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: On the Rocks (2020)

Film Poster
Release Poster – Apple TV+ / A24.

Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation) — Available on Apple TV+.

As most people know, Sofia Coppola is Hollywood royalty. She made appearances in many of her father’s films, before a less-than-stellar supporting performance in The Godfather Part III led to scathing reviews and, not long thereafter, her acting career was over. But Sofia Coppola is not just Hollywood royalty, she is also a terrific filmmaker. Over the years, she has managed to reinvent herself as a great director and for her second film as a director, 2003’s Lost in Translation, Coppola was allegedly inspired by her own relationship with her ex-husband and filmmaker Spike Jonze (Her). Since Lost in Translation, which I think is a beautiful film (as well as her best), it has been difficult not to look at her films as being directly inspired by her own experiences. When I watched On the Rocks, which, like Lost In Translation, features Bill Murray, I started to think about her relationship with both her father and middle-age. Continue reading “REVIEW: On the Rocks (2020)”

Overview: August 2020

Overview provides my readers with a brief overview of the articles or reviews that I have written, as well as additional bite-sized thoughts on films or shows about which I do not intend to write thorough reviews. In August 2020, among other things, I wrote about the latest Pixar film, Christopher Nolan’s latest major motion picture, and an incredible Apple TV+ documentary.

Continue reading “Overview: August 2020”

REVIEW: Boys State (2020 – Documentary)

Release Poster – A24 / Apple TV+

The following is a review of Boys State — Directed by Jesse Moss & Amanda McBaine.

Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State is a documentary about an American leadership and citizenship summer program that teaches young Americans about how politics, government, and campaigning works. Although the documentary focuses on a ‘Boys State,’ there are apparently identical summer programs for young women. The documentary focuses on the 2018 Texas Boys State and the gubernatorial campaigns of the competing Texas Boys State parties the Nationalists and the Federalists, during which it becomes clear that young Americans have learned a lot about politics from the difficult and contentious state of American politics. Continue reading “REVIEW: Boys State (2020 – Documentary)”

Overview: July 2020

Overview provides my readers with a brief overview of the articles or reviews that I have written, as well as additional bite-sized thoughts on films or shows about which I do not intend to write thorough reviews. In July 2020, among other things, I wrote about films from directors such as Brian De Palma, Roman Polanski, and Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Continue reading “Overview: July 2020”

REVIEW: Greyhound (2020)

Release Poster – Apple TV+

The following is a review of Greyhound — Directed by Aaron Schneider.

Though not the first Apple TV+ film (it was preceded by two documentaries, Minhal Baig’s Hala, and George Nolfi’s The Banker), Aaron Schneider’s Greyhound is almost definitely the biggest, most expensive, and most widely seen Apple TV+ film released thus far. Originally scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures in theaters around the world, Greyhound was, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, delayed and later sold to Apple TV+ for a reported sum of $70 million. With the acquisition, Apple TV+ was granted not just a marketable war flick with a household name in the lead role, Apple also received a genuinely good and entertaining film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Greyhound (2020)”

REVIEW: Defending Jacob (2020)

Release Poster – Apple TV+

The following is a review of the Apple TV+ mini-series “Defending Jacob,” — Directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Mark Bomback.

Morten Tyldum and Mark Bomback’s Defending Jacob is a crime mini-series based on the William Landay novel of the same name. The series follows the Barber family — Andy (played by Chris Evans) and Laurie (played by Michelle Dockery) and their teenage son, Jacob (played by Jaeden Martell) — from Newton, Massachusetts. At the outset of the series, Andy Barber, the assistant district attorney, is assigned to prosecute the murder of Ben Rifkin, one of Jacob’s classmates, and he is quick to identify a prime suspect. However, soon Andy is forced to abandon the case when his son is charged with the murder of Ben Rifkin. The Barbers are naturally shocked, and, in the series, they must try to clear their son’s name, find the actual culprit, and endure the harsh spotlight that they, as a family, have suddenly been put under. Continue reading “REVIEW: Defending Jacob (2020)”