Welcome to the Weekend Watch: End of the Year Edition. There’s not much new out there, but there’s definitely stuff worth seeing, whether it’s out this week or the last few weeks.
Live By Night (Opened 12/25, expands 1/13)
Loren: I love the time period and actiony fare set within, but early reviews are not favorable (34% on Rotten Tomatoes) and though I enjoy Murder Batman as a director he’s not my favorite actor. I’m pretty sure I’m waiting on this one.
RDT: I saw it a couple weeks ago. It felt…not finished. There’s a lot going on (and a lot of the “a lot going on” is really good), but it lacks focus. I think it was originally supposed to come out March of next year, but they jumped the gun and pushed it for awards qualifications. I think had they had another month or two to work on the edit, we would’ve gotten a much stronger film.
Rick: Like Loren, I think Ben Affleck is a talented director and a middling actor. I like the aesthetic and the story, but I’m not in a super rush to see this. If I catch it in theaters it’ll be on the cheap.
Jen: Man, Affleck sure can wear a suit. The costumes and production design look fantastic. The rest of it looks like… a gangster movie. I’ve seen a gangster movie before so not sure if I need to rush out and see another one.
Hidden Figures (Opened 12/25)
Loren: I kinda hate that I knew nothing about this story before this trailer (and the episode of Timeless from a few weeks ago) but I am really interested in it now. I know a few people that have already seen it and I’ve heard nothing but praise. The only thing I will say is that this trailer is not my favorite. It’s a little all over the place tonally and does that thing where it tells you the whole story.
RDT: I agree with Loren. Hopefully, this movie gets these women the notice they’ve long deserved. As for seeing it, I definitely will, maybe not in theaters though.
Rick: Yeah, the trailer isn’t strong, but I watched this recently and the film is definitely praiseworthy. There are a couple of moments that feel like they stretch the truth a bit, but not enough to detract from the story. It is shameful that these hyper-intelligent women are just now getting the credit for the landmark work they accomplished, but at least now they can help inspire new generations to achieve.
Jen: I think, and hope, that this trailer strongly undersells this movie. I will absolutely see it, but the trailer is a little too cheesy for the story they’re telling. Costner’s “I need someone who can look beyond the numbers” is a an eye-roller for sure.
20th Century Women (Opened 12/28)
Loren: Sometimes I wonder, “Is Billy Crudup from the 70’s?” (The answer is yes.)
RDT: Ok, I enjoyed the hell out of that trailer. Shockingly, it did what a trailer is supposed to do, made me want to see the movie, not tell the whole story of the movie. Great cast, too. In.
Rick: I can’t recommend this highly enough. It takes an unusual path to relate the experiences of three generations of women; both through their own lenses and through that of the young men in their lives. It’s rife with humor, love, and a touch of sadness. Well worth your time.
Jen: Annette Bening looks off-the-charts awesome in this. I loved Beginners and this is sort of a companion piece to that story so I think I will be checking it out when it pops up streaming.
Paterson (Opened 12/28)
Loren: I will admit that this looks interesting (even with Adam Driver as the lead) and I’d probably enjoy it, but I know me and I know that I probably won’t watch it. I think it’s good to know things about yourself.
RDT: Look man, Adam Driver is a quirky, heading towards great, actor (and also seems like a really nice guy). Can he carry one of these weird, character-y, indie-type movies we keep getting? I dunno, but I’m just curious enough to find out. At some point.
Rick: I haven’t connected with everything I’ve seen of his, but Jim Jarmusch has an uncommon way of looking at the world. That is enough for me to give his movies a shot.
Jen: I haven’t seen a Jim Jarmusch movie in over 15 years (side note: hey you kids get off of my lawn) but something about this one struck me. It looks lovely and quirky but hopeful rather than depressing, which is the feel I get from most indie films of this ilk. I’d check this out.
Toni Erdmann (Opened 12/25)
Loren: I also assume that I won’t see this, it’s just not my type of movie. (I also felt this needed a parenthetical as all of my other entries had one).
RDT: Much like Loren, this one just isn’t for me. But, if it’s good, I’ll check out the eventual American remake starring… George Clooney and… Dakota Fanning. Sure.
Rick: I remember about a month ago I started reading a lot of “year’s best movies” lists. This made more than a few of them. Okay, critics: Challenge accepted.
Jen: This certainly looks like a movie Rick will see. BUT it does appear to break the depressing-foreign-film trope, so that’s a plus.
So that’s your upcoming weekend in review. Let us know what you saw, liked and/or hated.
–Loren, RDT, Rick, and Jen