REVIEW: “PALM SPRINGS” (2020) HULU

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It’s no surprise that an Andy Samberg comedy is relentlessly funny here with “PALM SPRINGS” –but what was pleasantly unexpected was a deep examination of humanity in general. The film is a really funny, heartfelt romantic comedy that drew me in right from the start.

The premise here is a familiar one, think ‘Groundhog Day’, but then give it an entirely unique twist with new events throughout the story and a you are left with a remarkably fresh perspective.  When Sarah (Cristin Milioti) meets Nyles (Andy Samberg) at a Palm Springs wedding, she unexpectedly joins him in a time loop that sees them reliving the same day repeatedly.  J.K. Simmons is also part of the cast, taking a run at a comical character Roy who is also experiences the Groundhog Day effect, but uses his time to torture Samberg’s character Nyles. It all comes together and wraps up with a fun theory on Quantam Physics giving us a play here in a refreshingly unique story that takes a familiar idea and makes it its own.

While there are laughs throughout, the peak of the humour comes from a typical hijinx montage where instead of the typical cheap gags, there was a familiarization of the two lead characters adding to their chemistry. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti are so good together. They were fun when they were supposed to be and when they were supposed to show a romantic energy, they did just that. Samberg not only relying typical his typical humour and charm here as he also brings a much understood darkness to the performance that managed to draw you in. Milioti also managed to show a large amount of pain and conflict in her character while successfully portraying her discovering the world around her. J.K. Simmons is always good and in this movie he goes through an incredible transformation and makes the absolute most of a criminally small role and the smattering of other supporting, Peter Gallagher, Jacqueline Obradors, Jena Friedman, June Squibb and Tyler Hoechlin all add oodles of fun to the all around plot of the film.

The best part about this comedy is it doesn’t overplay it’s hand. It brings laugh out loud comedy to tangible levels where your place in life is examined and how such difficulties can be handled. Besides the silly little comedic jokes which were still enjoyable, there was an underlying depth and intelligence to the humour itself, handling how we may deal with our own decision regardless of the consequences. Slower moments aside, Palm Springs is a complete blast – and if you don’t get the ending, that’s on you.

Grade: A-

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“PALM SPRINGS” IS AVAILABLE TO WATCH NOW ON HULU

REVIEW: “EVERYBODY WANTS SOME” (2016) Paramount Pictures

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“Everybody Wants Some” consists of little more than film of a bunch of overly-competitive jocks joking with each other, partying, and trying to get laid over the course of three days before school starts.

With the countdown on, the opening of the film doesn’t even attempt to describe what’s going to happen and the end of the film barely describes what happened beforehand.

The cast of the film (i.e., the 12 guys who make up the group of athletes) Nesbit (Austin Amelio), McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), Jake (Blake Jenner), Roper (Ryan Guzman), Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), Finnegan (Glen Powell), Plummer (Temple Baker), Dale (J. Quinton Johnson), Beuter (Will Brittain), Jay (Juston Street), Brumley (Tanner Kalina), and Coma (Forrest Vickery) are baseball players, yet there is no baseball played until the very end. They are basically just on one big continual lookout for stimulus in the largest and tiniest things…and really whatever kind of stimulus they can get their hands on whether it be getting stoned, constantly drunk or high.
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Story-wise, it unfolds over almost every part of the 80’s era, which is, as far as I could tell, undefined yet each night takes us to a different flavor of the time: disco, punk, you name it…which makes the soundtrack very listenable..and the best part of this lackluster film.

Featuring bad frat-boy dialogue or a narrative that tries to hard with a cast of guys that look to be in their late 20’s & early 30’s vs. college age, this is Linklater’s new film and his signature style slightly suffering from the post-Boyhood effect with people noticeably walking out within 20-30 minutes. As the lives and summers of eternal youth unfold: partying, billiards, male competition, table tennis, loves, pinball machines, pranks, disco, dance music. And of course girls, all about the girls. For the boys “this is the best day of their lives – until tomorrow.”
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This is not even a close comparison to Dazed & Confused which is a classic and as with most Linklater movies..they tend to run an hour to long ~ this one is no exception.

Grade: D
@pegsatthemovies

Review Screening: Monday, March 28, 2016 ~ Courtesy LAFILM-TV
In limited release ~ Friday, March 30,2016 ~ Nationwide Release: Friday, April 8, 2016