Film Reviews by LS

Welcome to LS's film reviews page. LS has written 5 reviews and rated 23 films.

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The To Do List

Modern-Day Sex Farce

(Edit) 18/10/2018

I watched this mainly because of Bill Hader but I did find Maggie Carey's vaguely autobiographical story engaging. It's definitely low-budget, but the acting is pretty good, and the directing has that "light touch" feel to it, which I like.

I also think it's an important film in that it continues to reinforce that younger women enjoy their sexuality as much as younger men.

I don't think you'll ever choose this more than once, but it's an interesting and fun little film, good for some light relief.

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I'm Dying Up Here: Series 1

Dark and Addictive But...

(Edit) 13/09/2018

I'm a big fan of the original book by William Knoedelseder and this at best is a loose, and entirely fictional adaption. I love documentaries and perhaps a bit disappointed this wasn't.

At first I found the slower pace and dark themes somewhat offputing, but got drawn in after watching the first episode. The period costumes and facial hair were amusing and you find yourself rooting for the comics to get the Carson couch.

Perhaps the most engaging and addictive things about watching this film are the easter eggs of fact and the puzzle of what elements from the actual people are placed in the stories of the fictional characters. There are no one-to-one correlations; it's very much mix and match. Each character says and does myriad things plucked here and there from actual comedians documented in William Knoedelseder's book. For those that read the book or were fans of standup comedy of the time will have fun guessing which morsel of reality ends up in which character's story.

One big gotcha - the series is listed as the entire season but the discs of the multi-disc set are sent out individually and each counts a credit out of your subscription level, so be prepared to watch only 3 episodes at a time.

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Punchline

Before "I'm Dying Up Here"

(Edit) 06/09/2018

This film deserves more appreciation than it's gotten over the years. Tom Hanks' characters are generally a version of Tom Hanks, but despite some similarities I saw the character rather than the actor. Hanks picked up the right rhythm and delivery of a comic with a tight 10.

I think marketing let this film down more than anything else - Columbia labelled it a comedy. Basically it was a dramedy, and or maybe a comgedy (I made that up, sorry.) I think if this were a limited series on Netflix viewers would rate it more highly. In many ways "I'm Dying Up Here" resembles this film. And well it should - it features a number of the actual comedians whose life events "I'm Dying Up Here" depicts and / or references.

After so many series demystifying and deconstructing industries, this has a place among them. Yes the Sorkin efforts known and unknown do it better, but that is their object. This is a backstage view of the main stage of a comedy club. The most dramatic and tragic scenes of the film hits the mark effectively. You'll see a few pre-cursors of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel as well, speaking of dramedies. There's a few hints of "A Star Is Born" tropes as well

The cast is great and does a great job, although Sally Field's acting talents may be a wee bit wasted on a role that fails to be the equivalent. I think in light of the nostalgia for various period stand up series, this deserves a second look. Also fun to play "spot the actual standups of The Improv and The Comedy Store of the 70s and early 80s.

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The Big Short

Great Film But Not for Everyone

(Edit) 07/09/2018

I can understand why many people don't like this film - it's incredibly complicated and the plot is an ever-moving moral downward spiral. I did understand all of it and in fact finally understood exactly what caused "The Great Recession."

If this helps:

1) Lenders sold a lot of houses to people who couldn't afford them

2) Wall Street put all the loans in a big bundle then sold pieces of that bundle (CDOs)

3) Then parts of Wall Street put lots of those bundles into a bigger bundles and sold pieces of those bundles

4) The ratings agency that was meant to say whether something is a safe investment lied because to keep banks from simply using shopping around until they found another agency that would lie

5) A few people figured out what was happening, tried to warn the press and regulatory agencies

6) Those few people "shorted" those bundles. A "short" is literally a bet that an investment would fail

7) Believe it or not banks also are allowed to work as betting agencies and let people make those bets

8) Those bundles all failed when people who couldn't afford their houses defaulted on their loans

9) Banks that sold a whole lot of those bundles failed

10) The people that made the bets they would fail made tens of millions and Steve Carell's made a billion

11) Nobody (except one guy nobody had heard of) got in trouble for cheating and lying

12) Millions of people lost their homes. Millions of people lost their homes and thousands of businesses who invested on behalf of pensions lost everything

13) Banks suck and the governments suck for not regulating banks properly

Hope that helps.

7 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

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Lady Bird

Well acted, light touch but...

(Edit) 20/08/2018

I normally enjoy "light-touch" films and yes, moody women films too, but the film never grabbed me once. The somewhat interesting evolution of the characters, the great acting, particularly Laurie Metcalf, but I just found this a chore to get to the end.

I should really like this film, it's the sort of film I like. But I was just kind of bored.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.