JUNGLE CRUISE – Review by Susan Granger

Encouraged by the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney launches this fantasy/adventure, based on the theme park attraction. It begins in 1916 London, where intrepid botanist/explorer Lily Houghton sneaks into a snobbish science society to steal an arrowhead thought to be the key to finding the Tears of the Moon, a sacred tree hidden in the Amazon jungle whose petals have miraculous healing powers.

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THE WHITE LOTUS – Review by Susan Granger

As the plot of Mike White’s new HBO series unfolds, it’s as if Fantasy Island merged with The Love Boat. In the opening shot, a casket is being loaded onto a plane. It’s a mysteriously ominous beginning that soon shifts to a tropical island where smiling Armond , the smarmy resort manager, and his newly hired assistant Lani prepare to welcome new guests as they arrive at the luxurious White Lotus Hotel.

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VOYAGERS – Review by Susan Granger

Prolific Neil Burger (Divergent, Limitless) wrote and directed this YA sci-fi thriller that imagines a dystopian future in 2063, when Earthlings only hope for the survival of the human species is to colonize a hospitable planet located in a faraway galaxy. It will take 86 years for a crew to go that distance, so 30 test-tube-conceived youngsters are dispatched on a mission during which they’ll reproduce so their grandchildren can settle Earth’s new colony.

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TED LASSO – Review by Susan Granger

This delightful, culture-clash comedy just scored a massive 20 Emmy nominations, the most ever for a 1st season sitcom – with accolades going to its star Jason Sudeikis, along with co-stars Hannah Waddington, Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein. Created by showrunner Bill Lawrence with Sudeikis, the plot revolves around an unflappable American football coach named Ted Lasso (Sudeikis).

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THE FOREVER PURGE – Review by Susan Granger

If you’re not familiar with the provocative horror movie franchise that made its debut in 2013, it revolves around a dystopian United States in which – on one night a year – it’s legal to commit any crime, including murder. Invented by an insurgent political party called the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), the government-sanctioned slaughter designates a specific 12-hour period and, in this installment, the hot-button issue is illegal immigration.

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NO SUDDEN MOVE – Review by Susan Granger

Steven Soderbergh’s created a stupefying ‘noir’ trip back to 1954 in Detroit, where ex-con Curt Goynes is eager to pocket $5,000 to re-claim land that was taken from him. When he visits his buddy’s barber shop, he’s sent to the back alley where he’s hired to hold the Wertz family hostage while the husband/father, an accountant at General Motors, is forced to steal engineering specs.

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THE KOMINSKY METHOD: Season 3 – Review by Susan Granger

This third – and final – season finds Sandy mourning the death of his friend Norman and serving as Executor of Norman’s estate. Drinks and dinner at their favorite hangout, Musso and Frank’s, will never be the same. There’s lots of laughter – fun and sentimental – amid the pathos, which the cast is obviously enjoying. Sadly, the condensed six-episode season left me wanting more, yet knowing this is the final chapter.

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FOR ALL MANKIND – Review by Susan Granger

For All Mankind poses the question: What if the Soviet Union had won the space race, reaching the moon before the United States? It’s a sprawling story, beginning in 1969, presenting an alternative historical reality in which the United States is struggling to keep up with the USSR in space exploration, interweaving cleverly ‘fictionalized’ real-life characters.

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F9: THE FAST SAGA – Review by Susan Granger

Originally released 20 years ago as a supercharged B-movie about street racing, starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, the gritty Fast and Furious franchise has continued to flourish – “a quarter mile at a time,” as Dominic Toretto would say. Thinly scripted by Daniel Casey, Alfredo Botello and director Justin Lin, this ninth installment revolves around generic Toretto sibling angst, punctuated by preposterous, over-the-top, physics-defying stunts and the sound of purring engines, squealing tires and skidding stops.

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