Freeze Frame: “In the Land of Saints and Sinners” (R), “STEVE! (Martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces” (TV-MA), “Renegade Nell” (PG-13)

Liam Neeson once again plays a man grudgingly forced into violence in the drama “In the Land of Saints and Sinners.” During Ireland’s political and social upheaval in the 1970s, a hit man tries to extract himself from the bloodshed but is reluctantly pulled back in. It’s got its merits, including a first-rate cast of Irish acting stalwarts, but “In the Land of Saints and Sinners” is awfully grim and off putting…and you may need subtitles to get through the thick Irish brogue.

Younger fans of the hit series “Only Murders in the Building ” may not know much about the earlier career of comedian Steve Martin. The involving Apple TV+ film “STEVE! (Martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces” provides an entertaining and imaginative overview of his life and career, from his neurotic struggles to find an audience for his quirky standup comedy to triumphs and failures in the movies. And Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville skillfully closes the circle by highlighting Martin’s success late in life both artistically and personally. “STEVE! (Martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces” is wild and crazy, in the best ways.

“Renegade Nell” is a passable Disney+ adventure series that mixes the historic and the fantastic. Louisa Harland plays Nell Jackson, an 18th century English female highwayman who has been framed for murder. On the lam and pursued by enemies who dabble in dark forces, Nell’s destiny changes when she encounters a magical spirit called Billy Blind who occasionally imbues her with supernatural strength and agility. If you think it all sounds very Disney, you’d be right…except its violence earns it a PG-13 rating, making “Renegade Nell” iffy viewing for the very young.

Share This Episode