Author: Craig Zablo

“Alien: Romulus” – The Trailer is Here!

The more I see for Alien: Romulus, the more I want to see it.

“Alien: Romulus” takes the phenomenally successful “Alien” franchise back to its roots: While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.

The film stars Cailee Spaeny (“Civil War”), David Jonsson (“Agatha Christie’s Murder is Easy”), Archie Renaux (“Shadow and Bone”), Isabela Merced (“The Last of Us”), Spike Fearn (“Aftersun”), Aileen Wu.

Fede Alvarez (“Evil Dead,” “Don’t Breathe”) directs from a screenplay he wrote with frequent collaborator Rodo Sayagues (“Don’t Breathe 2”) based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.

“Alien: Romulus” is produced by Ridley Scott (“Napoleon”), who directed the original “Alien” and produced and directed the series’ entries “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant,” Michael Pruss (“Boston Strangler”), and Walter Hill (“Alien”), with Fede Alvarez, Elizabeth Cantillon (“Charlie’s Angels”), Brent O’Connor (“Bullet Train”), and Tom Moran (“Unstoppable”) serving as executive producers.

“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” – Season 1 (2015) / Z-View

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – Season 1 (2015)

Created by: Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling, Zac Stuart-Pontier

Director: Andrew Jarecki (Eps. 1-6)

Written By: Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier (Eps. 1-6)

Tagline: The confession was just the beginning.

The Plot…

Andrew Jarecki directed All Good Things, a film inspired by Robert Durst’s life.  All Good Things is the fictional tale of David Marks, a real estate tycoon suspected of killing his wife Katie, who disappeared in 1982.  Robert Durst is an heir to the Durst family fortune made in real estate.  Robert Durst’s wife, Kathie disappeared in 1982.

After seeing All Good Things, Robert Durst reached out to Andrew Jarecki and proposed a series of interviews so that Durst could tell his side of the story.  In addition to being suspected of killing his wife Kathie, Durst had also admitted to killing and dismembering Morris Black and was also suspected of killing his friend Susan Berman.  Robert Durst gave Jarecki almost unlimited access to personal family photos/videos, court transcripts and depositions.  Jarecki performed extensive research prior to the interviews and uncovered previously unseen evidence.

Durst did the interviews to give his side of the story and to clear his name.  Little did Durst know that decision would lead to his arrest for murder.  Admitting his guilt on a hot mic didn’t help his side of the story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Jinx was nominated for six 2015 Primetime Emmys and won two: Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming.

Robert Durst’s story is stranger than fiction.  A multi-millionaire who many think got away with killing his first wife goes on the run because he thinks the police are going to arrest him.  He leaves New York and travels to Galveston, Texas.  He disguises himself as a mute woman.  While in Galveston he kills and dismembers a man.  The body parts are found floating in plastic bags.  They have Durst’s fingerprints, a receipt where he paid for the bags and saws.  He is caught with the saw used to dismember the man.  Durst admits to the killing.

And his defense attorney gets him off!  I won’t spoil the way it is done.

Now Durst has gotten away with murder (potentially murders).  You’d think he’d take his multi-millions and lay low for the rest of his life.  Nope.  He becomes the main suspect in the killing of Susan Berman.  Durst’s brother hires bodyguards and takes out a restraining order — he fears he could be next.

What does Durst do?  He agrees to a series of interviews in which he inadvertently admits his guilt.  This leads to his arrest for murder.

Kudos to Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier.  Their research a dedication to finding the truth made for compelling television.  The Jinx deserves every accolade it has received.  I look forward to season two.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – Season 1 (2015) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Mayor of Kingstown”: Season 1 (2022) starring Jeremy Renner / Z-View

Mayor of Kingstown: Season 1 (2022)

Created by: Taylor Sheridan, Hugh Dillon

Director: Taylor Sheridan (Eps. 1, 3); Ben Richardson (Eps. 2, 4); Guy Ferland (Ep. 5-6); Clark Johnson (Eps. 7-8); Stephen Kay (Eps. 9-10)

Teleplay: Taylor Sheridan (Eps. 1-10) <Ep. 1 story by Taylor Sheridan, Hugh Dillon>

Stars: Jeremy Renner, Dianne Wiest, Hugh Dillon, Tobi Bamtefa, Taylor Handley, Emma Laird, Derek Webster, Pha’rez Lass, Aidan Gillen, James Jordan, Michael Beach, Nichole Galicia, Michael Reventar, George Tchortov, Scott Gibson, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Necar Zadegan, Derek Basco, Joe Parro, Connor Smith, Mandela Van Peebles, Andrew Howard, Adam Clark and Kyle Chandler.

Tagline: You can’t bury the past.

The Plot…

Kingston, Michigan is a prison town.  The McClusky brothers, Mitch (Chandler) and Mike (Renner) have become unofficial powerbrokers at getting things done.  Their connections to the prison, the cops and the gangs have helped keep the peace, solve crimes and ease tensions.

But there is always a cost.  And sometimes the cost isn’t cash.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Although Kingstown, Michigan is a fictional town, many of the prison scenes were filmed at the Kingston Penitentiary, in Kingston, Ontario.  Series co-creator, Hugh Dillon is from Kingston, Ontario.

Mayor of Kingstown is well written, well directed and well acted.  The production values rival those of feature films.

Taylor Sheridan wrote all episodes and directed two.  The other season one directors include…

  • Ben Richardson directed episodes of Yellowstone, 1883, 1923 and Tulsa King.
  • Guy Ferland directed episodes of Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, The Strain and Yellowstone.
  • Clark Johnson directed episodes of The Shield, The Wire, The Walking Dead and Luke Cage.
  • Stephen Kay directed Get Carter and episodes of The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Yellowstone and 1883.

Jeremy Renner is perfect as the no-nonsense Mike McClusky.  Other standouts in the acting department include Dianne Wiest, Hugh Dillon, Emma Laird and Nichole Galicia.  Tobi Bamtefa, Hamish Allan-Headley and Pha’rez Lass are new to me, but actors to watch for.  Actually, I should probably list every supporting actor/actress because they are all perfectly cast.

The surprises, twists and ever building tension make each episode must-see tv.  I look forward to season 2 and beyond.

Mayor of Kingstown: Season 1 (2022) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Bad for Each Other” (1953) starring Charlton Heston & Lizabeth Scott / Z-View

Bad for Each Other (1953)

Director: Irving Rapper

Screenplay: Irving Wallace, Horace McCoy based on SCALPEL by Horace McCoy

Stars: Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Dianne Foster, Mildred Dunnock, Arthur Franz, Ray Collins, Lester Matthews, Chris Alcaide, Frank Sully, Ann Robinson, Dorothy Green and Blackie Whiteford.

Tagline: Ghost Surgeon! Forced into the medical shadow world by the love of a money-hungry woman!

The Plot…

Colonel Tom Owen M.D. (Heston) returns to Coalville, Pennsylvania to attend his brother’s funeral.  His brother, the mining company’s safety engineer was killed with several others in a mining explosion.  Although Tom is a straight arrow military leader and doctor, he discovers that his brother was taking kickbacks to allow the purchase of substandard mining equipment.

When Tom investigates further he becomes enchanted with Helen Curtis (Scott), the wealthy daughter of the mine owner.  Tom decides to retire from the military.  He takes up residence at a medical facility run by Dr. Homer Gleeson (Matthews).  Dr. Matthews caters to the rich.  Soon the easy money and Helen begin to change Tom’s point of view.

Tom is blind to the fact that he, Helen (and the easy money) are bad for each other.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Made several years before Heston became a big star.

“Power” (2024) / Z-View

Power (2024)

Director: Yance Ford

Screenplay: Yance Ford, Ian Olds

Tagline:  None.

The Plot…

Power explores the history of police in the United States.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

It’s crazy to think that the idea of a city police force didn’t start in the United States until 1838.

The focus of this documentary reminds me of the saying that when the only tool you have is a hammer, you begin to see everything as a nail.

“Howl” (2015) / Z-View

Howl (2015)

Director: Paul Hyett

Screenplay: Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler

Stars: Elliot Cowan, Rosie Day, Sam Gittins, Ross Mullan, Robert Strange, Sean Pertwee, Ed Speleers and Shauna Macdonald.

Tagline:  Last train. Full moon. All change.

The Plot…

A late night train traveling through a remote wilderness comes to an unexpected stop.  When the conductor get off to check on things, he is killed by a werewolf.  Soon the few passengers on the train realize that they must work together to survive.  The creature that killed the conductor isn’t alone.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Director Paul Hyett is known for his special effects in Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday and The Centurion.  Shauna (The Descent) Macdonald and Sean (Dog Soldiers) Pertwee worked with Hyett previously.

The acting is better than expected for a low budget horror film.

“Wolfs” starring George Clooney & Brad Pitt – The Trailer is Here!

This could be fun!

Global superstars George Clooney and Brad Pitt team up for the action comedy Wolfs. Clooney plays a professional fixer hired to cover up a high profile crime. But when a second fixer (Pitt) shows up and the two “lone wolves” are forced to work together, they find their night spiraling out of control in ways that neither one of them expected.

Written and Directed by: Jon Watts

“Take Aim at the Police Van” (1960) / Z-View

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960)

Director: Seijun Suzuki

Screenplay: Shinichi Sekizawa story by Kazuo Shimada

Stars: Michitarô Mizushima, Misako Watanabe.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

A van transporting prisoners is ambushed.  A sniper kills two prisoners and escapes.  The guard in charge of the transport, Daijirô Tamon (Mizushima) is suspended.  Tamon decides to use his time off to track down the killer.  As he gets closer to the truth, Tamon learns human traffickers may be involved.  What chance does one man have against an criminal organization?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Take Aim at the Police Van‘s subject matter could have been ripped from today’s headlines.  Despite being filmed in 1960, the movie has a few scenes that couldn’t get a “G” rating.

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Jade” starring Mickey Rourke, Katherine McNamara & Mark Dacascos, introducing Shaina West – The Poster & Trailer are Here!

I like the retro feel to Jade‘s poster and trailer.  It definitely would qualify as a “drive-in” movie that I would look forward to seeing.

Follows a woman who comes between a powerful businessman and a gang leader in their search for a hard drive that could damage the operations of Interpol. The woman is required to use her unique set of skills to retrieve the drive.