WINE COUNTRY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Netflix’s Wine Country isn’t quite Sideways for a gaggle of six middle-aged gals. For one, it is set in Napa and not Santa Barbara. For another, writers Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski, who show up on the screen as well, keep the dialogue at a sitcom-level pitch and packed with zingers.

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WINE COUNTRY – Review by Jennifer Merin

Amy Poehler’s directorial debut is a truly femme centric production — cast and crew — through and through The ensemble is essentially a feminist reunion of Saturday Night Live sketch comediennes. And, Liz Cackowski and Emily Spivey’s script stakes out and covers territory that is certainly familiar to women who will delight in seeing the film’s refreshing feminist perspective on screen.

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WINE COUNTRY – Review by Cate Marquis

Refreshingly, this is a female buddy comedy that is all about the women – and there is something cool about that. Wine Country follows the buddy comedy tropes of about long-time, aging friends, with familiar types and “getting older” jokes. But apart from some grumbling about one friend’s jerk husband, there are few conversations about men, and no obsessing over romance. Better yet, the story ‘s singular romantic subplot is with the one lesbian woman in the group. Basically, there is really only one male character, a houseboy/cook/driver/tour guide named Devon (Jason Schwartzman) who “comes with the house,” a character who is more a comic idiot than anything else.

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WINE COUNTRY – Review by Loren King

A terrific ensemble that includes Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler (who also directs) riffs its way through some predictable and formulaic gags in Poehler’s sitcom-y version of Sideways. The fun is in how these gifted sketch comics, many of them SNL alums including Tina Fey, banter with and play off one another.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Loren King

Two new feature films mark the 50th anniversary of the still- disturbing, endlessly fascinating Tate/LaBianca murders that shook the tony enclaves of Los Angeles to the core in August, 1969. Quentin Tarantino’s star studded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will get more attention. Mary Harron’s Charlie Says, with its focus on the women in Charles Manson’s “family” who committed the heinous murders, may be the more interesting.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Pam Grady

Director Mary Harron, who previously found the humanity in would-be assassin Valeria Solanas with I Shot Andy Warhol and Bret Easton Ellis’ twisted master of the universe in American Psycho tries to the same with Charles Manson acolytes and murderers Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Susan Atkins with her latest, Charlie Says. It is a mixed bag, but intriguing enough to make it a worthy addition to Harron’s oeuvre despite some glaring weaknesses.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Charlie Says is a truth-based narrative that explores the lives and mindsets of the vulnerable young women who were key members of Charles Manson’s ‘family’ and were brainwashed into complete acceptance of his warped philosophy–and into following his orders in daily life and in the unimaginably brutal 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and friends who had gathered at her Los Angeles home.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Sheila Roberts

Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron’s bio crime drama, Charlie Says, offers a provocative new perspective on a notorious case as it examines the Manson Family women at the center of the gruesome Tate-LaBianca murders in the summer of 1969. Like many of Harron’s films, it’s definitely outside the mainstream and involves controversial characters.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 3, 2019: Laura Steinel’s FAMILY

Stories about stand-offish/lonely/workaholic adults being transformed by their relationship with precocious/charming/offbeat kids aren’t hard to find in Hollywood, but — until Family — none have hinged on the transformative power of acceptance by the Juggalos. And that helps make Laura Steinel’s quirky, poignant comedy about a reluctant aunt and her awkward niece stand out from the crowd.

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FAMILY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

this comedy gets Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling out of her prison garb and into a millennial power-suit as Kate, a tactless working gal trying to climb the ladder of success at her hedge fund job while lacking any kind of filter when spewing demands and insults at her co-workers. She is nothing but scathingly honest. Suddenly, she is recruited by her estranged brother to be a caretaker for her awkward tween niece, Maddie (Bryn Vale), who is bullied in school, sneaks out of ballet class to take martial arts lessons instead and likes to eat salt off of pretzel sticks.

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