Pure Joy: Palm Springs

Palm Springs is directed by the relative newbie Max Barbakow and written by the equally novice screenwriter Andy Siara. And they’ve got legs, in other words, they’re going places!

Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs is the best romantic comedy I’ve seen since Long Shot (Rogen and Theron). I laughed out loud several times: for both genuinely funny moments and also quirky twists and turns the movie took. Part sci-fi, part slapstick, both actors gave equally charming performances making you believe in their chemistry and plight.

J.K. Simmons might just be the new John Goodman in simply taking over the screen even in minor roles. I was so excited to see him again, having loved an hated (due to his horrible cruel character) in Whiplash. The other minor character among an entire wedding guest set of actors was Conner O’Malley. With no more than five lines, he made an impression on my funny bone.

Palm Springs is definitely worth a Hulu visit.

Kicking Two to the Curb: Dead Pool, Pop Star

This should be a New York Times Op-Ed in itself, but if you don’t think our country’s current violence problem has anything to do with the constant barrage of violent images, from the news media replaying fights over and over, to the lunatics at Facebook allowing live stream of the same, to 90% of television programming showing hostility to movies like Dead Pool showing brains coming out of someone’s skull, you are sooooo very naive.

The upside, if there is one, is witty writing and one of my favorite funny men, TJ Miller. Even Ryan Reynolds is great, giving 110% enthusiasm to his leading role, but this was Quentin Tarantino level violence which doesn’t need to be in a super hero movie, accessible to adolescents due to ignorant adults.

Emerson said it a a century ago, and I’ll paraphrase: be careful what you take in folks. One of my seventh graders bragged that he manipulated his aunt to take him to Dead Pool and bragged to me how sexual the film was (he used 12 year old words “dirty”). after viewing the film this weekend, I realized how trivial the 5 minute sex montage was compared to the hour and 45 of man on man, woman on man super hero on super hero gore fest. The French have it right folks, hide the violence and allow the sex, as long as it’s loving of course.

Pop Star, the Andy Samburg farce wold be great as an SNL farce, but it lost it’s giggle appeal after about 45 minutes. and if you’re going to use Sarah Silverman, give her something to do! She’s a talented comic for goodness sake. The film is worth watching if only for his funny tune “Not Gay” and a hysterical scene in a limo where the fans outrageous behavior keeps ramping up to a hilarious crescendo.