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Review: Spenser Confidential (Netflix)

This Netflix title caught my eye because I was a fan of the TV series “Spenser for Hire” (starring the late Robert Urich) in the mid-1980s and was curious how a new movie version of the crime drama might play out with Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. The film is directed by Peter Berg who’s worked with Wahlberg several times in the past decade, in big-screen features like Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon, Mile 22 and Lone Survivor. Spenser Confidential would be weak for a theatrical release, but it’s entertaining enough for Netflix streaming – for nostalgia’s sake and/or if you just like watching Wahlberg do his thing. Check, check.

Quickie Review: US

US is most definitely a thinking person’s horror movie. That means, it helps to be a fan of the horror genre, to mitigate the horrors of having to watch the movie multiple times in order to catch all the nuances and subtext that writer/director Jordan Peele surely intends us to mull over for years to come. Despite all the raves for US, it’s important to keep its potential place in cinematic history in check. While I was certainly horrified and entertained by US, I liked Peele’s breakout hit Get Out more, because it managed to be shocking, provocative and entertaining without fitting into the classic mold of a horror movie (a genre that rarely appeals to me). Like Get Out, however, US benefits from a crazy-good acting ensemble. Most notable among them: Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Black Panther) who may just see herself nominated in the best actress category if we’re still talking about US come November.