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).
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Loren: I was totally into this as the Pirates movies have been a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine (except for that abysmal 4th movie), but the critics have not been kind. I may check it out for myself this weekend.
RDT: Capt. Jack Sparrow works best as a side character, sparingly, not as a lead. I am 100% out of this franchise.
Rick: Despite having avoided the last one like the plague, I’m mildly interested in this. Bringing the original cast back together is probably the best thing they could have done with this series. I mean, apart from giving less screen time to Johnny Depp. Adding Javier Bardem as the villain is just enough to entice me into watching. Probably from my couch, though.
Jen: This does not look as bad as the previous to outings, which, to be fair, I have not seen. It feels like there’s a lot going on at this point in the franchise and I’m too lazy to even look up the Wikipedia summary to see where we left off. I’m out but only due to laziness.
Loren: And yet on this one I’ve been kinda out on since the first trailer. It’s weird I love the cast, and thought the Jump St. movies were a ton of fun, but this does nothing for me. I’ll check it out streaming/Redbox down the road.
RDT: I know the reviews aren’t great, but I kinda don’t care. It looks funny enough. I could see myself catching it on an upcoming Saturday afternoon.
Rick: I’m sure this leans way more terrible than good, but it looks just silly and self-aware enough that I can tune out and enjoy how ridiculous it is.
Jen: I agree with all of the above. This is likely silly, but the cast is so charming and aware of their own silliness and that may just carry it.
Long Strange Trip (Limited)
Loren: The Grateful Dead has such cool iconography. It was almost like a metal band more than a hippie jam band. I was never into their music though, so this is pretty much a hard pass from me.
RDT: This is not for me.
Rick: The running time is 261 minutes! Oh, so it’s just one of The Dead’s live jams, then.
Jen: The hubs and I already have plans to buckle in for the whole ride. I’m not a big Dead fan, but I am obsessed with summer-of-love counter-culture and you can’t talk about that without the Dead, so I’m in.
Buena Vista Social Club: Adios (Limited)
Loren: My parents had this album! That’s kinda all I have to say about this.
RDT: Also, not for me. I’m just not a music kinda guy.
Rick: Cripes. It’s been twenty years since that album came out? *ponders my receding hairline* Well, yeah. Seems about right. If I had half the zeal these folks do I’d feel far better about being twenty years older.
Jen: There is so much joy i this trailer. This feels like a good double feature with If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast – showing us “youngsters” how life should be lived.
Loren: At least this is a different take on the drone pilot story than Good Kill or Eye in the Sky, I guess. I still don’t see myself seeing it though.
RDT: Interesting enough story, I guess. But holy shit was Amazing Grace a horrible choice for the trailer song.
Rick: $5 says Sean Bean dies.
Jen: Meh. Wow, I thought I’d have more to say, but, no.
Loren: It’s German Jeremy Sisto holding Australian (and better) Kristen Stewart hostage. I’m not usually one for this type of flick but this looks at least well done. It’s a solid maybe from me.
RDT: Looks like Room by way of Luc Besson, but not great.
Rick: I’ve had Cate Shortland’s film Lone in my queue for an eon. Perhaps I should finally watch it after I check this one out. My ridiculous to-watch stack aside, this looks wonderfully tense, and Teresa Palmer was excellent in Lights Out, so I’m game to see what she pulls off here.
Jen: I got all the way through writing everything and forgot to write something for this one. Then got distracted and forgot again. I guess that’s how I feel about this movie.
Black Butterfly (Limited)
Loren: Yeah, I’m with Rick on this one, like the male/action movie/boring version of Misery. No thanks.
RDT: I kinda like the cast, but it looks pretty standard….boring.
Rick: So, it’s a hunkier, less believable version of Misery? Pass.
Jen: This feels very “straight-to-video.” I thought Antonio Banderas was better than this.
96 Souls (Limited)
Loren: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What?!? That’s a 30 Rock movie right?
RDT: Holy crap. That looks, and looks, terrible. Is it even a real movie?
Rick: To quote the last line of the trailer: “What is this?” Also, I understand that movies are often made on lower budgets, but there is zero excuse for such flat, lifeless photography. There are photos of fast food on Instagram that look better than this movie.
Jen: I hope they got the camera back to the equipment room on time. The work-study kid gets reeeeaal surly.
Loren: This feels like something my Polish/Foreign Film Enthusiast roommate will be watching when I come home from work one day.
RDT: I know I should open myself up to more “difficult” movies (foreign films, documentaries, avant garde indies). And one day, I will. Today, however, is not that day.
Rick: Andrzej Wajda had been racking up acclaim from the late 1950s until he passed away last year at age 90. Kanal (1958), his film about the Warsaw Uprising, is a must-watch for foreign film buffs. I feel like this, his swan song, looks to show the same sort of resilience in its characters. It’ll be worth a watch.
Jen: This doesn’t fall in my wheelhouse exactly, but watching it wanted to see more. I guess that’s the definition of a good film trailer.
Loren: I can’t imagine getting to the point of being in Wakefield’s shoes, but this does look relatively fascinating.
RDT: I liked that trailer, a lot. Trumbo aside, Bryan Cranston’s cinematic efforts of late have been less than stellar (I’m looking at you Godzilla and Why Him?…more like “Why Us?” amirite?), but this really grabbed me. Much like Rick said below (go read Rick’s entry, I’ll wait), it’s a fascinating concept with a great cast. Sign me up as well.
Rick: Robin Swicord is an accomplished screenwriter, but hasn’t directed a film since 2007’s The Jane Austen Book Club. It seems odd that there’s been such a gap. That movie was fairly well regarded when it came out. Though it didn’t light the box office on fire, so maybe that’s been the issue. Regardless, this is a fascinating concept and you can’t beat that cast. Sign me up.
Jen: I was fascinated and repulsed by this trailer at the same time. A lot of emotions for 3:00. I think that’s probably a good sign for a feature.
RDT: I like Cate Blanchett. But this one is a little too artsy, not enough fartsy, for me.
Jen: Freaking’ Blanchett, why do you need to make the rest of Hollywood look like talentless hacks? This is very art-y and I get the sense if it weren’t Cate Blanchett we wouldn’t be seeing this outside an exhibit hall at LACMA. I think that’s a good thing and I’d be willing to forgo a linear narrative for something cool and different.
War Machine (Netflix)
Loren: So, Brad Pitt’s on Netflix now, eh? Yeah, I’ll echo everyone below. This feels like it’s trying to be Dr. Strangelove via a Coen Brothers movie with a little War, Inc. thrown in there? I don’t think it’s going to accomplish what it set out to be.
RDT: Looks like Burn After Reading meets Three Kings, but not as good as either of those movies. It’s on the ‘flix (as the kids say), so I’ll add it to the queue. But I’m honestly not sure I’ll ever get around to actually watching it.
Rick: I feel like Brad Pitt is trying too hard to affect a weird accent/facial expression/body language. It bothered me for the entire two minutes of that trailer. I can’t imaging two hours of it. Pass.
Jen: I like the idea of this movie, but from the trailer it doesn’t feel like it will live up to my expectations. Our modern military situation is ripe for this era’s Dr. Strangelove, but this, this is no Dr. Strangelove.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (Netflix)
Loren: I really liked Minhaj at the WHCD and I really dig the way this special is shot. I’ll give this a go for sure.
RDT: While I appreciate, and seem to agree with, his message, when you get right down to it, regardless of said message, a comedy special needs to be one thing above all: funny. And I just didn’t laugh at that trailer. Unless it pops up in my social/work circle as something I “need to see,” I’ll pass.
Rick: Is it me, or does this feel more like a TED talk than a standup special? Pass.
Jen: Hasan Minhaj is real swoon-material you guys. He’s in the Jen Kilburn bucket, which is not a literally bucket of men, although… hmmm… moving on. That being said, his hosting of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner was hit or miss. I feel like there are some laughs buried in here, so I’ll check it out, but like a lot of the recent stand up I’ve watched, if it gets too cynical I’m just going to tune out. I have the news for that sort of thing.
Bloodline, season 3 (Netflix)
Loren: Skip ahead, you’ll see how we all feel about this.
RDT: Not even gonna bother watching this trailer. I never finished season 1, so I doubt I’m going to make it to season 3 (though, technically, it is on the list).
Rick: If you read RDT’s entry, you know my response, except the being on the list part. It is not on mine.
Jen: See Rick’s entry above.
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (Netflix)
Loren: I am into the innocence of Joshua, and how he’s doing this not for political gain but because he truly believes in Hong Kong.
RDT: This looks like a fascinating story. Remember, a few entries ago, when I said I need to open myself up to more kinds of movies one day. Well, this might make that “one day” sooner than later.
Rick: Wow. I’m in.
Jen: How have I never heard of this kid? This looks like a pretty by-the-numbers documentary, but when you have this interesting of a subject, that’s all you need. In.
Casual, season 3 (Hulu)
Loren: The Lady™ watches this. I do not.
RDT: I’ve already watched the first 2 episodes, about to start the 3rd. Other than the season 1 finale misstep, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen. Can’t recommend this show enough. Give it a shot. It’s worth it.
Rick: Ehh. I’m good.
Jen: If this were on Netflix I’d probably have devoured it by now. As it is, Amazon and Hulu end up being sort of like that dress in the back of your closet that you can’t get rid of because it’s not ugly it’s just not as cool and fun as your other dresses, so you only end up wearing it when everything else is in the wash. Hmmm, I’m not sure that simile held together as well as I would have liked.
So that’s your upcoming weekend in review. Let us know what you saw, liked and/or hated.
–Loren, RDT, Rick, and Jen