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I watched Moxie last night, having heard good things, and found it absolutely dull as shit and not in the least bit believable. It's about a high school girl finding her place in the world by discovering Bikini Kill and fanzines, and starting a bit of a feminist movement at her school. Which might have worked as a retro story set in the '90s, but for the present day, it just didn't feel believable that this culturally and ethnically diverse group of teen girls would all get really invested in a sub-culture and its trappings from thirty years earlier. It felt like clumsy wish fulfilment by people who did live through that, rather than anything that really reflects the reality of teenagers today. Lots of very clumsily right-on politicking, that if it's meant to seem like the awkward and embarrassing posturing of teenagers might have worked, but it really felt like the film-makers thought they were doing something profound. Also, it's got Arnie's kid in it.

A little before that, watched Palm Springs. It is, insufferably, a hipster movie. No one in it is particularly likeable, and everyone is very knowingly smug. Despite that, it's pretty good. It's about two people stuck in a time loop, and I like that they don't really dwell on the how or the why, they just get on with the story. And I really, really like that they never resort to knowing references to Groundhog Day or any sci-fi stories or anything to explain it, like a lesser film of this type almost certainly would. There's some fun bits, and some parts that I thought were really, really cringeworthy. I don't think it's the masterpiece that its reviews seem to suggest it is, but it's good fun in places, if you can put up with the characters for long enough.

 

It reminded me of Wristcutters: A Love Story, so I dug out my DVD of that and rewatched it for the first time in years. This had a bit of a cult following among my friends when it came out and I leant my copy to a bunch of people, though I can't remember how I ever discovered it in the first place. It's another insufferingly hipster love story - it's set in an afterlife for suicides, where everything is basically the same just more miserable than the world before. The main character, Zia, is just drifting through life until he bumps into an old friend at the supermarket who lets him know that Zia's ex-girlfriend killed herself shortly after he did, so it becomes a road trip movie of Zia, his friend Eugene, and a female hitch-hiker they pick up along the way trying to find Zia's girlfriend. It can be a bit of a slog when it's heavy on world-building early on, but once the road trip gets going, and particularly once they meet Kneller - played by Tom Waits - it gets really good, and increasingly absurd. There's a pre-Parks and Rec Nick Offerman and John Hawkes in good but small supporting roles, and Will Arnett has a significant but fairly small part that is basically an alternate universe version of Gob Bluth. Tom Waits absolutely carries it whenever he's on-screen, though. 

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The Silent Partner (1978, Talking Pictures TV) I hadn't heard of this before, but saw Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer as the stars and I was sold. It's a thriller with a really nice set-up -

Yuen Biu's first lead role if memory serves, hence half the film basically being a showreel for him. Groundhog Day Andie McDowell plays Rita, a producer newly employed by a TV network that she

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Surprised to see you write that about Palm Springs. I was a bit surprised by the 10/10 reviews but I thought above anything else Andy Samberg and Cristin Miloti were completely likeable despite being shits. 

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I watched The Rounders (1965) last night. 

Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, cowboys, ranches, women, rodeo, boozing - I was always going to enjoy it, but I found myself having an even better time than I thought I would. 

It's not a great film or anything, but it was exactly what I wanted after a long day. A gentle western comedy with two dependable leads that never outstays its welcome at 85 minutes. 

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2 hours ago, Mr_Danger said:

Surprised to see you write that about Palm Springs. I was a bit surprised by the 10/10 reviews but I thought above anything else Andy Samberg and Cristin Miloti were completely likeable despite being shits. 

It's impossible for Samberg to be unlikable I think. I want to see him play a completely irredeemable shitbag to test this theory.

Milioti was really good in this as well but I've not seen her in anything else apart from that Charlie Brooker 2020 thing. She was one of the standouts of that patchy affair though.

Edited by Chest Rockwell
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Cristin Milioti (who, as a sidenote, is delightful) was great in Sleepwalk With Me (good little Mike Birbiglia romcom) and the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror, also easily one of the best Black Mirrors. She's awesome, I hope we get a lot more in larger roles off the back of Palm Springs.

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She’s an actress that stands out so much that you think you’ve seen her in loads but you haven’t. Reckon she’ll be pretty busy if she wants on the back of Palm Springs.

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1 minute ago, Mr_Danger said:

She’s an actress that stands out so much that you think you’ve seen her in loads but you haven’t. Reckon she’ll be pretty busy if she wants on the back of Palm Springs.

Apparently this new Made for Love series she's done is superb, and also has Billy Magnussen and Ray Romano in it so I can't see how it could fail.

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1 hour ago, Chest Rockwell said:

It's impossible for Samberg to be unlikable I think. I want to see him play a completely irredeemable shitbag to test this theory.

I started Brooklyn Nine Nine with my girlfriend and she didn’t like it because “The main guy is so irritating and unlikeable”. My reaction was thus


Italian Spiderman Mind Blown GIF

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Stowaway (Netflix)

Low-ish expectations as always for any Netflix original, but this is rather good. I think it forgets itself in the last 15 minutes and the way it ends makes little sense considering what went before. But it's the sort of focused, professional and unfussy stuff that I think Netflix is actually quite good at identifying. Nice to see Anna Kendrick in a dramatic role and she kills it. Worth noting that Joe Penna, who directed this, also made Arctic with Mads Mikkelsen a couple of years ago, a superb survival drama that's already been forgotten, sadly.

The Producers (TCM)

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North West Frontier (Talking Pictures TV)

I can't resist a war action-adventure film but I had no idea that I had been missing out all these years on a great one in this. J. Lee Thompson was almost always a guarantee of a good time and I think this could even be one of his best. Also, not quite as racist as I was expecting considering it was set in India. A great companion piece for Von Ryan's Express, I'd say.

Day of the Dead (original) (pirate)

I've never really been a huge fan of this and I'm still not convinced by it. It gets praised for being a change of pace from Dawn of the Dead but I don't think that's necessarily a positive here. It's just too slow and the acting is bloody awful. It rounds off superbly but I doubt I'll ever watch this again.

Albert R.N. (Talking Pictures TV)

Enjoyable war prison camp escape film that has a goofy central concept that was apparently based on real events. The Nazis were stupider than we thought, then. Juggles too many characters but it's still good fun for an hour and a half.

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8 hours ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Day of the Dead (original) (pirate)

I've never really been a huge fan of this and I'm still not convinced by it. It gets praised for being a change of pace from Dawn of the Dead but I don't think that's necessarily a positive here. It's just too slow and the acting is bloody awful. It rounds off superbly but I doubt I'll ever watch this again.

I must admit after seeing this a number of times over the years I still don't really get it. I love Dawn. Can't get enough of that one and the more I understand the context the better it is really. But Day. I keep hoping one time it'll click for me but it just never has.

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I always thought Day of the Dead was widely thought of as being a bit crap.

Personally I think Night of the Living Dead is by far the best of Romero's films.

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57 minutes ago, LaGoosh said:

I always thought Day of the Dead was widely thought of as being a bit crap.

Personally I think Night of the Living Dead is by far the best of Romero's films.

That is my impression as well.

I haven't watched Day in about 20 years but I remember liking it more than your average Romero fan. It's certainly the weakest of the 3. I love Dawn but Night is a masterpiece. The less said about the astonishing mistep of the directors cut with the newly shot footage the better though.

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Dawn of the Dead is so good that even Zack Snyder couldn’t fuck it up. What was the feeling on Land of the Dead? I remember not liking it but I’m sure it reviewed well in Empire at least.

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18 hours ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Stowaway (Netflix)

Low-ish expectations as always for any Netflix original, but this is rather good. I think it forgets itself in the last 15 minutes and the way it ends makes little sense considering what went before. But it's the sort of focused, professional and unfussy stuff that I think Netflix is actually quite good at identifying. Nice to see Anna Kendrick in a dramatic role and she kills it. Worth noting that Joe Penna, who directed this, also made Arctic with Mads Mikkelsen a couple of years ago, a superb survival drama that's already been forgotten, sadly.

 

Had never even heard of it when I put it on last night and it's 2/3rds of a really good film that fell apart at the end. The cast were all fantastic and it could have gone so many different ways and been better for it. One of the few films that would have been better as a 4 miniseries to dig into the characters a bit more and build on the impending doom. 

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