Overview: June 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 June 2020, among other things, I wrote a lengthy spoiler-filled discussion of the story of The Last of Us: Part II, and I also, finally, reviewed the third season of Westworld.

Continue reading “Overview: June 2020”

REVIEW: Troop Zero (2020)

Release Poster – Amazon Studios

The following is a review of Troop Zero — Directed by Amber Finlayson & Katie Ellwood (also known as Bert & Bertie).

Bert & Bertie’s Troop Zero is a feel-good dramedy about a young girl, Christmas Flint (played by Mckenna Grace), who looks to the stars in search of life and her mother. She lives in a trailer park with her widowed father, Ramsey (played by Jim Gaffigan), who has told his daughter that her mother is among the stars, comets, and meteors. Because of this Christmas is obsessed with space, and she sometimes uses odd descriptions to describe people in her life. For example, Christmas, at one point, calls Miss Rayleen (played by Viola Davis) an “an intergalactic warrior,” even though she is nothing of the sort. One day, Christmas overhears that girl scout troops will compete at a jamboree to have their voices recorded by NASA and sent into space. This is a dream come true for the perennially bullied Christmas, so she begins to assemble a group of misfits to compete as a girl scout troop at the jamboree, but she soon learns that the girl scout community will not easily accept unique newcomers. Continue reading “REVIEW: Troop Zero (2020)”

REVIEW: The Report (2019)

Release Poster – Amazon Studios

The following is a review of The Torture Report — Directed by Scott Z. Burns.

While Netflix is enjoying another moment in the sun with the release of Martin Scorsese’s latest masterpiece, The Irishman, which is streaming exclusively on Netflix, Amazon Studios has quietly released The Report to Prime Video. The lack of awareness that The Report is getting is reminding me of a quote in the film itself: “you have a sunlight problem.” Though The Report isn’t the most notable or, frankly, the best film released on streaming services this week, Scott Z. Burns’ film is genuinely gripping thanks, in large part, to a strong central performance from Adam Driver that elevates the otherwise potentially dramatically listless material. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Report (2019)”

REVIEW: The Upside (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – STX Films / Lantern Entertainment

The following is a short review of The Upside — Directed by Neil Burger.

A remake of Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano’s French film, Intouchables, from 2011, Neil Burger’s The Upside follows Dell Scott (played by Kevin Hart), an African-American father on parole, who is hired to be the caregiver of the quadriplegic millionaire Phillip Lacasse (played by Bryan Cranston), who, after having lost his wife, has lost his will to live. Together, they form an — according to this film’s cliched formula — unlikely friendship from which they both learn a lot about life and culture. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Upside (2019)”

Top Ten TV-Shows of 2018

The New Golden Age of Television continued in 2018 with yet another great year of television. This must be reiterated year after year — yes, even in a year without Game of Thrones — 2018 continued that age, or trend, in which television is as effective as, or even more so than, cinema. For some, television of 2018 is defined best by the return of the increasingly confounding Westworld, and, for others like me, it is best defined by limited series that kept my attention far better than most long-running shows. Continue reading “Top Ten TV-Shows of 2018”