Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Reviews: “Shirley,” “Surge” & “The Climb”

Posted February 2, 2020 by Mitch Salem

  SHIRLEY (no distrib):  Josephine Decker’s film isn’t really a biography of the horror writer Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House, The Lottery), played here by Elizabeth Moss.  The script by Sarah Gubbins is based on a novel by Susan Scarf Merrell loosely inspired by Jackson’s life, and that fictional story has been changed […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Reviews: “Promising Young Woman,” “Four Good Days” & “Zola”

Posted January 28, 2020 by Mitch Salem

  PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (Focus/Universal – April 17):  Emerald Fennell’s feature-film writing/directing debut has antecedents as old as the 1973 TV-movie The Girl Most Likely To… (co-written by Joan Rivers) and as recent as Killing Eve (for which Fennell served as Season 2 showrunner), with the added frisson of a #MeToo-driven storyline.  Cassie (Carey Mulligan) […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Reviews: “Worth,” “Dream Horse” & “Uncle Frank”

Posted January 27, 2020 by Mitch Salem

  WORTH (no distrib):  A dry but fascinating angle on the story of 9/11, Worth centers on the real-life Ken Feinberg (Michael Keaton), an attorney with a very specific expertise:  he and his firm calculated and negotiated compensation payouts to victims and survivors of disasters, in order to settle suits brought for their losses.  In […]

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Current Release

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Miss Americana,” “Ironbark” & “Scare Me”

Posted January 25, 2020 by Mitch Salem

  MISS AMERICANA (Netflix – January 31):  There are certainly areas of Taylor Swift’s life that are carefully elided in MISS AMERICANA (her actor boyfriend’s face and name are absent, for example, and there’s no mention of Cats), and Lana Wilson’s documentary culminates in an inspirational push that is very much on-message with Swift’s latest […]

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Pilot Reports

SHOWBUZZDAILY Series Premiere Review: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

Posted January 8, 2020 by Mitch Salem

  ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST – Sundays 10PM on NBC (starting February 16) In a broadcast network landscape musty with procedurals and the mildest possible sitcoms, NBC deserves credit for commissioning Austin Winsberg’s ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST, an original musical fantasy (the collected works of Dennis Potter and ABC’s short-lived Eli Stone aside).  It’s a genuine attempt […]

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Reviews

SHOWBUZZDAILY Series Finale Review: “Mr. Robot”

Posted December 23, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  “I understand why you’re confused,” said the figure who wasn’t Elliot Alderson’s therapist Krista (Gloria Reuben) to the figure who wasn’t Elliot (Rami Malek) toward the end of the finale of Sam Esmail’s series MR ROBOT.  And, well, yeah. This year, we’ve had reason to be reminded how tough endings are to achieve in […]

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Reviews

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Finale Review: “Watchmen”

Posted December 16, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  Damon Lindelof is fascinated by the elements of storytelling, sometimes to the detriment of the story itself.  It was fitting that a motif of WATCHMEN, both in its Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons 1987 graphic novel version and in Lindelof’s HBO sequel/spin-off, was the construction of watches, because this new version could feel like a fantastically […]

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Reviews

SHOWBUZZDAILY Series Finale Review: “Madam Secretary”

Posted December 9, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  MADAM SECRETARY quietly had one of the most interesting paths of recent broadcast network dramas.  Airing of all places on CBS, it was a frankly political series that began its run in 2014 and ended 5 years later, bridging two entirely different eras of real-life US politics.  The show’s own center-left policies on social […]

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