New Flix

The Two Popes. Light fare. Tour-de-force from two legendary actors. Anthony Hopkins as the self-deposed Benedict and Jonathan Pryce who transforms into Francis. Sweet if mostly fiction.

The Report. Pedantic look back at the failed Brennan CIA-Cheney terrorist torture doctrine. And its coverup. Adam Driver good as the stalwart investigator. Annette Bening captures the stolid Senator Feinstein. However, more preachy critique than entertainment.

Marriage Story. A completely different Adam Driver shows up in this film. His multi-layered depth of performance as the husband in this bleak study of a marriage coming undone is worthy of its accolades. Scarlett Johansson is raw in her vulnerability.

None of the three outstanding. Each more about the acting than the stories. Barry’s girlfriend and Sheldon’s math teacher keep popping up.

First ObamaFlick Scores

If American Factory is any indication of Barack & Michelle’s talent for choosing great content, then they could have their own Network.

This first choice is a documentary about a Chinese glass company that takes over a moth-balled auto factory in Dayton, Ohio. The stories of both Americans who want to welcome the company for its jobs and the Chinese management and workers who come with it is astoundingly intimate. Access is based on trust of the local filmmakers through the ups and downs of a foreign entity taking over a community workplace.

A willingness to bond with each other’s cultures turns to a clash. Resolution is never complete nor easy. This is a must-see brilliant view of life in middle America and working-class China. Global realities. Bravo.

Br Exit?

Can Queen Eliz II die happy now that Brexit has won the day? Just asking. Who’d be next in the anachronistic British Game of Thrones? Bonny Prince Charly and Camilla the Queen Beast. Then William Prince Charming and his Princess Bride Kate. Next precocious boy George. And then… baby Charlotte the namesake of George III’s wife, a Queen with African heritage.

Could be an interesting week. What with hurricanes, debates and royal crown stakes.

Summer Soak

cropped-img_1152.jpgDrippy walks. Drenched socks. Muggy. Drizzly. Air conditioned retreat. PGA rain delayed. Jimmy Walker win. Dyn-o-mite! Not really. Netflix anyone? Somm. The story of candidates for wine’s highest level of expertise. The Master Sommelier exam. A journey rife with stress and some success. Great documentary. Tried Bloodline. Kyle Chandler is appealing. But. Plot dreary and slow. Two episodes. So. Let’s cook! Black Cod~Nobu Nod. RecipeDetours.

Header Photo: Taken from Excelsior Hotel by Dr.Husband years ago. Little did we know we’d be living across the street from those landmark San Remo towers under the top cloud.

Full House

House of Cards. Must see. Binge-worthy. Superlatives don’t do it justice. Ruthless Pragmatism describes the dealers in this high stakes West Wing thriller game. Kevin Spacey genius as sociopath pol Frank Underwood. Only trumped by Robin Wright’s portrayal of his wife Claire. Enigmatic evil. Don’t cross this couple. Black Jack. Queen of Spades. They are made for each other.

Entire cast crazy good. Recovering rummies. Jarring jokers. Wildcard shockers. Two decks in two weeks. Most brilliant writing since MadMen. Topples every wobbly wall. Can’t imagine what’s next. Thanks to NetFlix and mAdBen’s persistence, best shuffle in a long time. Cut the cards. Click. Click.