Robin Holabird's Film Review | KUNR

Robin Holabird's Film Review

Movie poster for Long Way Up. Two people sitting on their motorcycles in the desert.
Apple Inc.

Movie star Ewan McGregor lets fans armchair travel with him on his newest project, an Apple TV series called Long Way Up. But rather than relax in a comfortable chair himself, the screen’s iconic Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars franchise sits on a motorcycle and steers it some thirteen thousand miles from the tip of South America to Los Angeles. Not willing to settle for regular bikes — which offer a difficult enough journey on their own, McGregor and his riding partner Charley Boorman decide to break ground as the first guys to travel the route on electric vehicles.

Movie poster for the Broken Hearts Gallery. Two people sitting on a couch and looking at each other.
Sony Pictures

The chance to see Geraldine Viswanathan in three new projects makes it a great season for her. “Who?” you might ask. The actress defies old-fashioned movie star traits, yet she headlines the theatrical release of The Broken Hearts Gallery and boasts the title role in Hala, a film streaming on Apple Plus. Throw in a key part for HBO’s Bad Education with an Emmy-nominated Hugh Jackman, and Viswanathan not only runs a pace worthy of any certified star, but she also shines in all her works.

A movie poster for the film 'Tenet'
Warner Brothers

When you watch a movie by writer-director Christopher Nolan, you find either time travel, explosions, or Michael Caine. Nolan provides all three in his newest release called Tenet.

Long-haired man and woman in hijab look at each other while sitting in pews
Izaak Todd / Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Full of classic Shakespeare plotting elements, an updated version of Measure for Measure moves smoothly into modern-day Australia.

Tesla movie poster. A man's back is facing the camera. He is looking over his shoulder toward the camera.
IFC Films

Northern Nevadans know Tesla as the name of a big job provider in the region, but film director Michael Almereyda sees something different. Here's KUNR's Robin Holabird with a review on the new biopic on Nikola Tesla.

An astronaut next to a smoking piece of futuristic technology
Courtesy of IFC Films

In its own warped way, COVID-19 adds extra resonance to horror films, demonstrated by two new releases that deal with types of fear.

Robin's Movie Review: Rebuilding Paradise

Aug 6, 2020

With northern Nevada skylines increasingly bearing the orange tinges of nearby fires, Ron Howard’s new documentary Rebuilding Paradise gains extra resonance. Just three hours from Tahoe, Paradise, California shares Sierra terrain with mountains and trees growing dry through drought. 

The Old Guard challenges traditional action movie conceits by putting women front and center as director and stars. Sure, D.C.’s Wonder Woman already did that—but with colorful, form fitting costumes designed to please comic book fanboys.  While The Old Guard’s graphic novel source bears similarities to comics, the team dresses in practical army gear.

Covid-19 failed to stop Reno’s annual movie festival, despite the closing of traditional venues. Joining with Artown for several free presentations, Reno’s Cordillera Festival put its “summer shorts” lineup at the West Wind El Rancho Drive-in. I watched all seven entries and love the quality, ingenuity, and insights the dedicated filmmakers create.

The movie Rag Doll gets its punch from a twist on the sports film genre by focusing on a young woman whose fight to survive takes her into mixed martial arts. 

Covid Cinematic alternatives flourish this month in Reno during Artown.

Disney Plus puts “The Room Where It Happens” in homes for streaming a version of the play Hamilton, once bound for movie theaters. Covid-19 changed those cinematic plans, moving the project’s release up to the thoroughly appropriate July Fourth weekend. 

Both the grim and bright sides of humanity show up in the documentary Runner about one of Sudan’s Lost Boys war victims. 

Robin's Movie Review: Da Five Bloods

Jun 18, 2020

As protestors across the country continue demanding racial equality and an end to police brutality, Director Spike Lee combines message making with classic storytelling in his new Netflix project, Da Five Bloods.

Robin's Movie Review: 6 Underground And Douglas

Jun 12, 2020

No one should hear the names Michael Bay and Hannah Gadsby in the same sentence, but streaming changes that; both their newest projects show up as Netflix Originals, and both have a link with Renaissance art. 

With a nod to the old Twilight Zone series, a new movie called The Vast of
Night takes viewers back to the nineteen-fifties through a television screen
leading to Paradox Theater and a set of strange events. 

Two projects originally slated for theaters probably get better play with their recent Covid induced straight-to-streaming release rather than fighting it out with giant projects in big movie houses.

In the tradition of Clueless and The Easy A, the new Netflix release called The Half of It transfers a classic piece of literature to a high school setting while maintaining the source material’s ultimate message. 

With a track record that includes Glee, American Horror Story, and Feud, Ryan Murphy puts his own fantasy spin on movie history in his project called Hollywood. Setting the story in nineteen forty-eight, Murphy and his co-creators imagine a world where an openly gay Rock Hudson finds work, while non-whites like Anna Mae Wong manage to win Oscars.

Robin's Movie Review: Bosch

May 8, 2020

Binge watching sent me armchair traveling to Los Angeles for one of my favorite mystery series on both screen and book, Bosch. Recently starting its sixth season, Bosch continues as an effective translation of the books, despite numerous changes. Those switches from author and producer Michael Connelly, add commercial benefits while preserving the original’s soul.