TL;DR – This was a delightful romp across America where we solved a murder each week in almost the same way, and I was captivated for the whole run.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this series.
Poker Face Review –
At times, the modern TV landscape is perpetually stuck in a state of cognitive dissonance. People tend to use the word ‘old-fashioned’ in a pejorative sense as if it has nothing of value to give us. We do this while living in perpetual nostalgia cycles that are morphing into nostalgia spirals. But if there is ever an artist that lives in the overlap between those two extremes, it is Rian Johnson, and I was fascinated to see where this show would go every week.
So to set the scene, we open in a casino as the maids try to get the rooms ready for the next occupants, or at least clean for the day, when a maid sees something horrifying on a laptop. Something that needs to be reported. So Natalie (Dascha Polanco) tells her boss (Benjamin Bratt), who tells the head of the casino, Frost (Adrien Brody). But instead of protecting her, they did the unthinkable. The only problem is that working in the Casino, Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) has the impeccable talent of always knowing when someone is lying. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A film full of everything I should love in cinema, but it felt hollow and more than a bit mean.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
The Comeback Trail Review –
There are times when you watch a film, there are certain aspects of cinema that start to stand out, and one of them is that Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood. They love films about films being made like in Dolemite Is My Name, films about washed-up actors like in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, even better films about Hollywood coming into rescue everyone like in Argo. Today we get a film that falls into this category but unfortunately fails at nearly every point.
So to set the scene, uncle Max Barber (Robert De Niro) and nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are movie producers … and not very good ones at that. With their latest film about sexy mob Nuns being protested by the Catholic Church. The issue is that Walter borrowed $350,000 from local mobster Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who is now VERY concerned that he is not going to see his money back. On a short timeframe to get all the money back, Walter gets the idea for a scam after tragedy strikes the production of fellow producer James ‘Jimmy’ Moore (Emile Hirsch). He hires a washed-up Western actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in his next film, dumps a lot of insurance on him, and then waits for the money to come rolling in.