Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; his LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; his nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context, The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan have been translated into 15 languages.
Review of 'Lapsis'
In our COVID-ridden real world, a near-future science fiction movie in which codes and AI are villains is something of relief, in addition to being unsettling, especially if it's well done, which Lapsis very much is.
Review of 'For All Mankind': Season 1 and Episode 2.1
Ronald D. Moore is best known for his creation of the Battlestar Galactica reboot and Outlander, two very different TV series which were (BSG) and are (Outlander) justly lauded masterpieces of science fiction (maybe Outlander is science fantasy, but the point still holds). Moore had a lot riding on For All Mankind, another, very different kind of science fiction series. I just saw the entire first season (which began to air on Apple TV in November 2019) and the first episode of the second season (which started airing yesterday). It's at least as good as Battlestar Galactica and a little better than Outlander. In my never humble opinion.
Review of 'Bliss'
Just saw Bliss on Amazon Prime Video. In a phrase, it's another well-acted simulation movie, with an obvious, even hackneyed story, but it's very well acted by Owen Wilson (Greg) and Salma Hayek (Isabel), with an appearance by Bill Nye the science guy, and excellent music, especially a really beautiful, captivating song under the closing credits, written by Will Bates and sung by Skye Edwards.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, from the novelette by Lev Grossman (The Magicians) and screenplay by him, debuted on Amazon Prime video a few days ago. Its ratings on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes are 6-7, but I think it's much better than that, well over 9. It's said to be a Groundhog Day (the holiday and the movie) meets Valentine's Day (just the holiday), but it's more than that, too.
Review of 'McCartney III'
I was never one to look for differences between the Beatles on their individual own and when they were The Beatles. To my ear and soul, Paul, John, George, and Ringo on their own sounded far more like The Beatles, captured and continued their extraordinary essence far better than any other artist. Sure, some solo numbers sounded more like The Beatles than others. I heard "Ticket to Ride" in Paul's "My Brave Face," and when someone told me it evoked "Things We Said Today," I could immediately hear it.
Review of 'Perfume'
Perfume, a 2018 movie which my wife and I saw just the other night on Netflix, starts out as a straight-up, if perverted, serial killer story, based on Patrick Süskind's 1985 novel of the same name. A beautiful singer is found dead, with her scent glands removed. There apparently is a murderer at large who gets off so much on scents, he (or she) needs literally cuttings of glands to satisfy the craving.
Review of 'The Midnight Sky'
Well, you couldn't ask for a better movie than The Midnight Sky in these our Covid-ridden times. An Earth, in the year 2049, in even far worse shape than ours. Just about everyone on the planet dead, due to some kind of planet-wide catastrophe. A spaceship returning home to Earth from a habitable moon of Jupiter, unaware of what they are returning to. A very sick scientist on Earth, desperately marshalling his last energies to contact them, and tell the ship to turn around.
Review of 'The Lie'
My wife and I caught The Lie last night on Amazon Prime Video. A scalding little movie from Blumhouse and from the brain behind The Killing (Veena Sud), with one of its big stars ( Mireille Enos).