REVIEW: Bad Education (2020)

Release Poster – HBO Films

The following is a review of Bad Education — Directed by Cory Finley.

Bad Education is the second film from director Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds), and the HBO Films drama is based on a New York Magazine article written by Robert Kolker about a public school embezzlement scandal that happened back in the 2000s. The film follows Dr. Frank Tassone (played by Hugh Jackman), the superintendent of the Roslyn Union Free School district, and Pam Gluckin (played by Allison Janney), the assistant superintendent. Gluckin and Tassone have achieved great success as a team as is evident by the fact that their district’s public high school is ranked fourth in the nation at the beginning of the film. But, as one student is about to uncover, their successful partnership is built on illegal activities. Continue reading “REVIEW: Bad Education (2020)”

REVIEW: The Irishman (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Irishman — Directed by Martin Scorsese.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Martin Scorsese would arguably be on the Mt. Rushmore of American filmmakers if such a thing existed. When Scorsese laments the supposed death of cinema or questions the artistic merit of modern blockbusters, you listen to him for the simple reason that few people know the medium, the power of cinema, or the industry as well as he does. His understanding of the power of what is within or out of the frame of cinema is indescribable. Though his detractors may suggest that he is a glorified gangster film director, nothing could be further from the truth. With The Irishman, Martin Scorsese has given us a haunting and elegiac historical epic disguised as a greatest hits gangster film that stresses that, even in the autumn of his life, the master hasn’t missed a beat. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Irishman (2019)”

REVIEW: Paddleton (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of Paddleton — Directed by Alex Lehmann.

There is a way to sugarcoat and refuse to spoil what Paddleton is really about. I could tell you that it’s just about two old friends and neighbors playing some game they invented for 90 minutes. I could feed you some line about how it becomes surprisingly moving or something like that.

But, I’m not going to do that, because Alex Lehmann’s Paddleton essentially reveals its nature in its very first scene in which it is revealed that Mark Duplass’ Michael is suffering from terminal cancer. Paddleton, though — yes — named after the game that is two friends’ own invention, is a film about assisted suicide, saying goodbye, and reluctantly coming to terms with a loss.
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REVIEW: The Big Sick (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Amazon Studios / Lionsgate

The following is a review of The Big Sick – Directed by Michael Showalter.

In Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani (played by himself), a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, has fallen in love with a heckler, a white woman named Emily (played by Zoe Kazan). Kumail quickly starts a relationship with this woman, but he is not ready to tell his parents as they are very conservative and constantly shove Pakistani women in front of him whenever he visits his parents’ home. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Big Sick (2017)”

REVIEW: Vinyl – “Pilot”

Vinyl Reviewed

The following is a review of the first episode of Vinyl, available on HBO and HBO Nordic right now.

Vinyl, created by Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter, Mick Jagger, and Rich Cohen, follows Richie Finestra (played by Bobby Cannavale), a record executive for American Century on the cusp of a massive label buyout deal with a German company, as he tries to manage his crumpling label, his love for music, his family, and his sanity. The pilot episode was just released and it is an excellent piece of television.
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