“I’m Your Man” “Fireworks Wednesday” “Tokyo Vice” “The Flight Attendant” “The Staircase” “Hacks” “Lincoln Lawyer”

It feels like a long time since I posted. Chalk it up to laziness, CoVid Malaise (still waiting–should happen any day now) and watching too many series. Series take up a lot of time and too often start out great, fizzling out to disappointment. I submit for your possible viewing, some brief reactions to this past month’s “screenings”. And puhleeze–send in a few suggestions because the possibilities are getting slimmer and slimmer.

“I’m Your Man” (Kanopy) I really enjoyed this German “romantic comedy” which was really much more than that. What would it be like if you could shape your Significant Other into perfection, or at least the kind of perfection that appeals to you? But would it matter if he/she/they was a very lifelike robot? This is the amusing /thought- provoking premise of the film. I know–it sounds kinda gimmicky and probably some variation of the theme has been produced a number of times, but this one works. After watching it, I actually found myself appreciating my SO’s flaws–well maybe one or two of them.

“Fireworks Wednesday” (Kanopy and Amazon) Asghar Farhadi is among my all time favorite directors. His films are usually dramas that focus on the effects of class and gender politics on domestic life in contemporary Iran. The acting is superb and the story gripping. This is a lesser known film, but it is definitely worth watching.

“Tokyo Vice” (HBO) I’m a sucker for true crime and this one doesn’t disappoint. An ambitious young Jewish journalist, Jake Adelstein spent twelve years as an investigative reporter in Tokyo uncovering the crimes of Japan’s notorious “yakuza” and other “families.” I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea (pardon the pun)–lots of blood and gore, but for some reason I was so gripped by the culture (e.g. yazuka fan mags?) and the acting and the setting, that I could overlook or cover my eyes when an “unpleasantness” occurred. The fact that it’s a memoir made it much more compelling. I’m not sure I would have been as interested if it were fiction.

“The Staircase”(HBO) Another true crime but except for images of the wife who fell on the stairs, not gory. It really is fascinating how one episode you’re sure he did it, and the next episode, he is innocent–back and forth, week to week! Episodes come on Thursday nights–not sure how many more to go. I know some people have seen the French produced documentary series, but I’m holding back because I like the suspense. Tony Colette, Colin Firth, Juliette Binoche, and a ton more really great actors.

“The Flight Attendant” (HBO) Season One was a funny wild ride with no pretensions of producing anything believable or worth mulling over. Season Two started out promising, but then it couldn’t decide if it was going to be a drama vehicle destined for an Emmy for Kaley Cuoco or a wacky, silly spy story. And that indecision led to many oh come on already moments where our hero ruminates on her self-destructive behavior and then does something fun nutty to remind us that this is a zany spy comedy. I can’t believe it got so many kudos from Rotten Tomatoes critics.

“Lincoln Lawyer” (Netflix) Pretty well acted, very likable protagonist and a good whodunnit. Not really that much else to say about it. If you’re in the mood for a decent series this one is okay.

“Hacks” (HBO) Loved the first season and am loving the second. Jean Smart (she’s one of those actors whose face is so familiar but her name won’t come to you) plays Deborah Vance, a Las Vegas comedian in her early 70’s whose career is hitting its end phase. She hires a 25 year old out of work comedy writer in hopes of refreshing her routine. The generational clash and all it encompasses are both funny and poignant. It is a series worth of discussion, so please watch it so we can talk about it. Although I mentioned several series/movies to watch, if I had to choose just one this would be it.

1 Comment

  1. A couple of comments on Fireworks Wednesday and Hacks:
    I enjoyed Fireworks, primarily because it provided a great insight into a dysfunctional Iranian family with attendant scenes of modern Tehran. But there were too many times when I kept asking “What does this scene have to do with the last one, if anything?” You have to work a bit to stay with the film but there is some payoff.
    I watched the first two episodes of “Hacks” a year ago and had high expectations which were not fulfilled. It seemed too formulaic and the script was kind of tired. I didn’t think the main character, who receives such strong plaudits, was all that great.


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