Paid in Puke S2E3: Bombshell

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In this episode, we defuse Jay Roach’s perplexing 2019 sexual harassment drama, Bombshell, a film that attempts to explain the #metoo movement to white CIS men. Does it succeed? Not particularly! The Hot Probs never end.

Also: In Kent’s Two Cents, Amy’s dad spills some Hot Goss about Gretchen Carlson via their shared personal trainer.

Recorded on the day after Amy’s Rockin’ New Years’ Eve party (hence our outdated Oscar talk), we aren’t at full strength here. Regardless, we manage to find a couple of laughs in an otherwise vomit-inducing film. Speaking of vomit, Bombshell contains a scene in which a woman throws up but isn’t pregnant. Could Baxter’s most-hated female-centric cinematic trope be on the wane?

Paid in Puke S2E2: Bound

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It’s no joke how well Bound holds up. Released in the golden year of American cinema, 1996, Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s lesbian crime thriller is a refreshing gem in a sea of films about women who get punished for standing up to men. With a (mostly) smart script, some fun scenery chewing from Joey Pants and Chris Meloni, and of course, the goddesses that are Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, we give Bound 0 Pukes (on a scale of 0-5, 5 being the worst).

PLUS: We all try our hand at Jennifer Tilly impressions and we reveal our personal skills that Violet could exploit to lure us into her apartment (if we were lucky enough to garner her attention in the elevator).

Paid in Puke S2E1: Muriel’s Wedding

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On our Series Two opener, we gush about P.J. Hogan’s 1994 very Aussie, ABBA-tastic comedy, Muriel’s Wedding, starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the Time of Valens (aka Galentine’s Day). Amy and Cristina count the film among their very favorites, and Baxter had never seen it.

Regardless, this viewing brought up some stuff for all three of us! We touch on such topics as philandering fathers, emotionally battered mothers, body image issues, early adulthood besties, and inspirational musicians. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds? We also attempt Australian accents with varying degrees of success.

Paid in Puke: 2020 Oscars Special

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It’s the off season but we HAD to do an Oscars Special! Hear our picks for who we think SHOULD grab the gold, who we think we get it instead, and who we think got snubbed for the big 6 categories (Best Pic, Acting, and Directing).

Lots of shit-talking Joaquin Phoenix in this episode, if you’re into that.

Series 2 of Paid in Puke premieres on February 11th with Muriel’s Wedding!

Film Review: Night Sweats (2019)

42MdnaAJust in time for the Coronavirus, Andrew Lyman-Clarke’s second feature harnesses the anxiety of mysterious deadly diseases in his inconsistent thriller, Night Sweats. Allegedly based on true events that happened to his friend, Seth Panman, the story follows a young skateboarder and recent transplant to NYC, as he investigates the sudden death of his roommate. He slowly uncovers a pharmaceutical conspiracy tied to the self-help start-up True Healing, whilst pursuing a relationship with a dispassionate waitress. Lyman-Clarke’s script is compelling enough to hold a viewer till the end, but it’s ultimately disappointing and misogynist to boot.

The story kicks off with Yuri (Kyle DeSpiegler) arriving in the Big Apple from Colorado, wide-eyed and hopeful. His new roommate is Jake (John Francomacaro), a childhood pal who works as a videographer for True Healing. The clandestine company sells personal trauma interviews to Pharmaceutical companies and also purports to be creating a library for people who have experienced similar traumas. Yuri doesn’t think much of Jake’s job until one night when Jake inadvertently interrupts a Yuri’s date with MK (Mary Elaine Ramsey) by barfing all over his room and suffering a seizure. Yuri has only just dialed 911 when a neighbor claiming to be an EMT knocks on the door, does something unseen with Jake, and then leaves before the real paramedics arrive. Yuri thinks back on this man the next day when he learns Jake didn’t survive the night.

His suspicions grow when an eccentric woman from the CDC (Allison Mackie) shows up asking questions and collecting vomit samples. Dr. Freeman suggests that Jake took some bad Molly, prompting Yuri to check his room for the stash. Instead, Yuri finds a microphone hidden inside a trophy that True Healing “awarded” Jake for completing 100 interviews. This propels Yuri into Gittes/Chinatown territory, as he takes over his roommates’ job at True Healing to find out the truth at any cost.

Yuri suspects he’s in over his head when he meets Jake’s old boss, Nick Frankenthaler (John Wesley Shipp, TVs Dawson’s Creek, The Flash) who is not a nice man. His paranoia grows when he discovers that True Healing has a high employee turnover rate, and that whatever killed Jake seems to be spreading. Can Yuri unlock this insidious puzzle box before it’s too late?

The principal cast do their level best with a twisty, but otherwise unremarkable script. The camera work isn’t too distracting, except when attempting to show the first-person effects of the disease. Yuri’s motivations are not particularly clear either. He seems to get over the death of his “best friend” within hours and hardly mentions him again except in relation to his investigation. We don’t know anything about their relationship other than the fact that they met when they were 5. His single-minded mission to expose a conspiracy seems to have very little to do with avenging the death of his friend.

Despite these issues, a discernible micro-budget, and a poorly-realized degenerative brain ailment, the film could have worked were it not for the big reveal. I won’t spoil it, but it involves egregious slut-shaming that absolutely cancelled out any enjoyment I would have otherwise gotten from the mystery itself. There was truly no need for it either, and it suggests that perhaps Lyman-Clarke has some issues to work out with an ex-girlfriend. To quote the film, “Denial is a powerful thing.” Filmmaker, heal thyself.