Review: Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale was originally a novel from prolific writer Margaret Atwood. I read it about 30 years ago when it came out, but my memory is sketchy. My sketchy memory left me free to watch the new television series The Handmaid’s Tale with fresh eyes. This is a review of season 1. Continue reading “Review: Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale”

Review: St. Vincent

St. Vincent is one of those feel-good movies where you cry a little at the end but everything works out fine. I love that kind of stuff, so I enjoyed watching this movie get there. Plus, it has a fantastic cast and boasts outstanding performances from all of them. Continue reading “Review: St. Vincent”

Watch This: Trailer for Our Brand is Crisis

You’ve probably seen the trailer for Our Brand is Crisis 15 times on your TV already, because it’s heavily promoted there. I wanted to mention it and include the trailer here because it looks interesting.

It’s interesting because it stars Sandra Bullock in a role written for a man. A great move by the film’s producers and and an example that others should follow more often.

Sandra Bullock and Zoe Kazan in a scene from "Our Brand is Crisis"
Sandra Bullock and Zoe Kazan in a scene from “Our Brand is Crisis”

It’s interesting because it’s loosely based on a real election in Bolivia, suggested by the 2005 documentary by Rachel Boynton about campaign master James Carville’s manipulations in that election.

It’s interesting because we are in the middle of an election cycle with all its spin and manipulation and over-abundant candidates.

It’s interesting because it looks like a powerhouse performance from Sandra Bullock.

Early reviews of the film mention that it’s hilarious. Here’s the description of the film:

A Bolivian presidential candidate failing badly in the polls enlists the firepower of an elite American management team, led by the deeply damaged but still brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine (Sandra Bullock). In self-imposed retirement following a scandal that earned her nickname and rocked her to her core, Jane is coaxed back into the game for the chance to beat her professional nemesis, the loathsome Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), now coaching the opposition.

But as Candy zeroes in on every vulnerability – both on and off the campaign trail – Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers. Dramatic, rapid-fire and laced with satire, “Our Brand is Crisis” reveals the cynical machinations and private battles of world-class political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.

The drama also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, and Zoe Kazan. David Gordon Green is the director.

The film will be in theaters everywhere on October 30, 2015.

Review: Big Driver

From a story by Stephen King, Big Driver is the story of a novelist bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime. It is a made for Lifetime TV film. It stars Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd and Will Harris.

There are spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Big Driver”