in 2020 — specifically Fantasy Island and The Way Back. But I also give you my thoughts on two 2021 documentaries — the latest Netflix true-crime docu-series and a Marvel Comics documentary film on Disney+. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. I: ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘The Way Back,’ and More”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “On a Very Special Episode…”

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the fifth episode of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

In the fifth episode of WandaVision — titled On a Very Special Episode — Vision (played by Paul Bettany) starts to question everything about the reality inside Wanda’s bubble universe, while Wanda and Vision’s twin boys age rapidly. Meanwhile, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) wakes up and immediately starts to work out a way that they can enter into the bubble universe without being altered by its time period. But S.W.O.R.D. is about to find out that Wanda (played by Elizabeth Olsen) doesn’t like intruders. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “On a Very Special Episode…””

REVIEW: Palmer (2021)

Justin Timberlake and Ryder Allen in “Palmer,” now streaming on Apple TV+. — Photo: Apple Original Films / Apple TV+.

Directed by Fisher Stevens — Screenplay by Cheryl Guerriero.

Fisher Stevens’ Palmer follows Eddie Palmer (the titular character played by Justin Timberlake), a former high school football star, who was just released from prison. Eddie goes to live with his grandmother, Vivian (played by June Squibb), and soon he seeks out a job as a janitor at a local school. Vivian tends to watch over their young neighbor, Sam (played by Ryder Allen). Sam, a flamboyant young boy who likes to play with dolls, is soon left with no guardian in sight when Vivian passes away and his mother, Shelly (played by Juno Temple), leaves town. Though he is initially reluctant, Eddie decides to do the right thing and become the temporary guardian for a young boy who keeps on challenging Palmer’s own prejudices. Continue reading “REVIEW: Palmer (2021)”

REVIEW: The Dig (2021)

Carey Mulligan, Archie Barnes, and Ralph Fiennes in ‘The Dig.’ — Photo: Larry Horricks / Netflix.

Directed by Simon Stone — Screenplay by Moira Buffini.

Back when I was just a very young teenager, my school had arranged for me to receive (what I guess you would call) on-job training for a week with a team of Danish archaeologists. I had had a natural interest in archaeology, and therefore I was thrilled when I got the chance to learn from them. Over the course of that week, I archived a lot of items, I spoke with the archaeologists for quite some time, I got an early look at a history museum’s recreation of a Viking ship (if memory serves), and I even got to take part in an actual excavation. For this reason, I had a particular interest in Simon Stone’s The Dig, a Netflix original film about a historic excavation in England in 1939, and I actually really enjoyed watching it and learning about Basil Brown and Edith Pretty. But I will say that this period drama is probably a little bit too slow for your average Netflix subscriber. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Dig (2021)”

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Jan. ’21: ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘Uncle Frank’

Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter Macdissi in ‘Uncle Frank,’ — Photo: Brownie Harris/Amazon Studios

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at Alan Ball’s latest film, Uncle Frank, starring Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis, and I talk about how I’ve binge-watched the delightful YouTube/Netflix Original Series, Cobra Kai. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Jan. ’21: ‘Cobra Kai’ and ‘Uncle Frank’”

REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 – TV Series)

Photo: Eike Schroter / Netflix.

Series Created by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House; Doctor Sleep) — Available on Netflix.

I’ve been a huge fan of Mike Flanagan for a couple of years now. He is a horror-focused filmmaker, who hasn’t yet made a huge misstep. Instead, he has actually made some of the previous decade’s very best horror films. Gerald’s Game was one of the best and biggest film surprises of 2017, and his sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, was phenomenal. On Netflix, he has also been given the chance to create, direct, and shepherd the outstanding horror series The Haunting of Hill House, which was such a runaway success that it became an anthology series. The Haunting of Bly Manor is the next chapter of that great horror anthology series, and, even though it is not as good or memorable as Hill House, Bly Manor is another great entry in Flanagan’s increasingly impressive horror oeuvre. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 – TV Series)”