PHYSICAL – Review by Susan Granger

I’m stunned that this Apple TV+ half-hour comedy-drama series was renewed for a second season. Set in the 1980s, it revolves around troubled Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne), a svelte housewife/mom who has an inexplicably strange self-image, resulting in chronic bulimia, a serious eating disorder. This is manifested by her buying lots of fast-food, then taking it to a motel room, where she gorges and purges.

Read more

ANNETTE – Review by Susan Granger

Annette is an eccentric, hallucinatory rock opera about love, passion and celebrity, set in Los Angeles. It begins as a voiceover cautions viewers not to “sing, laugh, clap, cry, yawn, boo or fart,” adding “breathing will not be tolerated during the show so, please, take a deep last breath right now.”

Read more

REMINISCENCE – Review by Susan Granger

What went wrong on this South Beach jog down memory lane? Perhaps it’s because first time feature writer/director Lisa Joy, who co-created HBO’s Westworld with her husband, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan’s brother, wrote a clunky, cliché-filled, confusing script – plus, her predictably melodramatic pacing plods. Although Rebecca Ferguson and Hugh Jackman previously teamed in The Greatest Showman, there’s little on-screen chemistry with more talk than action.

Read more

THE GREEN KNIGHT – Review by Susan Granger

Years ago, as an English major, I had to read a rather long, boring 14th century epic poem from the Arthurian legend called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Now, visual storyteller David Lowery has revitalized and enhanced this chivalric romance. On the road to meet his destiny, Gawain must face a series of fearsome trials, tribulations and temptations as he gradually learns the true nature of chivalry.

Read more

THE BIRTHDAY CAKE – Review by Susan Granger

Set in Brooklyn, this mob film begins with the 10th anniversary of Giovanni’s father’s death. Giovanni (Shiloh Fernandez) dutifully goes home and dons a suit to continue the family tradition of delivering the titular cake, baked by his widowed mother Sophia (Lorraine Bracco), to the home of his Uncle Angelo (Val Kilmer), the local Italian/American Mafia boss.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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).

Read more