4.5 Razors

Remington Steele – Vintage Steele

by Alan Rapp on January 19, 2021

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Remington Steele – Vintage Steele
  • IMDb: link

Remington Steele - Vintage Steele television review

Throwback Tuesday takes us back to a con man pretending to be the world’s greatest detective in Remington Steele. “Vintage Steele” throws Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan) and Laura (Stephanie Zimbalist) together on an absurd case involving a dead body which keeps appearing and disappearing. The body is first discovered by Laura’s ex-boyfriend (David Huffman), a banker overseeing a deal with a local winery, who discovers the body floating in a vat of chardonnay. He successfully hides the body, which he fears will blow the deal, only to lose in on the road and later discover it again in the winery. With most of the story centered around either finding the body, which Steele takes to calling Harry, or preventing others from stumbling upon it, the mystery of how the man died (or who he is) remains on the back-burner.

[click to continue…]

One Night in Miami

by Alan Rapp on January 15, 2021

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: One Night in Miami
  • IMDb: link

One Night in Miami movie reviewRegina King brings Kemp Powers’ award-winning play to the silver screen offering a fictionalized account of the gathering of four prominent Black Americans, – Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) one night in Miami after Clay beat Sonny Liston (Aaron D. Alexander) to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. The contemplative gathering, coordinated by Malcom X, is far from the raucous celebration the others expected, but it delivers dramatic tension aplenty as tempers flare over disagreements on the role of prominent black men in America.

Kemp Powers is on-hand to adapt his own screenplay, and Regina King adds some nice touches here (including showing us some of the Liston/Clay fight) to help set the stage. The real movie takes place once the four men get in a room together. Despite relying on larger-than-life characters, the film doesn’t caricaturize them in any way, presenting them of men of the time with strong opinions and passions. Four men alone in a room arguing may not sound like the key to crafting a can’t-miss film, but King and Kemp pull it off.

[click to continue…]

Palm Springs

by Alan Rapp on January 15, 2021

in Home Video

  • Title: Palm Springs
  • IMDb: link

“It’s one of those infinite time loop situations that you might have heard about.”

Palm Springs movie reviewPalm Springs would fit perfectly in in a triple-feature nestled snuggly between Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow. When we meet Nyles (Andy Samberg), through the eyes of bridesmaid Sarah (Cristin Milioti), he’s already stuck in a time loop around the events of the wedding of Sarah’s sister Tala (Camila Mendes). A flirtatious night between the pair leads to Sarah accidentally becoming trapped in the loop as well (although her circumstances are a bit more complicated than simply being a guest at the wedding).

Director Max Barbakow and writer Andy Siara team-up to deliver an incredibly smart, engaging, and charming film centered around the two leads (and to a lesser extent J.K. Simmons as the only other person aware of the loop). Time is rebooted once they fall asleep, lose consciousness, or die. Unable to break free of the loop, Nyles and Sarah struggle to find meaning in a meaningless existence where one day literally is the same as the next. Although it doesn’t break new ground with the concept, Palm Springs knows how to make the most out of each day and delivers the best comedy of 2020.

[click to continue…]

Possessor

by Alan Rapp on January 13, 2021

in Home Video

  • Title: Possessor
  • IMDb: link

Possessor Blu-ray reviewWriter/director Brandon Cronenberg‘s Possessor is a gory techno-thriller set in a world not unlike our own where a company has devised a method to enter a person’s mind and take control of their body. Rather than use the technology for good, it sells it for profit by making assassins out of anyone they can get their hands on. Andrea Riseborough stars as agent Tasya Vos, although mostly we see other actors playing the bodies she has been given control. As the film opens we can already begin to see the effect of the body swapping on Tasya both in detachment to her real life and during her job which foreshadows larger problems to come.

Possessor is at times a brutal film, and Cronenberg never shies away from gore (even going so far to hold scenes longer than necessary to illicit a response from his audience). Jennifer Jason Leigh also stars as Tasya’s handler, whose team scrambles when something goes wrong with the latest assignment leaving her agent trapped in another body.

[click to continue…]

Usagi Yojimbo #16

by Alan Rapp on January 7, 2021

in Comics

Usagi Yojimbo #16 comic reviewUsagi Yojimbo #16 offers the opening chapter of a new story of Miyamoto Usagi helping his old friend and teacher Sōjōbō, a dai-tengu, fight off lesser wood spirits known as guhin tengu who are jealous of Sōjōbō’s position and status and have returned to plague him once more.

As he does so often, and so well, writer/artist Stan Sakai weaves in an explanation of Japanese culture and folklore detailing the tengu and the different types, providing a background to the spirits while also offering flashbacks to Sōjōbō’s previous encounter with the guhin tengu which cost him a hand. He also draws some terrific reactions shots of Usagi talking with his friend that rank among some of my favorites.

[click to continue…]