The House of Gucci (dir. Ridley Scott)

January 23, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Gucci 2022. (Image courtesy of www.gucci.com)

(2021) Poor Ridley doesn’t know what kind of director he is – sci-fi (Alien, Blade Runner), historicist (Gladiator, Robin Hood) or God-Love-America (Thelma and Louise, Black Hawk Down)? He’s as confused as we are by his house-of-fashion-meets-financial-shenanigans offering, The House of Gucci.  Gold-digger Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a Milan party. She wants him, at least the Gucci part. He’s not interested, indeed he doesn’t seem to be interested in anything at all throughout the two and a half hour story, but Patrizia won’t leave him alone. She throws all of Gaga’s famous 5 foot…

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Don’t Look Up

December 31, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Adam McKay) (2021, Netflix) It’s a mongoloid meld of Melancholia with some David Attenborough tableaux and the arrayed stupidity of Burn After Reading. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a comet. Her enthusiasm, and that of her colleague, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio), wane when they figure out it will collide with the Earth in about six months. These boffins are babes in the wood, and when a NASA man (Rob Morgan) arranges for them to brief the White House, their deep concerns are brushed off by a distracted and chaotic administration. So the scientists do the next…

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The Power of the Dog

December 11, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Chaps and More Chaps, and a Little Anthrax on the Side How Jane Campion’s Dude Ranch Film Slides Away into the Montana Night By Janelle McCulloch “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion (2021) What can be said about The Power of the Dog? It’s a strange way to begin a film review of this Western drama, but I am well and truly mute. And much of this now-widely-talked-about film is, too. It’s a beautifully shot piece, low on dialogue but big on wide Montana skies (which are actually wide New Zealand skies), and there are some very…

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Roadrunner

October 27, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, FOOD, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

A film about Anthony Bourdain  (Directed by Morgan Neville) (2021) Famously rockstar-level restaurateur, best-selling author (Kitchen Confidential), martial arts expert and prolific television host, the subject of Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain was no doubt a wildly successful man.  As we have come to expect from biographical documentaries, this level of achievement means that he must also have been deeply unhappy. And often unkind.  One of his friends is reduced to tears recalling Bourdain telling him, “You’ll never be a good dad”.   Bourdain’s two marriages, to a childhood sweetheart and a restaurant executive, failed, in part because he was…

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Ex Machina

September 1, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Alex Garland) (2015) Caleb Smith (Domnhall Gleeson), a lowly programmer with a Google-like company, wins a week-long visit to the fabulous home of Nathan Bateman, the remote Bezos-Jobs-like founder of the company. Bateman (Oscar Isaac) is a cool guy. He asks Caleb to spend time with Ava (Alicia Vikander) the humanoid robot built by Bateman. He wants Caleb to determine whether Ava is conscious and aware. Can she have a really, truly relationship with Caleb? Wow! What an opportunity! Not only is Ava a stunningly advanced type of AI, she’s pretty, except for the robot body bit. (But…

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