Monday, March 1, 2021

Netflix new release roundup for February ‘21


I’ll have a major announcement on March 9 that you’re gonna want to be here for. I probably should spill the beans now, but I’ll wait. In the meantime, not a lot of new stuff on Netflix that I watched...

Malcolm & Marie. Up-and-coming filmmaker and his girlfriend come home from the premiere of his film only to hash out lingering issues pertaining to his worth as a director and her value to him as a muse. You probably know by now that writer-director Sam Levinson made this during the quarantine period last year, which is a story unto itself, and lately it became a lightning rod for other issues of the moment, but honestly, I didn’t think of or care about any of that when I saw it. It’s been called a Millennial Virginia Woolf: bickering couple, one long night, black and white. Some of it was excruciating to sit through, I admit: the language, the wandering narrative, but the acting from John David Washington and Zendaya was fine, especially given the difficult circumstances they must have gone through to make this film. Good not great.

BONUS! I had the opportunity to watch One Night in Miami on Amazon Prime last month. The feature film directing debut of Oscar-winning actress Regina King, it’s a fictionalized account of the night in 1964 when four legendary black men—Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali), Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown—hung out together, after Clay defeated Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight boxing champion. It’s based on a play. 

I remember King from her days as a child actress on television and it’s wonderful to see how much she’s progressed as a filmmaker. This film is basically just four guys in a room but, as you can imagine, they have some important things to say to each other, things that speak as loudly to us today as they did then. The only name among the stars I’m familiar with is Leslie Odom Jr. (the guy from Hamilton) as Cooke, but all the stars—Eli Goree (Clay), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Malcolm) and Aldis Hodge (Brown) are exquisite. A solid film debut from director King.

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The reopening here in NYC: on the local level, Cinemart in Forest Hills posted on their Facebook page that they thought they wouldn’t be ready to go until April 1. The Kew Gardens Cinema also said they’d need a little time to get ready.

Also, Jersey City mayor Stephen Fulop announced last month that more money is going into the Loews Jersey theater’s upgrade and a commercial operator for the redevelopment plan was conditionally named. They’ll have to close for eighteen months beginning next year, but when they reopen, look out. Booking national acts to play there is on the long-term agenda, but Friends of the Loews will still be the non-profit partner and movies will still have a place there.

Unrelated but worth checking out: the 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world.

More on the other side.



I never saw The Sound of Music and honestly, I don’t have much interest in it, so I associate Christopher Plummer with other roles. I know enough about the movie, though, to grok his place in the film. I doubt he did much in the way of singing. But that’s okay. Every time I saw him in something, he was never less than entertaining: usually as a heavy, but once in awhile he played good guys, like in his recent Oscar-winning role in Beginners. He was a Klingon in Star Trek VI, the film that made me a Trekkie, and he was one of the better Trek movie villains.

Absolutely no complaints about him at all. Strong actor; charismatic, often humorous, the kind of actor you couldn’t help but pay attention to when he was on the screen. Sister Celluloid has a transcript from an interview with Plummer and Julie Andrews.

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The giant-sized annual edition of The Dark Pages is now available, which includes my piece on the Lucille Ball film Lured. The theme is the year 1947, and there are plenty of articles in this year’s edition to satisfy your craving for noir. 

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Crystal from Good Old Days had posted a brief hello on Facebook on February 13 but then she took a turn for the worse. She had to be put in a medically-induced coma on the 19th. She came out of it on the 26th and was doing well enough to want to resume work on her Katharine Hepburn biography. It seems as if the worst may be behind her. She’s lined up for something called nerve decompression surgery this week.


Next post is coming on the 8th.

2 comments:

  1. One Night in Miami sounds interesting.

    Grand article in The Dark Pages. Essential reading.



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  2. As is yours! I’m surprised I didn’t start writing for Karen sooner.

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