Review: Marriage Story Directed by Noah Baumbach; Netflix

Marriage Story Directed by Noah Baumbach; Netflix; Release date: November 2019

Film Shorts

MARRIAGE STORY:

...starts with a divorce that turns acrimonious over location and custody. Oddly enough one can make the case those two themes serve as analogies for the story itself. The film talks about the couple's marriage and mostly rehashes the unhappy moments, while never setting them in the past. 

MARRIAGE STORY seems more concerned with fitting into the sub-genre where the wife has dimmed her potential to advance her husband's career. Within that crater, the film seems to be more of a production for some named actors to work together. As such it features a great cast that is able to lift the story and rescue it from an abyss of rehashed storylines.

A film geared toward critics, this star vehicle for Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver does give them enough dialogue and scenes together. Unfortunately, MARRIAGE STORY has them playing to type; whereas it would have been great to show them as non-brooding, peppy figures. Laura Dern gives an over-the-top performance as the cut-throat lawyer that widens the wedge between them - a role for which she won an Academy Award.

Overall, the film sets out what it hoped to accomplish and serves as a what not to do guide for those heading into marriage or divorce.

Recommendation: MEDIUM

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Reviewed by Guichard Cadet

Review: Dirty John Created by Alexandra Cunningham; Bravo

Dirty John Created by Alexandra Cunningham; Bravo; Based on work by Christopher Goffard; First episode date: November 25, 2018
   
Television Shorts

DIRTY JOHN:

One of the many shows that benefit from full-season streaming. This show would not have held my attention if I had to tune in on a weekly basis. I was so frustrated with this show but the last episode salvaged it. Also, the character Veronica Newell is the bomb.

DIRTY JOHN John is based on a true story so one has to ignore the problematic elements even if some true life events were fictionalized. The main character makes way too many bad decisions and the ineptness of law enforcement officials and lawyers stretch credulity. The characters on the whole are annoying. 

But, there's Veronica Newell whose performance steals the show and makes one wonder whether her voice and mannerisms are her true-to-life persona.

Recommendation: MEDIUM

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Reviewed by Guichard Cadet

Review: Messiah Created by Michael Petroni; Netflix

Messiah Created by Michael Petroni; Netflix; First episode date: January 1, 2020
   
Television Shorts

MESSIAH:

When the Messiah is a charlatan, it's mainly foreign, specifically not white, lives that are lost. Though what I just wrote is not a spoiler because that's not the ending of the first season, I still cannot give the first season of this series (MESSIAH) a great recommendation.

What I will say is: one must check out a conversation that takes place in Season 1 Episode 4 at the 8:00 minute mark. Other than that, it is on you whether you give the show a shot. I find shows that deal with religion and potentially "false prophets" troubling because they never do anything to evolve faith or true understanding.

These shows, when they are international/global, tend to be 
problematic because they follow a monotheistic blueprint that is centered on the "major" three religions, with the core conflict located in the Middle East and the violence being carried out and received by the oppressed.

Recommendation: LOW-MEDIUM

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Reviewed by Guichard Cadet

Review: Sticks & Stones Performed by Dave Chappelle; Netflix

Sticks & Stones Performed by Dave Chappelle; Netflix; Release date: August 2019

Film Shorts

STICKS & STONES:


I read this article about Sticks & Stones earlier and it made me want to see what Dave Chappelle said. In some ways I agree with the article's main point and it's the reason to watch it and the epilogue.

Dave stepped on some minefields and many will be triggered and some may never support him anymore. But, "too far" is really a cute way of saying he attacked the left and an embankment that is being built that is marginalizing many voices. So, have at it and tell us #HowDoYouWantIt? #HowDoYouFeel? #Tupac

Recommendation: HIGH

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Reviewed by Guichard Cadet

Review: Girls Trip Directed by Malcolm D. Lee

Girls Trip Directed by Malcolm D. Lee; Release date: July 2017

Film Shorts

GIRLS TRIP:

"Single women are an even bigger market." That line of dialogue from the movie could serve as a basic tagline that encapsulates the premise of the movie. It is also a blueprint that most artistic creators use when ready to commodify their work. In itself, Girls Trip carries two strong storylines throughout.

The draw, the one that brought in the viewers, patterned itself after movies like The Hangover. Girls Trip brought the raunchiness so hard afterward you might have to watch a foreign film with subtitles to recalibrate your sensibilities.

The second thread deals with the failings of men in committed relationships. No new terrain traversed, that storyline just sits there, exists primarily because "Single women are an even bigger market."

RecommendATION: HIGH
for the laughs.

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Reviewed by Guichard Cadet