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E.Lerner last won the day on September 4

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  1. E.Lerner

    Episode 222.5 - Minisode 222.5

    If Scott Aukerman is indeed the mystery guest for this studio episode, I hope Kulap is there as well so we can continue the discussion of 90's fashion from the Country Bears episode. Demi is, of course, timeless, but Douglas looks like a straight-up cartoon hobo for the entire film and is yet presented as an equally powerful sex magnet.
  2. E.Lerner

    Episode 222 - Unforgettable

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a particularly good one because it's about how people like Steve Mnuchin go on to literally destroy the world.
  3. E.Lerner

    Episode 222 - Unforgettable

    I know Kate Hudson was originally eyed to play Tessa, but I can't help but think that the role was originally written for Louise Linton. Beyond Mnuchin's involvement…just look at her! The hair! The gloves! The racist undertones to her animosity toward Julia that I was convinced the movie was going to steer hard into, which Kerry Washington's near-casting also suggests! And most damning of all, Linton's total willingness to lean into her public persona as an obscenely wealthy psychopath. Beyond straight-up Cruella Deville-ing it with sheets of uncut money and insulting people for being poor on Instagram, there's the matter of her upcoming directorial debut: Steve Mnuchin should probably hide the thousands of fireplace pokers he presumably has in their castle. Or not, because fuck Steve Mnuchin.
  4. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    Honestly, it's this aspect of Hilton's persona that got me thinking about the Munchausen angle. I think most people would have considered her a villain in real life at the time this came out, and so part of me wondered if the movie was building to a big reveal of some ulterior motive behind her character's relationship with June. As professional wrestling connoisseur, especially as it informed modern reality television (and now politics), I thought that she was at least leaning into her intrinsic heel-ishness and might be on board with that curveball. Paris Hilton, the human, epitomized the toxic beauty standards of that era. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that thousands, if not millions, of women and girls were made to feel like the Nottie to her Hottie. That this movie unironically embraced that dynamic is just further evidence that every person involved should be in jail.
  5. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    100% agree. There's only one live-action character on the "positive portrayals" list in the (seemingly comprehensive) Wikipedia page "Albinism in popular culture" and it's from a fan-made short film parody of The Da Vinci Code.
  6. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    Spoiler alert for Rampage (which is inevitably going to be on HDTGM, c'mon), but George the Albino Gorilla ends up saving the day.
  7. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    I think we need to consider the possibility that Cristabel and June's relationship was a Munchausen by Proxy scenario. The off-the-charts levels of misogyny in the movie makes assessing this more difficult. We don't wan't to pathologize June's appearance, which is one of the reasons Cristabel comes off as a (surprisingly) good and supportive friend. She doesn't judge June or think that she needs to change her physical self to be happy or find love. The movie takes on a different tone, however, if June wants to change her appearance but can't for some reason. It's also not as if the movie's moral is that having self-love and confidence is more important than being "conventionally" attractive — June is otherwise smart, funny and self-possessed, but only gets her wants and needs met after a total physical makeover. The fact that she says she tried to overhaul her look in the past but had since given up makes me think that she was being secretly undermined by Cristabel. Our first impression of young June is that she was perhaps the victim of neglect or abuse; June's fluorosis is some evidence to that effect. I think this neglect and abuse was perpetrated by Cristabel for decades as an extension of her own narcissism. Munchausen by Proxy, now known as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another, is when "a person acts as if an individual he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness when the person is not really sick." The movie talks about June's appearance in medical terms, we know that she wanted to change her appearance, and that she was capable of doing so relatively easily under the right circumstances. By the movie's own logic, June's Nottie-ness was a factitious disorder. Cristabel was imposing it on her as part of ploy to gain attention, sympathy and control from her many suitors. My theory is that she only released June from her clutches after Johan came into the picture because he operates in a very similar way and could be a potential accomplice moving forward.
  8. We see the virus capsules have entered her bloodstream, so they would have quickly circulated around her entire body, not remained in her hand. This is as good a place as any to break down just how ridiculous the virus-extraction machine is in terms of a fake piece of biotechnology. Nicole's Theranos joke was one of the best lines of the episode, but at least Holmes' bullshit was in the general vicinity of scientific plausibility. This machine, however, is so straight-up magical that Cliff Curtis fixing it with a 3D printer is one of the more realistic aspects of the movie. Putting aside how the virus is actually designed to work, let's focus on how it's delivered and that it's designed to be extracted if necessary. The virus appears to be encapsulated in engineered particles that are roughly the size of red blood cells. These particles are designed to naturally degrade in 72 hours, releasing the virus into the bloodstream. Let's also assume that these particles have been engineered to flawlessly hide from the immune system for that long, and aren't getting caught in any of the body's physical filtration systems, like the kidneys or spleen. All of this is impossible to do with the level of precision necessary to prevent the carrier from being pretty much immediately infected, but the real challenge is getting every last one of those particles out of the carrier's body before your Domino's order is delivered. The zoom-in shots we see of the particles being sucked up implies that a sharp metal tube knows the difference between them and the surrounding blood cells, but since that's the equivalent of "a wizard did it," let's walk through what it would need to do if it was working like a super-fast dialysis machine. Once Hattie's blood is inside the machine, it needs to be able to identify and capture the Eteon particles while leaving the red blood cells (and the various other healthy blood components) alone. The options are basically either a physical filter, which would be need to be tuned to the particles' exact weight, diameter, etc., or a chemical sensor, like antibodies, custom DNA strands or complex molecules that bind to biomarkers found only on the particles' exteriors. These are more-or-less in line with the kind of multi-purpose blood diagnostics machines Elizabeth Holmes was trying to build with Theranos. The problem she ran into is that all of these technologies are so delicate — dealing with physical properties that are right on the edge of single-molecule detection — that they can't be reliably used to tell whether you have high cholesterol, much less prevent you from contracting Genocitus-Shmenocitus. And that's assuming you know exactly what physical properties you're looking for on these 5-micron-wide particles. So unless Cliff has a scanning electron microscope in the back of his remote Samoan chop-shop, plus a fully equipped wet-lab for making new reagents, plus a forced-air-sterilized clean room for doing the nanoscale fabrication necessary for actually getting the particles back into the vial, everyone is shit out of luck. All of this leads me to believe the only thing that could be broken on the machine is the screen and the injection microfluidics — two things Cliff would absolutely be able to fix due to their similarity to the nitrous systems on his cars.
  9. How's this cop working a pro-wrestling event and not realizing that Samoans are canonically immune to head injuries?
  10. And both scenes feature a Deckard!
  11. I suppose I specifically had Paul and Casey's arguments and definitions in mind, but especially I'd love to know what being on Team Sanity means to you.
  12. First, I want to say the entirety of questionmarks post is amazing and is 99% of what I wanted to say in defense of Team Fred before I even got to the boards. Thank you, and thanks to all of the other posters here who have been candid about their personal relationships to the super deep themes of mental illness, misogyny and abuse that are all over this zany(?) kids(?) movie. I think the overarching elements of magical realism and imaginative mental spaces more-or-less paper over the logistical question of whether Fred is his own entity or an aspect of Lizzie's psyche. The fact that Fred was revealed to be a storybook character in the original ending, explaining why Mickey's daughter also knows his name and what he looks like, would have answered this pretty neatly, but I don't think it needs to be engaged on that level to resolve the main issue I think Team Sanity has with him. My sense is that the fear and distrust of mental illness is at the heart of Team Sanity's instinct that Fred must be his own entity. An on-its-face reading of the movie where Fred is an aspect of Lizzie's personality would inarguably lead to the conclusion that Lizzie isn't merely working out the gender-based repression she's experienced as child, but that she is literally psychotic and a danger to herself and others. Fred cannot be an agent of liberation and self-actualization if he's actively destroying Lizzie's life and her relationships. Despite (or maybe because) being on Team Fred, I think one of the flaws of the movie is that it treats mental illness pretty flippantly. But I don't think Fred being an avatar of Lizzie's mental illness, rather than simply being her id, invalidates any of the points June or Jason were making. Just the opposite, really — the Fred parts of Lizzie's psyche can indeed be very problematic, even life-threateningly dangerous, but they are still a valuable part of her that she needs to learn to control. Polly, by forcing her daughter to fully repress and ignore those symptoms, is doing real, lasting, traumatic harm, rather than getting her daughter the mental help she needs. I think the way to resolve this for Team Sanity is not to just say "it's a movie" but to say "it's an allegory." Lizzie is explicitly an unreliable narrator, and I think that gives us license to say some of the havoc "Fred" causes is also exaggerated. For example, her dad may have called the police when she was playing "burglars" but they didn't really almost shoot him or have him arrested — that's just what it felt like to her as a child. Or as an adult, she may not have literally sank her friend's houseboat, but accidentally caused some major damage that insurance eventually covered. Lizzie has been told from an early age that her mental illness ruins everything, including her parents' marriage and her mother's love for her. It's totally believable to me that she sees everything through that catastrophic lens.
  13. John just called me Eric (?) Lerner on the mini-episode, so we're deep in the rabbit hole on this one.
  14. It seems like a pretty high-concept joke to be deployed in the middle of a song, but I think there's at least the possibility she was making a reference to Paul's routine butchery of people's names.
  15. E.Lerner

    Episode 218 - Deadfall (w/ Chelsea Peretti)

    I know several people have brought up Tony Clifton as Cage's reference point for Eddie, but is it possible that we was going for The Joker? Cage is a noted comic book obsessive — he has/had a multi-million dollar collection, including a lot of vintage DC stuff — so he'd be deeply familiar with the source material. Points in favor: Largely green and purple wardrobe Insane smile and laugh has been disfigured in some way — disguising his appearance with wig/glasses/fake voices/etc. Carries a deck of cards consisting solely of jokers All of this, plus his outsized presence in what is otherwise a fairly stock noir/small-time-crook setting makes me think that was the overall vibe he was going for. Thoughts?