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MSU

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  1. Is that two Scottish contestants in 14 series now?
  2. God, I'd forgotten all about the Kevin Smith attempted reboot. Honestly, I reckon Jason Lee would've given it a pretty good go. Jon Hamm is too handsome, as Mrs MSU never tires of pointing out.
  3. 124 Backstabbing for Beginners (#64 in the A24 series) Thought this was going to be a romantic comedy along the lines of Perks of Being a Wallflower. Instead it's a true story about the corruption within the UN's Food to Oil program in the early 2000s in Iraq. A24 really will throw money at anything. A worthy topic but unsure why this isn't just a documentary. 4/10 125 First Reformed (#65 in the A24 series) -- Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried are outstanding in this story of the minister of a declining church struggling with his faith and his health in the aftermath of an environmentalist parishioner's suicide. Paul Shrader, whose writing I typically prefer over his directing, presents lots of ideas here, and nothing much in the way of solution, and it works well. Not many chuckles to be found so it's definitely one that depends on your mood. 7/10 126 How to Talk to Girls at Parties (#66 in the A24 series) -- In 70s London, a band of punks run into an alien cult. I'm not sure if this is meant to be funny because no one in it is acting well enough to tell. I would, however, put five crisp English pounds that not one of the punks in the movie has listened to a Ramones album all the way through. Punk is all about authenticity and this has none of it. Having extra-terrestrial Elle Fanning running around demanding "Show me the punk" makes a damn fine point, tho. 3/10 127 All Quiet on the Western Front (#3 in the Best Picture Oscar series) From 1930, it's the first of the Academy Award Best Picture winners that is genuinely still a great movie. The script, and its delivery, are very much on the nose, as was the style of the day, but it actually adds to the helplessness of the situation and the blind obedience of its participants. 8/10 128 Camp (#1 in the Anna Kendrick series) Anna Kendrick movies, because why not shut up. Her first appearance comes in this well-intentioned collection of stories about a diverse group of kids who get together for a Summer Theatre camp. It struggles along for a surprisingly long time with plenty of over-enthusiastic acting from the young cast. Kendrick is in a supporting role as the lackey for the camp bitch but she still gets the best scene in the movie. 4/10 129 Rocket Science (#2 in the Anna Kendrick series) Quirky indie comedy with echoes of Juno sees Hal, Reece Thompson, a stuttering high school student, who is convinced to join the debate team by super confident Ginny, played by Kendrick. Thompson is wonderful as the socially awkward Hal who struggles to overcome his affliction, while Kendrick's speed and precision of delivery is something to behold, and there's real heart to the story without going too far in the wrong direction. If I'd seen Rocket Science when I was 15 or 16 I reckon I'd have seen it a hundred times by now. A perfect movie for a rainy Saturday afternoon. 9/10 130 Confess, Fletch -- It's been 33 years since Fletch Lives, so why they didn't give Jon Hamm a different cap and trainers and call it something else, I have no idea. I have fond memories of the Chevy Chase movies from the 80s and this lacks their charm and the invention. Gone are the disguises and the wisecracks, and if Fletch did nothing for most of the movie I'm not sure it would've ended all that differently. Not bad, as such, just not all that interesting. 5/10
  4. It's impossible to tell, but I hope so.
  5. Honestly, I’m not obsessed about stories of the Queen being hilariously funny that are actually just stories about the Queen saying something. Some belters in here, with this one maybe the pick of the examples of the Queen saying something that is mistaken for humour: The Queen had a similar experience at the Windsor Horse Show one year when a guard didn't recognize her and almost didn't permit her entry. "Sorry, love. You can't come in without a sticker," he said. The Queen answered, "I think if you check, I will be allowed to come in!" And do you know what? She was. https://cafemom.com/entertainment/queen-elizabeth-sense-of-humor
  6. Another example of Her Madge's sparkling wit in a BBC article about the crown jewels and the care that has to be taken when wearing her crown while reading a speech: In 2018, the Queen joked about how heavy the crown felt to wear. "You can't look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up, because if you did your neck would break," explained Her Majesty. "There are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things."
  7. The regularity of my bowel movements and a -5 hour time difference suggest that I'll be having my own pomp and ceremony at kick-off time.
  8. Joe Lycett in disguise, surely?
  9. This is described as an amusing meeting. Is this the much-lauded sparkling sense of humour at work, passively aggressively asking a serf where her fucking train has got to?
  10. 118 The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (#61 in the A24 series) -- Yikes. Sidney Hall is a genius writer and we know this because everyone he meets in the movie tells him this. Also, women are helplessly needy because every woman in this movie are helplessly needy. It's not hard to imagine that this is how the writer and director Shawn Christensen imagines himself. Self-indulgant and wanky. 3/10, mostly for Elle Fanning. 119 The Broadway Melody (#2 in the Best Picture Oscar series) -- The second movie to pick up Best Picture at the Oscars is a musical, and not a very good one. The title song is only memorable because they sing it every few minutes. Badly written and acted, I assume it got Best Picture because there was sound and people were signing. 2/10 120 The Last Movie Star (#62 in the A24 series) -- Burt Reynolds plays a version of himself, an aging movie star duped into travelling to a small indie film festival in Nashville to receive a lifetime achievement award, where he meets Lil, his aggressively feisty chauffeur, and [cue music] maybe learns a little something about himself. I liked it quite a lot of this despite it being kinda obvious. I'd have liked it a lot more with a toned down schmaltzy ending, but it's hard not to love Burt Reynolds. 7/10 121 Lean on Pete (#63 in the A24 series) -- 15 year old Charley (Charlie Plummer) lives with his mostly absent father and finds purpose working as a horse trainer. When he learns an aging racehorse is destined for an adhesive end, he kidnaps the beast and goes on a coming of age style journey across country. Poignant in places and Plummer turns in a far better performance here than he will do some years later in Moonfall. 6/10 122 Pearl (#120 in the A24 series) -- This is a prequel to X, which I thought was okay, that supposedly is an origin story for Pearl, the horny killer granny villain. It falls into the same traps as X where despite being interesting and promising, it has difficulty turning the promise into a decent third act. A lot will be made of Mia Goth, who is the best thing in it, and a 6 minute monologue, but it's no substitute for a satisfying ending and now I'm not sure Ti West knows how to write one. And despite it being an origin story, I'm not sure I learned a single thing about Pearl's character I didn't already know from X. 4/10 123 See How They Run -- Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan are great in this old-fashioned British murder-mystery based around The Mousetrap which manages to also work as a decent spoof of itself. It's like the movie is in massive air quotes. Tim Key as the police commissioner manages to steal every scene he's in. 8/10
  11. MSU

    Gigs

    A friend of mine was there and she recorded quite a bit of it. I thought his voice was holding up brilliantly. Shame the other Ants weren't there.
  12. An astonishingly high-brow pun. Have a greenie.
  13. Every time the commentator says Matvienko am I hearing that as Matt Bianco? I say yeah yeah.
  14. MSU

    Gigs

    Echo and the Bunnymen in Detroit last Friday were superb. It may be the one and only time me and Mrs MSU will be able to truthfully tell the box office that "We're on the guest list" and it was a great experience. Ian McCulloch's banter with the crowd between songs was as unintelligible as it's ever been. According to our sound engineer friend, and the reason for our guest list status, he was mostly going on about Scottish Independence but it was impossible to decipher if he was pro or anti. The support act were Warhorses, a local Detroit band called up at short notice when the scheduled support canceled, and they're well worth checking out if you're into "that sort of thing."
  15. This is in keeping with the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead, which both feature a small Peruvian Bear with a penchant for marmalade sandwiches and a particularly hard stare as being a guide to the afterlife.
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