Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Summer ’21: ‘Mare of Easttown,’ ‘Cruella,’ and More

Emma Stone as ‘Cruella’ in Disney’s live-action ‘CRUELLA’ — Photo: Disney / Disney+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I reveal my mixed thoughts on the Emma Stone-vehicle Cruella, and then I recommend three television shows, one of which I’ve been meaning to review for several months. This edition of Additional Bite-Sized Reviews is jam-packed!

Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Summer ’21: ‘Mare of Easttown,’ ‘Cruella,’ and More”

REVIEW: BoJack Horseman – Season Six (2019-2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the sixth and final season of BoJack Horseman (Parts I and II) — Available on Netflix.

In the final season of BoJack Horseman, the titular character goes to rehab as he decides it is time to grapple with his own trauma and the trauma that he has caused. But sometimes it isn’t good enough to exercise personal growth, and BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) may have to be put through the wringer by unrelenting gossip journalists that hope to ‘cancel,’ so to speak, our titular character.

Continue reading “REVIEW: BoJack Horseman – Season Six (2019-2020)”

REVIEW: For All Mankind – Season Two (2021)

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

Series Created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi — Available Now on Apple TV+.

In Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. II, I wrote about my experience of finally binge-watching the entire first season of Apple TV+’s For All Mankind, which was originally released back in 2019. The alternate-reality angle of the show was what had originally made me interested in the show, and, ultimately, the execution was what kept me hooked throughout the solid but somewhat bumpy first season. To reiterate, the show is, essentially, ‘what if the Soviet Union had reached the Moon first and, as a result, the United States continued and accelerated the space race.’

Continue reading “REVIEW: For All Mankind – Season Two (2021)”

REVIEW: Invincible – Season One (2021)

Omni-Man (left, voiced by J. K. Simmons) and Invincible (right, voiced by Steven Yeun) in “Invincible,” — Photo: Amazon Studios.

Series Created by Robert Kirkman — Available Now On Amazon Prime Video.

It’s always nice to see, when something you’ve loved for years is adapted successfully. Over five years ago, I read the first forty issues, or so, of Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, a superhero comic book series from Image Comics. I loved the comic book series back then, I still do, and I was excited when it was announced to be adapted as both an animated series and a film. That interest reached a fever pitch when the voice cast was announced. Steven Yeun (voicing Mark Grayson, Invincible), J. K. Simmons (voicing Nolan Grayson, Omni-Man), Sandra Oh (voicing Debbie Grayson), and Gillian Jacobs (voicing Atom Eve) voice the most pivotal characters, but it doesn’t stop there. Other great actors such as Seth Rogen, Mahershala Ali, and Walton Goggins all play important characters. Once you actually watch the show, you’ll see exactly why the cast is so star-studded. Because Invincible could be the ‘next big thing.’

Continue reading “REVIEW: Invincible – Season One (2021)”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “Previously On”

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

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

In the eighth episode of WandaVision — titled Previously On — we learn more about who Agatha Harkness (played by Kathryn Hahn) really is, before she and Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) take a trip down memory lane to rewatch and expand upon pivotal moments in Wanda’s life, which reveals why the Hex bubble universe was even created in the first place. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “Previously On””

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)”

REVIEW: WandaVision – “We Interrupt This Program”

Teyonah Parris and Elizabeth Olsen in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

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

In the fourth episode of WandaVision — titled We Interrupt This Program — we are introduced to Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris), as the show switches perspective and shows us the events of the first three episodes from the perspective of the outside world. Monica Rambeau is ‘Geraldine,’ the neighbor who was thrown out of the bubble universe after having mentioned Ultron to Wanda. In this episode, when Monica disappears after having investigated a missing person’s case, FBI, S.W.O.R.D., and several scientists set up a base outside of Westview, New Jersey for the purpose of figuring out what exactly is going on. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – “We Interrupt This Program””

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)”

REVIEW: Westworld – Season Three (2020)

Poster – HBO

The following is a review of the third season of HBO’s Westworld — Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

I wish I had more nice things to say about this latest season of Westworld. This is a show that I have loved for a very long time. In the past, I have spent a lot of hours online reading theories and speculations about the series. In the past, I would discuss the show with friends and family. In the past, I would nerd out about the show. In the past, it never wore me out. I would spend each and every week writing recaps and reviews of each and every episode of the first two seasons. But, unfortunately, season three of Westworld was the one that convinced me to stop reviewing the series episode by episode. It, honestly, shocked me to find out that a show that I had loved so much could lose me so easily. Continue reading “REVIEW: Westworld – Season Three (2020)”

REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Magic Man”

The following is a recap and review of the season premiere of the fifth season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U. S. and on Netflix internationally. Expect story spoilers. 

In the season premiere of the fifth season — Magic Man — Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) becomes Saul Goodman, Lalo Salamanca (played by Tony Dalton) investigates the disappearance of Werner Ziegler, and, in the Post-Breaking Bad future, ‘Gene’ calls an old friend and asks for help. Continue reading “REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Magic Man””