Author Archives: Roger Catlin

Monday TV: Murders in a Swedish Cult

The latest true crime documentary is an import. “Pray, Obey, Kill” (HBO, 9 p.m.) is a five-part series about a pair of 2004 Swedish murders in a rural religious compound that gave a police investigator “a Twin Peaks feeling.” Journalists Anton Berg and Martin Johnson reinvestigate the case with a lot of original source materials, […]

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Film: Teen’s Afterlife in ‘My True Fairytale’

There is something that makes you pause about a movie called “My True Fairytale.” The oxymoron of the title is stretched even further when you learn it’s about a teen who “becomes a superhero and saves the world” and yet is “inspired by true events.” What’s true about Dmitry Gelfand’s first feature is that it […]

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Sunday TV: Joss Whedon’s ‘The Nevers’

Joss Whedon is behind the fanciful and imaginative new series “The Nevers” (HBO, 9 p.m.), about a Victorian-era home for women with extraordinary abilities, as caused by a strange celestial event. With a cast that includes Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly, some lavish production values and dialog that’s as absorbing as the action, its debut […]

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Saturday TV: First of Seven Deadly Sins

Looking for a new series of films to present, Lifetime settled on Victoria Christopher Murray’s books based on the seven deadly sins. The first one up sounds the most randy: “Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.). R&B star Keri Hilson stars as a woman tempted by her fiancé’s best friend (Durrell “Tank” […]

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The Limits of Low Budget ‘In Action’

Eric Silvera and Sean Kenealy have a nice rapport. Which is a good thing, since it’s just about the only quality they can offer in their feature debut “In Action.” Meant to be a kind of takeoff of action film tropes, it is ultimately hogtied by its extreme budgetary and casting restraints.  Almost as a […]

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Friday TV: New Horror Anthology ‘Them’

Like the 1954 film with the same name (but with an exclamation point), the new series “Them” (Amazon Prime, streaming) is broadly speaking of the horror genre. As such it has such familiar elements as a scary basement, and a weird witch-like visitor. But the true horror of the story of a Black family that […]

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Film: ‘Transference – A Love Story’

At a North London hospital, two nurses hook up. She’s a young and cheerful import from Norway, who is rattled by the sudden death of a patient. He’s an Italian who’s older and broody, his grizzled beard going grey. Full of mystery, he also rides a motorcycle. When she finally accepts a ride with him, […]

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Thursday TV: Erin Brockovich as a Series

Katey Segal stars in the new series “Rebel” (ABC, 10 p.m.) as a social advocate modeled after the real life Erin Brockovich (whose story of course was already made into a movie). John Corbett, Andy Garcia and James Lesure also star.  “Exterminate All the Brutes” (HBO, 9 p.m.) concludes with a pair of episodes that […]

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Wednesday TV: Colonization’s Brutality

The Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck follows up his James Baldwin bio film “I Am Not Your Negro” with a wide-ranging, serious and powerful look at colonialism and slavery in “Exterminate All the Brutes” (HBO, 9 p.m.) that’s quite different from any other filmed history before it. He relies plenty on works by the scholars Sven […]

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Tuesday TV: Nasim Pedrad is ‘Chad’

Funny women playing nerdy teenage boys is something of a trend. Following the two woman leading the cast of “Pen15,” here’s Nasim Pedrad as “Chad” (TBS, 10:30 p.m.), a Persian boy in his first year of high school. The talented former “SNL” star also wrote, produced and was showrunner for the new comedy.  The second […]

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