WHAT HAPPENS LATER – Review by Susan Granger

After an eight-year hiatus, actress Meg Ryan returns to the big screen, co-writing, directing, producing and starring in the disappointing romantic comedy What Happens Later.
Based on Stephen Dietz’s 2008 play Shooting Star, the story revolves around former lovers who are stranded together at a small regional airport during a snowstorm. Toting a rain-stick and dressed in bohemian garb, Willa (Ryan) is a free spirit, “a wellness practitioner in the healing arts,” while Bill (David Duchovny) is a buttoned-up businessman, suffering from “anticipatory anxiety.” They hooked up 25 years ago when they were students at the University of Wisconsin.

Read more

THE RETIREMENT PLAN – Review by Susan Granger

After a brief release in theaters, Nicolas Cage’s newest action-comedy The Retirement Plan is now streaming. The story begins in Miami with a heist that goes terribly wrong. As a result, Jimmy (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) and his wife Ashley (Ashley Greene) are in possession of an incriminating flash-drive that mobster, Donnie (Jackie Earle Haley) promised to give Hector (Grace Byrne), who heads an organized crime syndicate.

Read more

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, Final Season – Review by Susan Granger

If you haven’t been watching, this witty, wisecracking dramedy revolves around a bright ‘n’ beautiful Manhattan wife and mother, Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), who, after discovering her husband Joel (Michael Zegen) cheating, marches into an East Village comedy club, grabs the microphone and electrifies the audience with an impromptu rant. Tying up the plot’s loose strands in the last episodes, it become obvious that resilient Mrs. Maisel has hit the ‘big-time’ – but what does that really mean – for her and those around her? What are the consequences of her choices? And what has she sacrificed?

Read more

GUY RITCHIE’S THE COVENANT – Review by Susan Granger

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is an odd title but it serves to differentiate this R-rated, contemporary war actioner from previous horror and/or religious films bearing the same name. It’s also a thematic departure for the British writer/director best known for his glibly gritty, gangster shoot-‘em-ups. Prologue text explains how the U.S. military recruited 50,000 translators/interpreters to assist soldiers on the ground during the 20-year Afghan occupation; in return, the U.S. promised Special Immigrant Visas for them and their families.

Read more

65 – Review by Susan Granger

“Before the advent of time – in the infinity of space – a visitor crash landed on Earth.” That’s the introduction to the sci-fi action adventure 65, named because dinosaurs roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. The story begins as Mills (Adam Driver), an astronaut, bids farewell to his wife and very sick daughter. To pay for her medical care, he has agreed to a two-year mission which goes awry when an asteroid shower damages his spaceship, forcing him to crash-land on a mysterious planet inhabited by prehistoric creatures.

Read more

SHAKESPEARE HIGH – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

In Southern California, a mixed demographic of high school drama student teams from several schools scattered across the areas diverse neighborhoods, prepare to compete in the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival, held each April (specifically on April 22 in 2023). Over the years since its inception more than a hundred years ago, the annual Shakespeare competition has become just as popular as local and national teenage sports competitions and events, and members of the participating schools’ drama groups are recognized on campus as stars.

Read more

WATCH OUT FOR THE BIG GRRLS – Review by Leslie Combemale

Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrls is unusual in a landscape overrun with reality shows in that there’s not a weekly elimination, or a catchy structure in which the grrls are at risk or safe from episode to episode. All 13 can be admitted to her team, or go home There are no rules. These women are not in competition against each other, they are competing with themselves to become better, stronger, and more of what Lizzo affectionately calls “100% that bitch”.

Read more