🎙️ Neue Folge The Magic Circle! In der letzten Folge der Staffel stellen wir unter anderem mal wieder die Frage “Berühmtes Pferd oder Marihuana-Sorte?”

Ganze Folge & Abo-Links hier.

Henry Fool, 1997 - ★★★★★

Watched on Friday September 1, 2023.

Very rarely can we see an entire system reflected through one person. Lorne Michaels is such a person. Popular culture would look totally different without him. It’s tempting to imagine the same stars, with their same intrinsic talents, still rising to the top in his absence, but this presumes Hollywood operates by natural selection. Michaels is not a neutral arbiter; he is a specific man with specific tastes.

Fantastic article by Seth Simon on Lorne Michaels and SNL.

Knight and Day, 2010 - ★★½

Watched this because they talked about it on the great Watch With Jen podcast as a movie that deserves a reappraisal. It‘s…fine. I do suspect it would do much better today now that everyone‘s decided that Tom Cruise can do no wrong. But like all Cruise movies containing romance, this requires buying in to the idea that Cruise is capable of having an emotional connection to another human being, which isn’t made easier by the fact that he acts like a complete psychopath for this entire movie. So it didn‘t quite work for me, but if you‘re one of those »Tom Cruise is the savior of cinema« people, give this one a go.

Chris Fleming: Hell, 2023 - ★★★★

Watched on Sunday August 27, 2023.

Finished: Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys 📚

Rhys has been a blind-spot in my reading for a long time, always seemed like something I’d be into but never got around to actually reading anything. I can now report it is indeed something I’m into.

Dog Day Afternoon, 1975 - ★★★★★

Watched on Friday August 25, 2023.

Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985 - ★★★½

Watched on Wednesday August 23, 2023.

Turn Every Page - The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb, 2022 - ★★★½

Watched on Sunday August 20, 2023.

🎙️ In der neuen Folge von The Magic Circle: Wir erraten weitere Videospiel-, Cartoon- und Serienfiguren, beschrieben von meiner Mutter.

Ganze Folge hier oder überall, wo es Podcasts gibt.

No Hard Feelings, 2023 - ★★★

This is fine, but I so wish it was better. It never really commits to JLaw being a dirtbag, nor is the kid a true weirdo, and so basically after 30 minutes they‘re mostly done developing and the movie starts grasping at straws to fill the runtime.
It also largely forgets being funny. Why set up funny side characters like Natalie Morales and her boyfriend and Kyle Mooney‘s male nanny and then don‘t use them for more than a scene or two?

It does make a case for letting JLaw be funny tho so there‘s that. Glad they made this, next time let‘s try a real comedy.

Seems an unpopular opinion but TV shows should stop doing that thing where they stop the regular programming to do an entire episode focused on one side character. Side characters are side characters for a reason & 9 times out of 10 you can accomplish the same thing with, like, a short montage.

Knowing the answer to an Only Connect question none of the teams can answer is a rush matched by few things in life.

📺 Finally watched the first season of The Bear (2022), it is indeed great. Kinda reminds me of a Sorkin show in that it scratches that “watching people come together to get shit done” itch, except written by people who have talked to someone not rich or powerful within the last 15 years.

The Bear poster

What this essay presupposes is… maybe TV shows aren’t supposed to be important? Maybe feeling important is contrary to the entire idea of TV. Like friends, we don’t really just see shows casually anymore, we have to take specifically directed steps to seek them out specifically.

Great essay by Vince Mancini: »I Miss Casual TV the Way I Miss Casual Friendships«

Gemini Man, 2019 - ★★★★

Watched on Thursday August 3, 2023.

De Humani Corporis Fabrica, 2022 - ★★★½

See this is why I‘m against body positivity. Just look at all this gross shit. And you carry that around with you every day? You should be ashamed.

You Hurt My Feelings, 2023 - ★★★½

Holofcener does a lot of TV directing, and her movies can kind of feel like long TV episodes. This feels like a sitcom ep, it's a whole movie about a, in the grand scheme of things, meaningless relationship problem and you know from the get-go that no substantial change in these characters' lives will come from it, in the end they will more or less return to the status quo with maybe the tiniest of perspective-shifts, ready for the next meaningless thing to blow out of proportion.

This is meant as a compliment, though. This is what most of life is like, and I'm starved for movies about real people with mundane problems. Louis-Dreyfus is, of course, fantastic, Michaela Watkins is a scene-stealer as always. David Cross' and Amber Tamblyn's therapy sessions play like a very funny parody of those "how we met" couple talking-heads in When Harry Met Sally.

Like every Holofcener movie I don't expect this to be one I'll keep thinking about, but I'm sure I'll be reminded of it every once in a while and go "Oh, right, that was a fun one".

The Beanie Bubble, 2023 - ★½

God these movies are so fucking desperate. This one tries to answer the very valid question »why the fuck should anyone care« by going »Uh, well, it‘s about feminism actually? #GIRLBOSS?« Poor Geraldine Viswanathan — who is very talented, one of these days someone should put her in a real movie — in her final voice-over actually has to say (I have to assume at gunpoint) »We leaned in«.

The one thing these weird brand movies got going for them is that in like 20 years, we can look back on them and go »the 2020s sure were weird, huh?«. They do say…*something* about the time we live in.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974 - ★★★★½

Watched on Friday July 28, 2023.