Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Tarantino's Meandering Opus

Since 1992, writer/director Quentin Tarantino has been bringing us one fascinating film after another, beginning with his breakout hit “Reservoir Dogs.” For the most part, he has delivered great films that have included not only his debut, but also “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill,” and “Inglourious Basterds,” picking up two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay along the way. 27 years after he began, he has come to his ninth film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a rather bizarre entry in his filmography that many might not even recognize as Tarantino if they didn’t already know he was behind it. It’s already enjoyed very favorable reviews out of Cannes from earlier this year, but now it’s

1984: A Splendidly-Designed Adaptation That Doesn't Quite Hit the Mark (Criterion Blu-ray)

The Film: At one point or another, it seems that everyone ends up reading George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984.” Whether it’s because of it still being a staple of literature in schools, or whether one is simply curious because of its immense reputation, it’s a novel that continues to draw attention and admiration. As far as adapting the novel for the screen, it seemed like a most difficult prospect, mainly because Orwell’s novel is one of ideas, more so than one with a substantial plotline. It’s a novel about a time and place, about society, and the way the government could potentially establish an overreaching grip on everyone and everything. Despite the inherent issues in bringin

Nominations for the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

The nominations for the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced earlier this morning, and if you had any doubts as to how the Television Academy felt about the magnificent final season of "Game of Thrones," it would appear we now have a firm answer. The show was showered with a record-setting 32 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, Drama Directing (x3), Drama Writing, and ten individual acting nods (including first-time nominees Alfie Allen, Sophie Turner, Gwendoline Christie, and Carice van Houten). It easily earned the most nominations for the year, with the next closest show being "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" with 20. Speaking of which, "Maisel" topped the Comedy categ

Shazam!: A DC Film Adaptation That Finally Breaks the Bland Streak (Blu-ray)

The Film: After a string of disastrous DC Comics superhero adaptations, including “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Justice League,” and “Suicide Squad,” it was beyond clear that something needed to be done to shake things up. The studio’s extremely gloomy adaptations were simply not cutting it, and despite attempts to lighten things up along the way, the final products were still lacking quite a bit when it came to their stories and characters. When the trailers for “Shazam!,” a relatively more obscure superhero, first dropped, it offered a glimmer of hope in that the film looked fun, exciting, and had a main character that actually had some personality. Was this finally to be the big

Titans: The Complete First Season: A Surprisingly-Impressive First Outing for DC Universe (Blu-ray)

The Show: When DC Comics announced that they were launching their own special streaming service (“DC Universe”), it was met with more than a little skepticism. After all, the comic book films they’ve churned out in the post-Nolan era (“Suicide Squad,” “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Justice League,” etc.) have been extremely lacking for the most part, so why would anyone think that a TV show from the same studio would have better results? We knew early on that “Titans” was going to be their first adaptation, but following a disastrous comic-con trailer that made the show look laughably bad, fans of the material now had even more reason to doubt the show’s success. Would the show succ

Gotham: The Fifth and Final Season: A Once-Great Show Ends in Disappointment (Blu-ray)

The Show: When “Gotham” first began way back in 2014, it was thought of as a kind of curious experiment. Could a show that takes place in Gotham City and doesn’t focus on Batman actually work? Strangely enough, for the first three seasons, it worked marvelously, boasting some interesting characters, a cavalcade of intriguing villains, and storylines that had you hanging on to see what would happen next. However, the show’s streak came to an end with the fourth season, which represented a major shift in its quality. Where once there had been great villains, there were now uninspired antagonists, and the previously captivating storylines were replaced with directionless and misguided narrative