Alison Brie

… in which our intrepid California-bred Senior Film Reviewer defies an epic winter storm and a fierce chest cold to bring you highlights from this year’s famous Park City fest.

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival ended last Saturday evening after ten days of showcasing over 200 films from around the globe; you can see all the winners here.

For the third year in a row, Spinning Platters was on the (snow-covered) ground trying to take in as many movies as our limited time and budget would allow. And so we bring you the first of our posts spotlighting the 17 films we managed to squeeze in to just over five days.

Many of these may receive distribution deals (if they haven’t already), so you can know what to watch for in the coming year with these handy capsule reviews, which use our patented Sundance Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide:

[read the whole post]


Sundance Photo 3

With this third and final post, Spinning Platters completes its coverage of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, which ended on Jan. 30th.  All the winners can be found here (and our other two posts about this year’s Festival can be found here and here).

Our coverage concludes with a look at four more feature films and two more documentaries. As a reminder, we are using our patented Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide to advise you accordingly: [read the whole post]


A modern romantic comedy with its heart and mind (and humor) in the right place.

50 Shades of Singledom

Fifty Shades of Singledom

It’s rare that I’m this nervous to write a film review! Perhaps it’s the fact that How to Be Single surpassed all my expectations. Or maybe its that I feel that by accidentally omitting any aspect that I loved about the film, I’d be doing the film a disservice. Maybe I’m nervous because I feel that my excitement for the film is a byproduct of being caught off guard by its hilarious yet sensitive handling of serious topics, and therefore maybe I’m overhyping it? The fact of the matter is that How to Be Single is one of the best romantic comedies in a long while, and does more than just continue the recent (wonderful) surge in female-led rated-R comedies. How to Be Single balances awkward conversational humor with crude humor exceptionally well and doesn’t let up even when its time for the story to enter ’emotional climax’ mode, all the while sending strong messages about dating through adulthood.

[read the whole post]


When Jake met Lainey: Headland’s smart, funny rom-com worth seeing

Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) discuss their relationship status over Ben & Jerry’s.

If you don’t like romantic comedies, you might as well stop reading right now, since Leslye Headland’s new film Sleeping with Other People is, without a doubt, a bona fide rom-com. But, if you are open to the category, then you’re in for a real treat here – Headland’s film is smart, funny, and true, and one of the best and brightest pictures the genre has seen in years.

[read the whole post]


Sundance 2015 Spotlights: Six Feature Films


The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, closed last Sunday, February 1st, and the award winners were announced that day; they can be found here.

Spinning Platters Sr. Film Reviewer Carrie Kahn continues her coverage of Festival films, so you can know what to look for in the coming year – and what to avoid – as many of these titles are purchased and widely distributed

As a reminder, we are using our patented Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide to advise you accordingly:

[read the whole post]


The Girls

You’d be forgiven for assuming that The Girls is a vanity project. Fronted by Julianna Guill (Underemployed, Glory Daze), Cyrina Fiallo (The Sopranos, Good Luck Charlie) and Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) and backed by members of the Jones Street station (Danny Erker, Walt Wells and the drummer who’s name I’m afraid I didn’t catch. It may be Paul Apelgren but I can’t say that with full certainty), the project has all the trappings of a hastily thrown together cover band for three actresses who can maybe sing a little.

You’d be forgiven, but you’d be wrong.

The Girls are phenomenal.

[read the whole post]


A Nerd’s Guide To Sketchfest 2014

January 17, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if cloning was already a thing? So we could be at 8 places at once and not have to decide which Sketchfest events you are going to? Well, until science improves greatly, we are stuck with one body and being in one place at a time. Because of this trouble, I […]

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Film Review: “The Five-Year Engagement”

April 27, 2012

starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Chris Parnell, Rhys Ifans, Brian Posehn, Mindy Kaling, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer, Dakota Johnson written by: Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller directed by: Nicholas Stoller MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, and language throughout

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Sketchfest Review: The Thrilling Adventure Hour at Marine’s Memorial Theater, 1/22/11

January 25, 2011

The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a monthly live performance podcast done at Largo in Los Angeles written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker.  For SF Sketchfest we were treated to two performances featuring many great actors of varying degrees of famous-ness.  The 10:30 show featuring Neil Patrick Harris sold out, as everything he has done at […]

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