The M&M Report: “Killing Eve” and “Barry”

KillingEve.jpgIt’s a full episode about the emotional devastation that comes with being a trained assassin (or being near one), courtesy of Killing Eve on BBC America (0:00-17:45) and Barry on HBO (17:45-End).

Listen here. And please subscribe!

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The M&M Report: “Trainwreck”

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I sorted through our slightly disappointed feelings about Trainwreck, the new comedy film from director Judd Apatow and star/screenwriter Amy Schumer.

I also reviewed the movie for the blog. For further reading, check out thoughtful analysis from Dana Stevens, Alyssa Rosenberg and Wesley Morris.

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

“Trainwreck”: Bumpy Ride to Stardom

Trainrweck

Judd Apatow’s filmmaking style is either generous or lazy, depending on your vantage point. To a one, his movies run too long, with individual scenes stretching past their comedy expiration time, zany supporting players and celebrity cameos filling out (or overstuffing) the ensemble, ideas and themes and conventions and subversions jockeying for space. You leave one of his movies feeling sated – sometimes satisfyingly so, but other times like the feeling you get when you eat a little too much, a little too fast.

This comedy of excess makes for an awkward fit with the simultaneous goal of launching a young up-and-comer’s career as a movie star. The rise of Amy Schumer – as an actress, a character, a persona and a brand – is one of the big stories of Trainwreck, Apatow’s fifth directorial feature.

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The M&M Report: “Inside Out”

Inside Out Pod

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discussed Pixar’s Inside Out. Devin’s two-word description of the movie at 6:55 pretty much stands on its own, but we also discussed the ins and the outs of Inside Out and reflected on the last two decades of Pixar as they unfolded parallel to our childhood.

I also reviewed the movie for my blog,. Check out The Dissolve’s interview with director Pete Docter for more context about the film’s development. And A.O. Scott’s New York Times review is well worth your time.

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast.

“Inside Out”: Mind’s Eye

Inside Out

Some movies go to great lengths to show you profound they are. Others just assume you’ll pay attention. Inside Out is the latter.

The latest Pixar movie follows an 11 year-old girl named Riley, who moves with her family from her childhood home in Minnesota to a dingy apartment in San Francisco. The move makes Riley sad. She misses her best friend, her hockey team and her childhood innocence. But her parents, despite good intentions, are too busy settling in to notice that Riley is struggling.

This is a story you’ve seen many times before, more likely in your life than at the movies. That’s because the story doesn’t appear to have much in the way of exterior stakes. And it doesn’t. But Inside Out finds a way to make the interior stakes exterior by zooming in right between Riley’s temples, where emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black) take turns influencing Riley’s actions from a sleek control center in her cerebal cortex.

Influencing is the key word. Inside Out wisely avoids drawing a direct link between emotions and actions. It’s correlation, not causation. Dramatizing such abstract relationships would seem near impossible, but director Pete Docter and the team at Pixar have pulled it off with stunning complexity.

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“SNL 40”: Fortieth Verse, Similar to the First

Last night’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special began with a musical tribute to the show’s iconic characters performed by two of its most currently camera-ready stars. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake “History of Rap”-ified forty years of surreal catchphrases and gross-out gags before intoning the show’s now-infamous opening salvo.

“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”

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