The glory of Astaire and Rogers in ‘Swing Time’ on HBO Max

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the most elegant of Hollywood’s dance teams in the golden age of American musicals and Swing Time (1936) is the peak of their ten-film output. The plot is as absurd as anything from the era: Astaire is a dancer and gambler who is set to marry his hometown sweetheart […]

What to stream: ‘Rocketman’ on Amazon and Hulu, ‘Lovebirds’ on Netflix, ‘Emma’ on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Taron Egerton plays Elton John in “Rocketman” (2019, R), a biographical drama that takes on the rock legend’s rise, his collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell), and his drug addiction with energetic […]

What to stream: ‘Skywalker’ on Disney+, ‘The Eddy’ and Jerry Seinfeld on Netflix, ‘The Hustle’ on Amazon and Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019, PG-13) brings the final trilogy in the odyssey begun by George Lucas in the original 1977 “Star Wars” to its conclusion with a rollercoaster ride of […]

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle's Oscar-winning musical "La La Land."

‘La La Land’ on HBO Max and HBO Now

Old school Hollywood music and romance is brought into the 21st century in La La Land (2016), which earned a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations and won 6 (losing Best Picture to Moonlight in what will surely remain the most famous Oscar night mix-up ever). Hollywood loves movies that celebrate show business and La La […]

‘The Runaways’ – the story of the original grrrl rockers on Netflix

The Runaways (2010) – The Runaways may have been more phenomenon than phenomenal but the hard-rocking quintet of teenage girls made their mark on the music world with a blast of grrrl power and teen rebellion. They were tossed into the culture in 1976 as a gimmick—the original all-girl rock band (and I do mean […]

’20 Feet From Stardom’ on Netflix

The poster for the music documentary 20 Feet From Stardom (2013, PG-13) advertises the appearances of Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler, ironic since the documentary is really about the back-up singers who performed with them and many others, always outside of the spotlight. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Claudia […]

Gene Wilder is Willy Wonka in the musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel

The original ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime

“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” Gene Wilder is the weird, wonderful, slightly sinister candy bar king who invites five children into his factory kingdom in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s fantasy. It is a rare breed: an imaginative live-action […]

What to stream: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ on Starz, ‘Fighting With My Family’ on Amazon and Hulu, Taylor Swift on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers. “Spider-Man: Far from Home” (2019, PG) sends the web-slinging teenage superhero (played by Tom Holland) to Europe, where he takes […]

‘Danny Collins’ on Amazon Prime and Kanopy

“The following is kind of based on a true story a little bit.” A very little bit, it turns out, but it is a great premise. Danny Collins was a musical phenom of the seventies turned pop music legend who has spent his last decades falling back on familiar songs and greatest hits tours. A […]

What to stream: ‘Two Popes’ and ‘Witcher’ on Netflix, ‘Wild Rose’ on Hulu, ‘Aeronauts’ on Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers. Anthony Hopkins is Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce plays Jorge Bergoglio, the Cardinal from South America who became his […]