This List is Not All-Inclusive!

Remember that you’re getting movie & TV advice from regular guys with regular lives.  The fact that we’re not sitting in front of our computers and TVs all day also means that we don’t have time to review every movie ever made.  While this list will continue to grow as fast as we can continue to watch and review movies & TV, we apologize in advance for those we did not get to yet.  Rather than relying on it as an exhaustive encyclopedia of movies & TV, though, we hope that you will simply use this list as a source for good suggestions of what to watch or stay away from.

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Reviews are organized in reverse chronological order by the date the review was created.  However, you can also check out reviews for particular genres by using the “Categories” drop-down box at the bottom of the page.  Also, you can use the “Search” box (also at the bottom of the page) to find a particular movie/show.

Marvel One-Shot: Item 47

(NR) 12m

IMDB Plot Summary: S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sitwell is assigned to recover an abandoned Chitauri weapon being used by a young couple robbing a bank.
Director: Louis D’Esposito
Writer: Eric Pearson (screenplay)
Stars: Lizzy Caplan; Jesse Bradford; Maximiliano Hernández

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth It)  This is a fun, short Bonnie-and-Clyde story.

Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer

(NR) 4m

IMDB Plot Summary: Agent Coulson stops at a convenience store and deals with a coincidental robbery during his visit.
Director: Leythum
Writer: Eric Pearson
Stars: Clark Gregg; Jessica Manuel; Jeff Prewett

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth It)  This is a fun, quick reminder of how badass Agent Coulson is.

Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (2011)

(NR)

IMDB Plot Summary: Agents Coulson and Sitwell plan to derail General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross from interfering with S.H.I.E.L.D. affairs with a very special person.
Director: Leythum
Writers: Jack Kirby; Eric Pearson
Stars: Clark Gregg; Maximiliano Hernández; Deborah Knox

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth It)  This short film is a nice little bridge between The Incredible Hulk and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring fun banter by charismatic actors.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(TV-MA)

IMDB Plot Summary: The professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties – a team that defined an era, both on and off the court.
Stars: John C. Reilly; Quincy Isaiah; Jason Clarke

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Own It)  I have often said that organized team sports are the closest feeling one can get to the esprit de corps of the military, without the horrors of war. This series is a bard’s tale of how Jerry Buss built an army, from selecting his generals to at least one of his field officers, and how that band of brothers struggled through constantly emerging obstacles on a run for the National Basketball Association’s Walter A. Brown Trophy, with their financial ships burning behind them…literally championship or bust.
According to the IMDB trivia page for this show, Will Ferrell abruptly ended his 25 year production partnership, as well as his friendship, with executive producer Adam McKay over this series. While this show was in development, Ferrell had his heart set on playing Buss. McKay agreed, casting Ferrell in the role, before changing his mind and casting Reilly (who worked with Ferrell and McKay on Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyStep Brothers, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) instead, without telling Ferrell. McKay thought their falling out would last several months before realizing that Ferrell was far more hurt than McKay thought he would be and told Vanity Fair in November 2021 that Ferrell “will never talk to me again.”
I can see why Ferrell would be distraught about missing out on the role of Buss. This series and that role are epic! However, I am glad McKay did what he thought was best for the show, casting Reilly. Even for such a great actor, he really outdid himself in that role, simultaneously exuding charm, entitled arrogance, kindness, selfishness, loyalty, intelligence, thick-headedness, altruism, narcissism, open-mindedness, sexism, idealism, and pragmatism, among other conflicting qualities. No matter what kind of questionable actions or words came from Buss, you couldn’t help but like him. McKay’s choice was poetically reminiscent of the one that Buss faced with the head coach position.
The rest of the cast delivered a masterful performance, as well, with two up-and-comers standing out to me as exceptional: Isaiah as Magic Johnson, and Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I hope to see a lot more of both of them in future major productions.
This story has received staunch criticism from some of the real-life people that it portrays, such as Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West. However, HBO has responded that it has “a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. ‘Winning Time’ is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing….”
Reilly has also added, “The overall plot is based on historical fact, but we do fill in a lot of blanks. He also stated, “I respect everyone’s right to their own story, but I don’t think that precludes others from telling public stories. And this is a public story.”
It does bother me that many of the people portrayed in this show weren’t even consulted during its development and given the opportunity to tell their sides of the story. However, I also feel that the series has been up front that it is partially fictionalized, so I watch it as a fictional story, and I go back and research the parts about which I want to know the truth. Furthermore, by the time the first season concludes, some of the perceived negative characteristics about certain characters have been developed with context and even dwarfed by positive characteristics.
I am a New York Knicks fan, but my favorite Western Conference team has been the Lakers since I was a kid, during the very Showtime era that this series is about. This production has only increased my fondness for the Lakers.
Pretty much the only creative thing I disliked about this show is its title. According to IMDB, the series was going to be called Showtime, which is the title of the book that McKay was adapting. However, that title created some “head-scratching” considering the show airs on HBO and not its competitor, also named Showtime. Still, I think “Winning Time” sounds corny. Even calling it something like “The Lake Show,” would have been better.

Agent Carter (2015-2016)

(TV-PG)

Plot Summary: In 1946, Peggy Carter is relegated to secretarial duties in the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). When Howard Stark is accused of treason, he secretly recruits Peggy to clear his name with the help of his butler, Edwin Jarvis.
Stars: Hayley Atwell; James D’Arcy; Enver Gjokaj

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth It)  This series was often cheesy in embracing its 1940s feel, but the stories were generally interesting, and Atwell is badass. You’ll recognize elements of this show on WandaVision. The entire cast was charismatic, even as they hammed it up (by design), but Bridget Regan stole quite a few scenes as a sort of predecessor to Black Widow.

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (2011)

(R) 1h 29m

IMDB Plot Summary: A documentary on Conan O’Brien‘s comedy tour of the U.S. and Canada after leaving his post at “The Tonight Show” and severing his relationship with NBC.
Director: Rodman Flender
Writer: Olen Steinhauer
Stars: O’Brien; Andy Richter; Jimmy Vivino

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Cruel & Unusual Punishment)  Conan is one of my very favorite talk show hosts ever, but watching a whole documentary about his comedy tour, with only bits and pieces of the actual show, which seemed more like a singing and dancing variety act with comedy sprinkled in than a stand up comedy show, made me feel like Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

All The Old Knives (2022)

(R) 1h 41m

IMDB Plot Summary: Two CIA agents and ex-lovers (Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton) are brought back together years after a failed rescue attempt and forced to blur the lines between profession and passion in this deeply riveting tale of global espionage, moral dilemma and deadly betrayal.
Director: Janus Metz
Writer: Olen Steinhauer
Stars: Pine; Newton; Laurence Fishburne

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth Watching)  The tale itself is not particularly riveting, but it gives this solid cast an opportunity to showcase its acting skills. The backbone of the film is the chemistry between Pine and Newton, and they really nail (no pun intended) both the dialogue and the equally important non-verbal cues.

That’s My Boy (2012)

(R) 1h 56m

IMDB Plot Summary: While in his teens, Donny fathered a son, Todd, and raised him as a single parent until Todd’s 18th birthday. Now Donny resurfaces just before Todd’s wedding after years apart, sending the groom-to-be’s world crashing down.
Director: Sean Anders
Writer: David Caspe
Stars: Adam Sandler; Andy Samberg; Leighton Meester

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Worth Watching)  This flick is funnier and not as cringy as you might expect, given its plot. It’s not gut-busting hilarious, but you’ll probably get a fair amount of chuckles and smiles.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)

(TV-14)

Plot Summary: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities…and their patience.
Stars: Anthony Mackie; Sebastian Stan; Wyatt Russell

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Queue It)  It was nice to take a break from the time travel stories for a while and get back to the formula that made the Captain America films solid. The action sequences were film-quality in terms of stunts and cinematography, but a little too hokey sometimes in the believability department. Still, the cast was elite (Erin Kellyman steals some scenes; I’m now a fan), and the story itself was a compelling and important one. Don’t miss this mini series.

What If…? (2021-Present)

(TV-14)

IMDB Plot Summary: Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.
Stars: Jeffrey Wright; Terri Douglas; Matthew Wood

Serious Jestanimated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Don’t Bother)  I would have enjoyed this series a lot more as just a collection of reimagined stories that did not actually affect or intersect with the MCU. Unfortunately, making this part of the Multiverse that contains the MCU creates some plot holes and logical inconsistencies that are now ruining the MCU for me a little bit. I will discuss some of them generally below, without spoiling too much, but if you’re extremely spoiler-averse and plan on watching this show no matter what, you may want to stop reading here until you’ve watched the complete first season.
First, I find the concept of “absolute points,” as used in Episode 4 (“What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?”), to be problematic. If the death of the character at issue is truly unchangeable, then how do we explain them not dying in the MCU timeline? IMHO, this episode would have been better if it was used to explain how Doctor Strange succeeded in creating the alternate reality that exists in the MCU.
I also found a few of the episodes to be too campy in comparison to the MCU: Thor getting knocked off by a single arrow in Episode 3 (“What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?”); a brain in a vat and zombies that remain sentient enough to use their powers in ways that require complex thinking in Episode 5 (“What If… Zombies?!”); and the silly nature of the entire Episode 7 (“What If… Thor Were an Only Child?”). The liberties taken with logic here were way too far a departure from the careful thought that has been put into most MCU projects to avoid playing with the net down.
Finally, I had trouble simply enjoying a mega-fight between alternate versions of MCU characters in Episodes 8 (“What If… Ultron Won?”) and 9 (“What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?”) because of the seemingly illogical implications it had for the MCU. In particular, I was perplexed by: the use of the Infinity Stones; an artificial life form that becomes so sentient it can not only perceive rifts in realities but rip across them without even having to engage in travel through the Quantum Realm (which was already a stretch in Avengers: Endgame); and a being who sees all and knows all realities but is not He Who Remains from the Loki series (nor does the TVA get involved in what seems like the very type of situation that it was created to guard against).