NEWS OF THE WORLD – Review by Susan Granger

Set five years after the Civil War, Tom Hanks stars in this elegiac Western as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who travels from town-to-town, enthralling often-illiterate audiences with stories about what’s happening in this country and abroad, charging a dime per person. It’s 1870 and the tumultuous 15th Amendment has just been ratified, extending the right to vote to all men without regard to race or previous condition of servitude.

Read more

BRIDGERTON – Review by Susan Granger

While Netflix’s Bridgerton sprawling mini-series may seem like Gossip Girl-meets-Downton Abbey, it’s unique in reimagining 19th century Britain with aristocratic families seeking favor from Black royalty. Produced by Shonda Rhimes, it’s fun, frothy escapism. According to showrunner Chris Van Dusen, regarding that era’s excess, beauty and decadence: “It was over-the-top: the costumes, the jewels, the glittering ballrooms, the country homes.”

Read more

PIECES OF A WOMAN – Review by Susan Granger

As their story begins, pregnant Martha (Vanessa Kirby) is feted at an office baby shower, while her husband Sean (Shia LaBeouf), a construction engineer on a Charles River bridge project in Boston, is so eager to become a father that he frames the ultrasound photographs of their daughter to hang in the nursery.

Read more

I’M YOUR WOMAN – Review by Susan Granger

Rachel Brosnahan goes for a total change-of-pace in Julia Hart’s neo-noir crime thriller about a woman struggling to survive. Brosnahan plays Jean, a sheltered suburban housewife whose husband Eddie (Bill Heck) surprises her with a baby. Unable to have children of their own, Eddie ‘acquires’ one, and Jean knows enough about her thieving husband not to ask too many questions.

Read more

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – Review by Susan Granger

Oscar-and-Emmy-winning actress-turned-director Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Watchmen) is determined to tell powerful stories that haven’t been heard – like this fictionalized meeting of Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, NFL star James Brown and singer Sam Cooke in 1964.

Read more

TENET – Review by Susan Granger

Even the best filmmakers make colossal blunders, and this comes from Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy). A $200+ million mistake on top of a miscalculation. In the midst of the pandemic, Nolan insisted that his sprawling, unfathomable sci-fi action-adventure be released in multiplexes despite the fact that people are more susceptible to the coronavirus when congregating indoors.

Read more

WONDER WOMAN 1984 – Review by Susan Granger

When Wonder Woman (2017) debuted, the origin story of the Amazonian Princess was sensational! It detailed her background, childhood and how she fell in love with a dashing-but-doomed W.W.I pilot. Director Patty Jenkins proved female super-heroes were just as mighty as men. Its sequel, beginning on the island of Themyscira, recalls how fearless, young demi-goddess Diana learned tough lessons about truth and honesty That’s the best part of the entire movie.

Read more

PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN – Retroview by Susan Granger

This is, undoubtedly, the most kinky, provocative comic-book superhero ‘origin’ story – and it’s true! It begins with a public burning of Wonder Woman comics and the stern interrogation of Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) by Josette Frank (Connie Britton) of the Child Study Association of America, who grills him about his subversive obsession with bondage, which Marston maintains symbolizes his motivational theory.

Read more

FATALE – Review by Susan Granger

As the titular femme fatale, Hilary Swank seems ready to boil a bunny in this pulpy-noir thriller. Problem is: two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby), who also served as a producer, is decidedly unsexy in a role that calls for a sultry, seductive quality that she’s apparently unable to summon.

Read more