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Don’t judge “GLOW” by its first episode. Or even the next two. The Netflix original series about the real-life “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” league spends its first three half-hours largely focused on its lead character, Ruth (Alison Brie). Though created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, “GLOW” is executive produced by Jenji Kohan and Tara Hermann. Continue reading Netflix’s ‘GLOW’ Shines After a Slow Start [Review] at The Playlist.

At some point, you must know when to say when, realize when it’s time to finally say goodbye. Five films deep into the series, for Michael Bay, “Transformers: The Last Knight” is the bombastic filmmaker’s bon voyage to the franchise and he’s looking to go out on top, bro. However, obviously not registering restraint, Bay also fails to understand the meaning of last call. So, for his grand, overstuffed sendoff the director goes for broke and detonates the biggest fireworks spectacle of his career with characteristic excessive force. Continue reading Michael Bayhem Reigns In ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ [Review] at The Playlist.

**There may be spoilers throughout, but if you’re caught up through season four, feel free to continue.** Any good “Orange Is the New Black” devotee knows that the series, created by “Weeds” mastermind Jenji Kohan, is greatly responsible for ushering in the “Netflix and chill” era. The popular streaming service revolutionized the way we consume TV by making all episodes of a season available at once and cutting out that pesky waiting thing. Continue reading ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 5 Stumbles As It Takes A Stand [Bingeworthy Breakdown] at The Playlist.

The resurrection of an exalted ‘90s rap god will have to wait another day as Tupac Shakur’s tomb remains occupied with his body tossing and turning in response to the results of the egregious biopic, “All Eyez on Me.” The MC’s talent transcended the music industry of the early ‘90s, yet, “All Eyez on Me” fails to give justice to a slain life that aimed to alter the world’s trajectory through his poetic armory of lyrics. Continue reading ‘All Eyez On Me’ Blunders Tupac’s Transcendent Image [Review] at The Playlist.

Gather together a bunch of disparate documentaries into their own festival and it becomes clear that there is an endless array of subject matter and stylistic approaches to non-fiction filmmaking. These docs can be expository or minimalist, intimate or grandiose, roughshod or highly formalist. Certainly, many documentarians are turning their interrogative camera towards topical subjects, particularly the conflicts in the Middle East and the ensuing tensions with Western nations. Unspooling at AFI DOCS is the extended international version of “Recruiting for Jihad,” by directors Adil Khan Farooq and Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen (a shorter television cut was previously featured at Toronto’s Hot Docs fest earlier in the summer). Continue reading ‘Recruiting For Jihad’ Takes A Surface Level Look At A Complex Issue [AFI DOCS Review] at The Playlist.

For a couple of weeks now, we’ve been living in a post-“Wonder Woman” world. A world which, you can be certain, is a better world. One where the genuine hunger for a female (super)hero has been served a tasty menu and a collective appetite has been whetted. One where doors are likely cracking open for female directors and female-centric stories and narratives are being considered more seriously (if only because studio execs are seeing the piles of cash “Wonder Woman” is raking in). Continue reading Fresh & Diverse ‘Signature Move’ Is Also Overly Familiar [BAMcinemaFest Review] at The Playlist.

Not every shark movie can be “Jaws.” Or last year’s excellent “The Shallows.” Or even Saturday afternoon cable standard “Deep Blue Sea.” The latest entry in the shark movie subgenre, “47 Meters Down” creates moments of genuine dread and terror-driven giggles (at least for this shark-phobic critic), but its script is dumber than a bucket of chum. After being broken up with by an unseen – and yet still omnipresent – guy named Stewart, Lisa (Mandy Moore, who had to have signed onto this before the success of “This Is Us“) and her sister Kate (Claire Holt) take a vacation to Mexico. Continue reading ’47 Meters Down’ Is Dumber Than A Bucket of Chum [Review] at The Playlist.

Precocious child geniuses have become every bit as cliché and hackneyed a Hollywood trope as the single mother who has to work in a diner to support her family or the grizzled cop who, with one day left before retirement, uncovers a labyrinthine mystery that goes all the way to the top. With Colin Trevorrow‘s “The Book of Henry,” the precocious child genius trope is fully exploited, embellished and embroidered upon, to the point that, if there was never another precocious child genius in a movie again, that’d be just fine. Continue reading ‘The Book Of Henry’ Is The Ultimate Precocious Child Genius Movie [Review] at The Playlist.

Mixing equal parts of “The Hangover,” “Very Bad Things,” and “Bridesmaids,” “Rough Night” is a comedy cocktail that goes down easy. It adheres a bit too closely to the recipe established by its predecessors, but it works well enough to keep the audience laughing. Written by director Lucia Aniello and co-star Paul W. Downs, the film is at its strongest when its humor dives into the deep end of female experience – or any time Kate McKinnon is on screen. Continue reading ‘Rough Night’ Is A Comedy Cocktail That Goes Down Easy [Review] at The Playlist.