Neely Swanson

“Agents of Chaos” – Ignore at the peril of democracy [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Agents of Chaos” – Ignore at the peril of democracy [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Agents of Chaos” is a two-part documentary brought to us by Emmy and Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief;” The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”). It tackles the insidious and widespread transmission of false information to sow discord in the foundations of […]

 Neely Swanson

“Utopia” – Not exactly [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Utopia” – Not exactly [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Utopia” is a new 8 part series premiering on Amazon written by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) based on the BBC series of the same name written and created by Dennis Kelly. The BBC series of 2013-14 was highly regarded. HBO originally bought the rights for an American remake but nothing […]

 Neely Swanson

“Les Sauvages” – Not just who you think

“Les Sauvages” – Not just who you think

by Neely Swanson “Les Sauvages (The Savages),” the French series premiering on “Topic” (topic.com), a new streaming platform, is a not to be missed political thriller that will put you on high-alert, not just emotionally but also intellectually. “Les Sauvages,” a mini-series in 6 parts, tackles nothing less than the political significance and intersection of […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Personal History of David Copperfield” – And a glorious one at that [MOVIE]

“The Personal History of David Copperfield” – And a glorious one at that [MOVIE]

by Neely Swanson “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” Armando Iannucci’s marvelous take on this Dickens classic is gloriously revolutionary. I’ll be the first to admit that I have yet to read the book. I’ve read a number of his novels but the sheer length of this one has always put it into the category […]

 Neely Swanson

“Bay of Silence” – Better that way [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Bay of Silence” – Better that way [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Bay of Silence,” directed by Paula van der Oest (“Zus and Zo”) and written by Caroline Goodall, is a film of almosts. Aiming to be a mystery/thriller in the vein of Hitchcock, it never achieves that lofty goal. It’s almost a thriller, it’s almost a mystery, it’s almost a love story; but […]

 Neely Swanson

“Kaye Ballard–The Show Goes on” –– Oh! Kaye! [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Kaye Ballard–The Show Goes on” –– Oh! Kaye! [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Kaye Ballard- The Show Goes On” is a love affair directed by Dan Wingate about one of the most talented singer/actresses of the 20th Century who is virtually unknown to anyone under the age of 50. Her last television series regular roles were on “The Doris Day Show” (1970–72) and “The Mothers-in-Law” […]

 Neely Swanson

“Sometimes Always Never” – Almost [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Sometimes Always Never” – Almost [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Sometimes Always Never,” a valiant effort at making a Wes Anderson-type film, is just that – an effort. It would have been better if it didn’t look so deliberately copied from the Anderson playbook (“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Royal Tenenbaums”), using his color palette and shaggy dog-type narrative. Adopting the […]

 Neely Swanson

“And We Go Green” – and really fast [MOVIE REVIEW]

“And We Go Green” – and really fast [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “And We Go Green” is the fascinating story of a new race for speed. Directors Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville have laid out the story of Formula E, the all-electric race that follows the Formula 1 template but with newer, even more cutting-edge technology. What follows is a speedy (yes, I meant […]

 Neely Swanson

“Lance” – Straight through the heart [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Lance” – Straight through the heart [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “LANCE,” is an outstanding documentary by Marina Zenovich, the award-winning director of “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.” Clearly Zenovich is unafraid of untouchables. A two-part documentary made for ESPN as part of their excellent 30 for 30 series, traces Armstrong’s life, goals, successes, and failures beginning with his childhood. And to quickly […]

 Neely Swanson

“Military Wives” – Conduct very becoming [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Military Wives” – Conduct very becoming [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Military Wives,” directed by Peter Cattaneo of “Full Monty” fame, treads familiar, mine-strewn territory and comes out alive. The soldiers, both men and women, of Flitcroft military base have just been called up for another Afghanistan deployment of up to six months. The spouses will be, once again, left to cope on their own. The […]

 Neely Swanson

“Robert the Bruce” – No pining here [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Robert the Bruce” – No pining here [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson Two hours has rarely seemed as never-ending as “Robert the Bruce,” the film directed by Richard Gray and written by Eric Belgau and Angus Macfadyen. Beginning several years after the events in the far superior “Braveheart,” and using the conceit of having Macfadyen reprise his “Braveheart” role as Robert the Bruce, the […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Booksellers” – Content but no content [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Booksellers” – Content but no content [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson D.W. Young set out to pay homage to the magical world of books and those who revere them in “The Booksellers.” Opening on the 2018 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, Young profiles various book dealers who inhabit that world, as well as some of the collectors who frequent their stalls. I […]

 Neely Swanson

“Resistance” – No problem [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Resistance” – No problem [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Resistance,” a film written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, had a presumably interesting topic to cover, the wartime heroics of Marcel Marceau, and squandered it. Marcel Marceau, the internationally famous mime, was born Marcel Mangel, the Jewish son of a butcher in Strasbourg, France. Wanting nothing more than to act, he honed […]

 Neely Swanson

“D. Wade: Life Unexpected” – And well-lived [MOVIE REVIEW]

“D. Wade: Life Unexpected” – And well-lived [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “D. Wade: Life Unexpected” is a documentary directed, filmed, and produced about the life of Dwyane Wade by his friend Bob Metelus for ESPN. Very much in the cinema verité style, Matelus was fortunate to have access to home movies and videos from Wade’s early years, as well as exciting footage from […]

 Neely Swanson

The Times of Bill Cunningham – In no time at all [MOVIE REVIEW]

The Times of Bill Cunningham – In no time at all [MOVIE REVIEW]

The Times of Bill Cunningham, a delightful documentary written and directed by Mark Bozek, hitherto most famous as CEO of the Home Shopping Network, chronicles the life of a true individualist. Many people viewing the film will instantly recognize the name of Bill Cunningham as the photographer of the fashionable for the New York Times. […]

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