Welcome to the Weekend Watch. Where we try to point you towards the best ways to spend your viewing time (or, at least, steer you clear of the garbage).
Star Trek Beyond
Loren: These trailers are god-awful, let’s just be clear about that. I will say, that for as much of a sci-fi geek as I am, I’ve never been a Trekkie (Trekker?). I watched a little bit of the Original Series and a fair amount of Next Generation, but never got into DS9 (maybe I’ll give it another shot), watched more Voyager than I care to admit, and worked on season 2 of Enterprise. None of that made me a huge fan. But, the 2009 film turned that around a little bit, not a lot, but a little bit. It was more my speed. I don’t even hate Into Darkness as much as most people. I am cautiously optimistic about this one.
RDT: I just don’t know. I thought the first one was ok…ish (admittedly, I had big nerd issues with it. But it is kind of a fun watch). The second is not good at all (I don’t care what Rotten Tomatoes says…). And the trailers for this made it look like more of the same, but with more motorbikes. But it’s currently at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes (see previous Rotten Tomatoes comment, though), and I do enjoy Justin Lin as a director. I mean, we’re talking about it this week on the podcast. So I’m definitely seeing it regardless. I’m just not sure I want to see it.
Rick: I have to echo everyone’s trepidation. The early trailers and talk of late reshoots had me concerned. Having seen the finished product, I have to say that those concerns were (mostly) unfounded. This is the most “Star Trek” of the new series. It’s not a Star Wars movie masking as a Trek tale. Apart from the opening scene (prepare yourselves. It’s bad.), I had a smile on my face the whole time. There’s an emphasis on relationships, exploration, and the unknown. We get a welcome and resourceful new character in Sofia Boutella’s Jayla, and the action sequences are pretty spectacular. The aforementioned reshoots add a small subplot that actually helps from a character standpoint. A rarity to be sure. The nods to the older series are tastefully done and not shoehorned in like Into Darkness (there’s even one for Enterprise fans). The only real demerits to hand out are for the Bourne-like coverage of the hand-to-hand combat, and the lack of screen time for the villain. The latter seems to be an epidemic among modern sci-fi/fantasy films. You cast a compelling actor (in this case, Idris Elba), cover them in makeup, then barely use them. I don’t get the logic. His story, at least, has a nice turn. I just wish he wasn’t given short shrift. Despite those quibbles, it’s worth watching. There’s no end credits tag, but stick around until the cast crawl starts. I got a little misty-eyed.
Jen: This trailer is certainly an improvement over the first couple they put out. I’ve always been into Trek and I did really enjoy the first movie in this new series. The second, meh. Simon Pegg is a highlight though, and he did co-write this one. I have hope. I’m actually more interested in the 4th one with the return of Christopher Hemsworth, now that I can get behind 100%.
Ice Age: Collision Course
Loren: What the actual f*ck. How are they on 5 of these? This one just looks like they’ve completely given up. Also, give that damn Saber-Tooth Squirrel his acorn for god’s sake. Pass.
RDT: Wait, they’re in space now???? How did this franchise get to space before The Fast and The Furious?!?!?!?
Rick: I’ve seen a couple of the movies in this series over the years. They’re okay and good for a few laughs. Frankly, the Scrat sections are my favorite. Very reminiscent of old Wile E. Coyote shorts. I won’t see this in theaters, but I’ll probably check it out down the line.
Jen: I have a toddler.
Loren: I absolutely loved the original short this is based on. It’s an absolutely terrifying 2½ minutes. The trailer does a good job adding to the story with Maria Bello’s character fleshing out the ghost story. Overall a pretty good trailer. I don’t think I’ll see it theatrically but maybe we can convince Rick to add it to next year’s Halloween HorrorFest.
RDT: At the behest of a coworker, I watched the short this is based on a while ago. Given my reaction to that, I will not be seeing this.
Rick: The original short is fantastic, but I don’t know if you can stretch that quality and tension into 90+ minutes. Then again, The Babadook was based on a short and turned out effing terrifying. I’ll probably wind up seeing it theatrically on one of those nights I don’t feel like sitting in a ton of traffic on the way home.
Jen: I hate you guys for linking to that short. I watched it in the middle of the day in my dining room with my husband and still leaped out of my chair. If the feature is half as good as the short, it will be terrifying.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Limited)
Loren: This wasn’t really for me then, it doesn’t look like it’s for me now. I would guess that if you were a fan of the show, you’ll be happy with the movie.
RDT: I remember watching the original show when I was a kid. I didn’t understand any of it. Not sure if that’s because of the accents, subject matter or (probably) both. Chances are, unless this randomly pops up as a “You Might Like”-type suggestion on a streaming service, I’m not going to see it.
Rick: I’ve seen a few episodes of this over the years. It’s funny, but it’s never made me clamor for more AbFab. *activates shrug mode*
Jen: Even Bubble is back! If Bubble is in, I’m in. I think I’m the target audience for this film. Must dash off to buy tickets now, sweetie, darling!
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (Limited)
Loren: Hahaha. No.
Rick: I’m anxious to vote in the upcoming Presidential election to help insure that Drumpf doesn’t get into office, but I’m never going to watch this documentary.
Jen: This has to be high functioning satire, right? I refuse to believe this is a real movie.
Don’t Think Twice (Limited)
Loren: A great cast, and I’m a fan of Birbiglia (If you haven’t seen My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend on Netflix, do so). It’s like a coming of age movie for your mid-thirties. I’m in.
RDT: Mike Birbiglia is one of my favorite stand up comedians working today. Not so much a “setup/joke” guy as he is a “funny story” guy. His stand up occasionally leads me to think “Hey, I could do that” until I very quickly realize “Yeah, no, I’ll never even hope to be that good.” “Sleepwalk with Me” (the title of one of his albums and his directorial debut) is great! I do wish they had been able to use actual SNL, instead of a fake SNL aka “Weekend Live.” But that’s a minor quibble. In addition to Birbigs, this cast is amazing. The movie looks heartfelt and funny (says RDT of the Hollywood Picture News). Count me so in.
Rick: I tend not to see a lot of modern comedies, especially in the theater. This one, however, will get my money.
Jen: This cast is amazing. I have a bit of a crush on Keegan-Michael Key so I’m sold on this. Won’t be in a theater though. This has ‘watching on a streaming service on a Friday night’ written all over it.
Loren: That was intense, made more so by the “inspired by true events” part. I won’t lie, I doubt I’ll see this, but it looks pretty damn good.
RDT: I like Irrfan Khan, but I just don’t think this is for me.
Rick: This may be the first time that “Based on True Events” showed up in a trailer and actually got me more interested in the subject at hand. Even if I don’t catch this in theaters I’ll give it a go.
Jen: I looked up the “true events” this was based on and it’s disappointing. That, however, takes nothing away from Irrfan Khan’s hypnotic portrayal. I don’t think I’ll see this, but I would encourage others to check it out.
Train to Busan (Limited)
Loren: This looks like a decent entry into the already overpopulated Zombie genre. I like the train concept, but frankly I’m Zombied out.
RDT: I rarely do zombies when they’re in English. The premise looks interesting, but it’s just not my kind of movie.
Rick: I’ve been burned out on zombie-related entertainment for years. The fact that they’re still somehow in vogue blows my mind. Unless this gets a heap of stellar reviews, I’m okay passing on this.
Jen: I have had it with this Mother F-ing zombies on my Mother F-ing train. Pass.
BoJack Horseman: Season 3 (Netflix original)
Loren: Seasons 1 and 2 are already in my queue. I’ll start it at some point, but I don’t think that point is this weekend.
RDT: I know this show is amazing. One of the best comedies of the last decade. And I’m missing out. But I just can’t get past the animation style. I’ve tried, and failed, multiple times but I find it too distracting.
Rick: I love this show and could not be more excited that it’s back. Now I can alternate between this and Stranger Things. I really need to start watching Stranger Things…
Jen: It feels like I should be watching this. But I’m not. Maybe it’s because I deal with so much children’s animation that when I go to watch a “grown up show” I want live action as a palate cleanser? Who’s to say? Oh, me. Well then yes, that’s why.
So that’s your upcoming weekend in review. Let us know what you saw, liked and/or hated.
As always, you can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/hollywoodpicturenews, or @HWPicNews on Twitter. And send in your questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Loren, RDT, Rick, and Jen