Review: “Bad Education”

As a retired school administrator, I knew the story of disgraced New York School Superintendent Frank Tassone, who, along with his Chief Business Officer Pam Gluckin, was found guilty of the largest public school embezzlement in American history. However, as I got set to watch Bad Education on HBO, I groaned when I saw that…

Review: “Unorthodox”, the mini-series

After finishing Netflix’s powerful four part mini series Unorthodox, I waited a few days to gather my thoughts and impressions on both the overwhelming strengths of this series, as well as a few troubling undercurrents.  Unorthodox told the story of 19 year old Jewish Esty Shapiro (Shira Haas) and her flight from her arranged marriage…

Review: “The Plot Against America”, the complete series

It would be ideal if prior to viewing HBO’s six part adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2004 alternate history The Plot Against America, viewers had read the best selling novel. However, given our current political reality, some may say that the possibility of a hypothetical take over of the American presidency by a menacing anti democratic…

Review: “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness “

With the entire country under shelter-in-place for the past month, an edgy, stir-crazy nation has been desperate for new shows that could help take the edge off of the possibility of mass societal extinction. So, it is not unusual that a show such as Tiger King, a seven part Netflix reality show/documentary would capture a…

Review: “Anne with an E”, the complete series

The ongoing television challenge in our house is: What show can my wife and I enjoy together? This is especially critical question during this unprecedented Corona Virus mandate that has forced all of us to shelter-in-place for an extended undefined period of time. Admittedly, when left to my own devices, I often gravitate to shows…

Review: “Donovan Reid”

A young man walks into a police station. Either unable or unwilling to speak, he non-verbally asks for something with which to write. Given a pen and a piece of paper, he scribbles down and displays the following: “I am Donovan Reid”. So begins Donovan Reid, a film co-written and directed by former Petaluman Austin…

A Day at SFFILM 2019

I’ve been covering the San Francisco International Film Festival for over ten years now, so long that it’s changed its name. Now it’s known as the SFFILM Festival and it’s running now through April 23 at a variety of venues in the Bay Area. My day began with a “check-in” at the Festival Lounge. This…

Film Review: ‘Three Identical Strangers’

An eerie sense of discomfort and anxiety begins to arise roughly halfway through the remarkable, entertaining, gripping, and disturbing new documentary ‘Three Identical Strangers.’ Once it starts, it only builds, continuing till long after the credits roll. Directed by Tim Wardle (“One Killer Punch”), this surprise hit (from CNN Films and England’s Channel 4) related…

Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

The first dinosaur movie I ever remember seeing was Irwin Allen’s ‘The Lost World.’ I was five-years-old when I saw it at the Grove Theater in downtown Upland, in Southern California. From watching that film – about an expedition to a remote jungle where dinosaurs still exist – I learned a number of things. I…