Review by Sean Boelman
The latest Batman solo project has had a bit of a tumultuous production history, initially beginning as a project to star Ben Affleck’s iteration of the Caped Crusader and directed by Affleck himself. Now, we are getting The Batman, Matt Reeves’s take on the character starring Robert Pattinson, and it’s a very different vision of the vigilante from what we have seen before.
The film follows Batman as he investigates a serial killer known as The Riddler who is targeting corrupt city officials in a brutal and sadistic way. Inspired more by the character’s detective-driven storylines rather than the superhero ones, this is probably the darkest of the live action adaptations of these comics yet (yes, even more so than the Nolan trilogy).
However, in trying to really create this dark tone, Reeves goes all-in on the darkness in the visual style. And while this does create some really cool, noir-influenced scenes, it can be dark to the point of being unintelligible at times. It fits this extraordinarily seedy version of Gotham City, but it is frequently rather frustrating.
This is also the type of movie that thinks it is an absolute masterpiece, and although there are certainly some times in which this is true, it isn’t always breaking the new ground that Reeves wants it to. The first two thirds of the three-hour runtime are pretty original, but then the final act, which feels like it was tacked on, devolves into more generic studio superhero flick material.
Some of Reeves’s pretentiousness could be forgiven if the film had something more interesting to say about its themes. It is constantly on the edge of brilliance when it comes to discussing these ideas of corruption and culpability, but it rarely crosses over into saying something that is genuinely profound.
Robert Pattinson’s take on Batman is going to be a love-it-or-hate it prospect. There will be lots of fans of this brooding version of the character, but others may find it a bit too cold for their liking. Ultimately, it seems that Pattinson is much better in the role when he is under the cowl, as he struggles to make this very different version of millionaire Bruce Wayne work.
On the other hand, the rest of the cast is all on their A-game. Colin Farrell is fun and disappears into the role as a more grounded version of The Penguin, John Turturro is menacing as mob boss Carmine Falcone, and Zoë Kravits is absolutely alluring as this movie’s version of Catwoman. But it is Paul Dano who shines the most in his performance as the Riddler, with a villain turn that rivals Heath Ledger’s in The Dark Knight in terms of how purely terrifying it is.
There are a lot of things that work very well about The Batman, and others that aren’t quite as effective. It’s the type of storytelling that perhaps would have been more suited to a miniseries format than a three-hour feature length film, because even though it is interesting, it also leaves something to be desired.
The Batman hits theaters on March 4.
WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY -- A Slam Dunk of a Show Everyone Should Enjoy
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Lakers have a reputation of being "Showtime" because they are located in Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood. It wasn't until Jerry Bess bought the team did they get this moniker. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty shows why this moniker fits this team: it's the eccentric owner and the star player Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and the entire show they put on nightly at the Forum in LA.
Adam McKay's films The Big Short, Vice, and this past December's Don't Look Up from Netflix have garnered him quite the reputation as a filmmaker since he stopped making raunchy comedies with his now-defunct partnership with Will Ferrell. He decided to take his irreverent style in the direction of an HBO series about the Showtime Lakers of the '80s. He's great at telling a compelling story, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the '80s are a very compelling bunch of men.
McKay has assembled a fantastic cast for this HBO show, some new faces and some old. Fresh actors portray athletes Quincy Isaiah (Earvin "Magic" Johnson), Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul Jabbar), and Sean Patrick Small (Larry Bird) alongside the older, more experienced actors Adrien Brody (Pat Riley), Jason Clarke (Jerry West), Jason Segel (Paul Westhead), Michael Chiklis (Red Auerbach), Sally Field (Jesse Buss), and Rob Morgan (Magic's dad). Even legends like Jack Nicholson, Paula Abdul, and Richard Pryor are portrayed in the series. McKay doesn't spare any expense on the cast, that's for sure.
The show has various styles to it, but they all play perfectly into the overall vision of what McKay and company are going for. One of the styles they are going for is trying to create an archival look for the show. Another way is McKay's trademark breaking the fourth wall. Each episode focuses on one individual in the ensemble. The period piece aspect of the show is first-rate. It's like a throwback to that period. The clothes, hairstyles, cars, and props are all authentic to the '80s. It helps the show to be that much better. I feel like I've been transported back in time to that era, and it's fantastic!
The basketball aspect of the show is on point as well. The show's style is one thing, but it's actually about basketball in the end. So the basketball within the show has to be authentic and realistic to the time. Jack McKinney (Tracy Letts) and Paul Westhead (Jason Segel) implement a running style of offense that they are using to try to change the league from a stand-and-shoot league to a fast-paced run-and-gun method. Magic is the linchpin in this plan because of his passing skills. He can get the ball to all four other players on the court. It's why he has the moniker of "Magic": he's magic on the court.
McKay and his various directors who direct each episode mimic the style McKay has set forward, and each episode has a similar look and feel to each other. The writing of the show is separate from that. The writing has to be up to date to today's times. Rodney Barnes and Max Bornstein have cutting-edge dialogue that penetrates. The characters break ground in the aspect of who they are and how the public perceives them. Jeff Pearlman's book Showtime cuts deep, and the show has to do the same thing. A joke involving Pat Riley talking while Chick Hearn (Spencer Garrett) talks involves opening and closing his fist. He says, "While my fist is closed, you don't speak." Chick calls it fisting. This is the kind of humor the show is full of.
John C. Reilly has had a great career working with everyone, including Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, James Gunn, and many others. His working relationship with Adam McKay has garnered a lot of fruit in his career, with Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and now Winning Time. Their partnership has been good over the years, but this might be the best thing they've done together via the episode directors. McKay is the executive producer. He cast Reilly in this role because he knew something nobody else knew. Reilly has become Jerry Buss in this series. He has a lot to deal with being a businessman/owner, a family man, dealing with his ill mother, and his personal life away from the team. Reilly was perfectly cast as this man who has everything to gain but also a lot to lose.
Winning Time focuses a lot of its time on Quincy Isaiah's Magic Johnson. After all, he is the new young star of the team. He still has a lot to learn about marketing himself, though. The character is pulled in many directions, whether with his personal life with his college sweetheart or his lawyer/agent. But his family is on the back burner. Isaiah takes this character and runs with all the different angles. Fans of the team will enjoy the focus on him, but we all know how his life turns out later on. His career spoke for itself, though, and his rivalry with Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics was legendary. It might be one of the best rivalries in sports next to the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.
In episode eight, the invisible man has a lot to say about this legendary rivalry between Bird and Johnson, the Celtics, and the Lakers. This season was the beginning of a rivalry that would go on for over two decades. Even the announcers get in on the action during the games. These two fan bases also hate each other. The greatness of this show is all these things that made these teams great, on and off of the floor. The beautiful Forum was named after a Roman political room and gathering area. The old Boston Garden, with its dripping pipes and cold locker rooms, make it as distinct and different as the Forum is. These two cities are very different in many ways, and so are these teams. This show goes into all of these little details that make showtime great in its way.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is a show that does a great job going in-depth on a team with quite a bit of on-the-court and off-drama. The cast for the show is phenomenal, with John C Reilly and Quincy Isaiah as the two biggest standouts of the show. It is very well-written with both a lot of levity and dramatic, serious moments. The production value is also good. I felt like I went back to that era and was watching this team play as I did as a kid. Fans of the team and sports fans, in general, should enjoy this show when it airs on HBO.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty hits HBO on March 6. Eight out of ten episodes reviewed.
UFO -- The Most Predictable Film
Review by Paris Jade
UFO is a romance film about Ese, a biker getting ready to compete for regional champion, and Deniz, a girl whose head is so up in the clouds she believes UFOs will take her away someday. This film was quite dull. You honestly will end up falling asleep while watching it. When you start the film, it immediately sets up the plot, so you would assume that it will be a fast-paced film, but it is far from that. They make sure you understand why the movie is titled UFO from start to finish. They say UFO so much you will most definitely know the word in Swedish by the end of the film. The main characters make sure to mention what UFO means to them at least every 10 minutes, and it honestly feels incredibly random.
Immediately when you go into the film, you don't really connect with the main character. She isn't really likable or even entertaining. Deniz is just your usual girl who wants to be different so badly because she is bored with herself. So what does she do? Meet a boy whose only interesting trait is that he can ride a bike pretty well and is the "calm, cool, collected" one of his friends, which of course has to make him more attractive. The supporting characters are more entertaining as they add more drama to the plot. Whenever something significant happens that turns the story, it's due to the supporting characters. When the action began, it was due to the supporting characters initiating it while the two main characters were off to the side making googly eyes at each other. However, Deniz and Ese did have a lovely meet-cute, and some audiences might find it appealing and stay interested in their relationship moving forward into the film.
The film takes an entire hour to finally catch some speed, high stakes, and action. However, it only lasts for about 20 minutes, and then you are back to the lovely couple that has nothing to add to the story even though it's about them. Certain characters can be completely forgotten. A supporting character named Cenk, a snobby rich boy who likes to — you guessed it — ride bikes is introduced at the beginning of the film to be associated with Deniz, even seeming as competition for Ese. Still, he doesn't return and make a significant impact until an hour into the film.
The predictability of the film is another flaw. Once you meet every character, you can already tell what their role will be in the events that follow, like Cenk, who again would later be Ese's competition. This is the type of movie that you watch and might continue to watch, but constantly check to see how much time is left.
UFO is out on Netflix now... if you dare to watch.
Review by Tatiana Miranda
Categorized as "the most famous Black man in the world in the 19th century" by Henry Louis Gates Jr. is abolitionist and public speaker Frederick Douglass, the star of HBO Max's documentary Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches. The 54-minute film gives an overview of Douglass' life and speeches in a way that is unlike other recently made documentaries. While this documentary does feature a traditional talking head style of interview, it also incorporates performances of Douglass's most popular speeches and excerpts of his autobiography.
This documentary is filled with modern Black actors, filmmakers, and scholars discussing Frederick Douglass's speeches and trajectory from slave to public speaker. In between interview clips, Andre Holland reads pieces of The Autobiographies of Frederick Douglass, which gives context to his life in his own words. These excerpts piece themselves together with performances of five speeches by Frederick Douglass that span the abolitionist movement and beyond. The speeches are performed by famous actors and actresses: Nicole Beharie, Colman Domingo, Denzel Whitaker, Jeffrey White, and Jonathan Majors.
The choice to have actors read Douglass' speeches is a unique and wise decision on the part of director Julia Marchesi. Every speech is performed with an intensity of emotion that matches how Douglass intended his speeches to reach their audience. The ages of each actor also relate to the age of Frederick Douglass when he had written the speeches. After his performance of "Country, Conscience, and the Anti-slavery Cause", Jonathan Majors points out, "This is the speech in which we were closest in age. Frederick Douglass is 30 years old in this moment, and I'm 31 years in this moment". By pairing the ages of the speaker and Douglass, it's almost as if they are playing as Douglass. This aspect makes the documentary less of a documentary and more like an acted portrayal of Douglass's own performances.
Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches also comments on Douglass's celebrity status while he was alive. In the 19th century, Douglass was the most photographed Black man, and even the president at the time, Abraham Lincoln, was aware of his speeches. He took on the role of being a representative for Black America, his portraits an attempt to counter racist caricatures. He was the first famous Black man in America, portrayed by current famous Black men and women in this documentary. This is a subtle way to showcase how representation of Black voices has grown and how it still has room to grow.
Overall, in a time where documentaries often fit the same cookie-cutter mold, Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches takes a creative direction in recounting the life of an important figure in American history. The story of Frederick Douglass's life from slave to famous speaker, along with the fantastic performances of Douglass's written works, make this a beautiful portrayal of Douglass's career.
Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches is now streaming on HBO Max.
Review by Sean Boelman
The new Hulu thriller No Exit may not be based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic play of the same name, but it does share in common the fact that the characters are quite hellish. The type of movie that gave studio genre pictures a bad name, this is preposterous and borderline insensitive.
The film follows a young woman who is stranded with a group of strangers in an isolated outpost during a blizzard as she discovers a kidnapped child in the car of one of the people inside. Based on a novel by Taylor Adams, the premise isn’t bad, but the way in which it is executed is terribly frustrating.
One of the worst things about the movie is that it is extremely dull. For much of the first hour, it’s not much more than a bunch of people talking while trapped in a room together, with something sinister happening in the background. While the final act of the film is much more exciting, it’s too late by then.
There is also the fact that the movie makes some decisions that are in bafflingly bad taste. The film uses addiction as a plot device to put the protagonist into this situation, and then frequently ignores it, up to a third act beat that is pretty ridiculous. It’s almost as if the movie doesn’t care about its characters whatsoever.
It would definitely have helped if the character development in the film wasn’t so absurd. All of the characters in the movie are very archetypal and have little development beyond their shallow backstories. It’s easy enough to make the audience hate the people who are evil and root for the safety of the innocent girl and her allies.
The cast of the film isn’t particularly good either. Dennis Haysbert is the biggest name in the cast, and while he has shown himself to be a very talented actor in the past, this role is just not right for him. There’s no nuance that allows his performance to feel like some of his better character work, and so it instead feels closer to his advertising turns as the Allstate guy.
Damien Power’s direction is lacking, as the entire movie has a gray feel to it. To an extent, it makes sense that everything should feel cold because the film is set during a blizzard, but there’s no reason for everything to feel this muted. And unlike other single-room thrillers, there is no real suspense here.
No Exit is an abhorrent movie that is badly made, and even worse, pretty morally reprehensible. It’s understandable why this film is eschewing a theatrical release in favor of streaming with little fanfare, because it’s a perfect fit to get lost in the sea of content.
No Exit is now streaming on Hulu.
Review by Sean Boelman
Every country has a specific genre of film that they do disproportionately better than their peers, and Norway’s niche is disaster movies. As expected, John Andreas Andersen’s The Burning Sea is quite competent, but it’s far more boring than any movie about an oil rig explosion should be.
The movie tells the story of a group of researchers as they investigate an oil rig that is going down on the Norwegian coast, only to realize that the situation is much more dire than they ever could have imagined. While the basic premise seems pretty exciting, the approach is a bit too stately for it to work.
Part of the issue with the film is that it doesn’t really establish its stakes very well. And given that the outcome threatened by these circumstances is environmental catastrophe, that’s an issue. Apart from some expositional dialogue that puts the situation in context of real-life ecological disasters, there’s not as much urgency as there should have been.
Additionally, it is frustrating that the movie doesn’t go all-in on its commentary. There are some interesting ideas about the things that cause this type of disaster to occur, from greed to government incompetence, but they are never fully-developed into a compelling through-line. It’s more just a nagging voice at the back of the film’s conscience.
The character development in the movie is also very shallow. The script really banks on the audience getting invested in the romance at the core of the film, but it’s about as basic as they come. Obviously, there is the basic level of sympathy that audiences would have for anyone in such a terrible disaster, but it’s missing the deeper connection that it would have needed to resonate.
The cast of the movie isn’t bad, but the roles also aren’t meaty enough to give them much to do. Kristine Kujath Thorp and Henrik Bjelland have some solid chemistry together when they share the screen, but when they are alone, neither is all that impressive. The supporting cast isn’t all that great either.
Like a lot of Norwegian disaster movies, this is very heavy on the CGI, and it looks really good. But good visuals only go so far when there’s not enough excitement to go along with it. The action scenes are shot in a way that is spectacle-driven, but the effects aren’t all that cinematic or unique.
There is no denying that The Burning Sea looks good, but that alone is not enough to recommend it. The script is the issue, as everything about the writing is so generic to the point of being boring.
The Burning Sea is now available on VOD.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Films about or surrounding WWII can be educational and informative. In the case of I'll Find You, it delves into classical musicians growing up in the '30s and '40s just before the attacks on Poland. Stories about this era of history are always fascinating because of the time period. The arts were a lost discipline in those days because of the war. Many people died that contributed to the world in these ways, such as singers, musicians and actors, and so forth.
The film spans many years, so different actors and actresses play the characters throughout the years. A burgeoning opera singer, Robert Pulaski (Sebastion Croft, Leo Suter), becomes enamored with a young violinist (Ursula Parker, Adelaide Clemons). Due to the attack on Poland by the Germans, they have been separated and deemed dead and lost forever. Robert's love for Rachel compels him never to give up looking for her in this time of death and destruction. The film depicts his journey.
Martha Coolidge uses archival footage mixed with a back-and-forth storyline involving the two main characters' lives, intertwining it with their friends and relatives, which gives the story more depth and gravitas. The drama between the family members during this time of strife is real, and that in part comes from the script by David A. Ward, Bozenna Intrator, and others. The story is gripping and grounded in the reality of the situation these Polish people dealt with during that time.
These two leads of the film do an admirable job creating a lovelorn romance during this difficult time in history. Predominantly known for television work in Downton Abbey, Rectify, Parade's End, and the upcoming Vikings: Valhalla, the two are very believable in these roles. Their experience thus far in their careers has prepared them for these roles. They are a bit raw still but serviceable at times. More seasoned actors would have done a better job. The film has those more seasoned actors in other roles, though.
Stellan Skarsgard (Thor, Dune), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Wonder Woman), and Stephen Dorff (Blade, Somewhere) are all very proficient in their various roles as a professional opera singer, family member, and general in the Nazi regime. The cast is full of actors and actresses besides these more established actors and actresses that round out the film very nicely. It is a big cast that tries to represent the size and scope of the film that the filmmakers are going for.
One of the main focuses the film is going for is its music. The two main characters and some supporting characters are singers and musicians. The music in the movie, from classic operas to various musical numbers performed by orchestras, is quite beautiful and candy to the ear, if you like that sort of thing.
I'll Find You doesn't live up to the greatness of Schindler's List or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but it's a good film with good performances from the newer actors and seasoned actors alike. The production value is good, and it brings the audience into this world of WWII. The historical aspects are all on point. The music, which is the focal point at the film's heart, is delightful to listen to. The direction and script are competent and make for a good overall production. This film works on most levels — it's just not a perfect depiction of the period.
I'll Find You is now available on VOD.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Bruce Willis has had a rough decade or so. In recent memory, he's pretty much been acting in the action movie of the month club. He was nominated for six Razzie Awards for the films he did in 2021. Gasoline Alley had a bit more clout than many of his other movies. It's about time he goes back to doing good work instead of phoning it in each film he's been doing recently.
Jimmy Jayne (Devon Sawa) is a tattoo artist in Los Angeles. He decided to visit a strip club because of his mother, a dancer in the past. He meets a dancer named Star (Irina Antonenko). The next day, two detectives named Freeman (Bruce Willis) and Vargas (Luke Wilson) come to visit him at his tattoo parlor called Gasoline Alley and try to pin the murders of four girls, including Star, on him. Sawa tries to figure out how he's been railroaded.
This has a very good story of a wrong man in the wrong place. It's a classic trope in Hollywood. It's been done many times before, with North by Northwest starring Cary Grant being my favorite of them all. These types of stories lend themselves to mystery, action, and suspense. The noir and investigative aspects of the film set it apart from other low-budget fare. Sawa is pretty good in the movie. This story was meant for his acting sensibilities.
The film has some pretty average filmmaking style to it except for the film's opening scene. It had a moody atmospheric fade in a shot of Sawa sitting at the strip club bar, creating the illusion that he was the man that killed the girls. The rest of the film is pretty straightforward. It has story beats that go in one direction while the actual mystery goes in another direction. It's classic noir storytelling.
The acting in the film is okay, but not great. The three leads, including Willis, have played this game for a while now, so it's old news for them. They are going through the motions as long as they've been experienced actors. A good murder mystery can get the creative juices flowing, and even veteran actors like these can get into the story and possibly give better-than-average performances. Is it the best-acted film ever? No, but these guys do pretty well in some throwaway roles.
Gasoline Alley had a cool title and a better-than-average story, even though it's one we've seen in Hollywood films for decades now. A classic noir mystery thriller is always something worth seeing if it's done right. Sawa, Willis, and Wilson are all okay in the film. They don't need to be great to get this story across to the public. The public just wants something exciting and engaging to watch. This film is a quick 100 minutes long and doesn't waste much time getting down to the business of telling the story.
Gasoline Alley is now available on VOD.
Review by Adam Donato
Big Gold Brick is written and directed by Brian Petsos as his first feature length film. Petsos has directed several live action shorts, commonly teaming up with Oscar Isaac, who receives top billing for this movie. The lead role of Samuel is played by Emory Cohen. Samuel is a writer who recounts the story of his book in which he was run over by a car and commissioned to write a biography about the driver. Andy Garcia plays the driver who grows an attachment to Samuel as he lets him into his life and stays with his family.
Sometimes going into a movie blind is great because there are zero expectations. That being said, some movies require some information to give the story context. For example, Big Gold Brick is supposed to be a cerebral comedy. At least, that’s what the poster says. The movie is absurd at places, but at no point is the movie outwardly funny. Samuel starts the movie out floating in space. At Garcia’s house, Samuel has regular conversations with a Santa toy. Not to mention, Samuel has some type of powers to manipulate things. There’s a high school basketball player that swears to have pink-eye after going to a local dessert stand. Just because you’re weird and quirky, it does not mean you’re funny.
No disrespect to Cohen, but he is in a different movie than everybody else. It’s actually quite astonishing watching this movie with so many big name people in it. Already listed are Isaac and Garcia, but also living in the house are Megan Fox and Lucy Hale. Cohen is a legitimate actor who has done things of note, but seems like this is his bold debut. His character is supposed to be crazy to an extent and the tone is very wacky, but his character does not work in any way, shape, or form. It’s hard to blame him because he’s probably just doing exactly what he was told. At the end of the day, this is Petsos's fault.
Garcia is the better half of this duo, in part because his character is so subdued compared to Cohen. His life is so mysterious and it’s enjoyable seeing him try to rehabilitate this man while also dealing with his family and the other people in his life. Isaac is barely in the movie, but when he is, he really goes for it. Just like with Cohen, the actor in this scenario has a bold take, but this movie is not good enough to make it justified. This is less detrimental to the movie as Isaac is in the movie so little and doesn’t show up until the movie is almost over. Speaking of almost over, this movie is over two hours long and is an absolute chore to get through.
Comedy is subjective and someone with a different sense of humor might really enjoy this. Someone who knew this was a comedy going into it might enjoy it more as well. It was a surprise finding out this movie was supposed to be funny. It's a total waste of a pretty well named cast. It is the official recommendation of this review that this movie not be sought out for it is, in a word, bad.
Big Gold Brick is now available on VOD.
Review by Sean Boelman
Created by David Jenkins (People of Earth) and executive produced by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), Our Flag Means Death is perhaps one of the most unique workplace comedies to ever hit television. Funny and charming, this historical comedy has plenty of laughs and a good deal of heart to go along with it.
Inspired by a true story, the film follows an aristocrat who, bored with his domestic life, decides to give everything up and hit the seas as a pirate, but finds himself facing unexpected challenges. It’s a wild story that seems like a parody of other incompetent pirates of pop culture, but it’s based on one of those stranger-than-fiction tales.
For the most part, the humor of the show is rather goofy, but there’s definitely a dark edge to it here and there. It really doesn’t take itself too seriously, and while there are some quips used as clear jabs against the injustices of modern society, the series seems content with being a silly comedy about pirates with unusual methods.
There is a lot of buildup in the series, particularly in the first few episodes, but once the show finds its rhythm, it works pretty well. That said, there is no shortage of conflict to be found here. All of the moving pieces can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s easy to get attuned to the film’s erratic wavelength.
Like any good workplace comedy show, viewers will each have their own favorite character. Although the protagonist is an interesting figure, and his arc is what will get audiences hooked on the show, his crew is what will be more memorable. This is especially the case with the characters who have more fleshed-out subplots.
The ensemble for the series is very solid. Rhys Darby plays the lead role in a way that is absolutely lovable. His comedic delivery can be a bit monotonous, but that is also part of what makes his performance so endearing. Waititi gives an excellent turn as Blackbeard, turning what audiences think they know about the famed pirate on its head.
The production value of the series is also quite good. The costuming and sets periodize the show in a way that is much more effective than most historical comedies. As a whole, there is a playful style to the show, albeit with a bit of a bite, as shown through some of the more suspenseful bits.
Our Flag Means Death is a refreshing comedy, taking a strong premise and applying familiar genre tropes to it to make something quite funny. This is a show that really rides on its characters, and Jenkins and the cast do such a good job of building them that it works well.
Our Flag Means Death streams on HBO Max beginning March 3, with new episodes streaming every Thursday. Five out of ten episodes reviewed.