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).
Loren: I feel like I’m supposed to care about this much more than I do. I know that usually I’m the one that’s into what the characters are up to later in life but I never really thought about it in this context. I’m hearing it’s pretty good though so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.
RDT: If you’ve listened to the podcast at all since they announced this, you may have heard me talk about the book upon which this film is based. It’s honestly not terrible (which may be damning it with faint praise). I found the grown-up Danny stuff with the girl to be really well done. I could’ve read another whole book just about them. I don’t want to get into spoilers but…. the villains are…… interesting, but not scary. And King made some……changes to the shining that I fundamentally disagree with. That all being said, I’m watching The Shining Friday night and seeing this Saturday morning.
Rick: Early word is that this is actually good. I know. I’m as surprised as you are, especially considering how divisive reviews of the novel were (confession: I didn’t read it). I’ll probably watch this eventually out of curiosity. I’m more excited to watch Warner Bros. restoration of The Shining, which I’m sure probably happened (at least in part) because of this super late sequel, so I’m grateful for that.
Jen: This looks pretty good, surprisingly. I do love the original The Shining film more than the book. Not sure how much this hews to one or the other or if it doesn’t matter… Either way, I probably won’t see it on the big screen, but I’d be down to catch it on streaming down the road.
AJ: I just heard on a podcast that the most successful movies based on King materials are not in the horror genre (Shawshank and Stand by Me). I found that interesting. And that is all I can contribute to this leg of the conversation because all that Shining stuff scares the b’jeezus outta me. I would, however, totally see DOGTER SLEEP.
Loren: I wonder if anyone else thinks this looks like an even worse Pearl Harbor.
RDT: I’ve never seen Pearl Harbor, so why would I watch a shitty knock-off?
Rick: Apparently this movie is a disaster. Not in the fun, Irwin Allen way, but more the MIchael Bay’s Pearl Harbor variety. I’d say you could go back and watch the 1976 version with Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda, but I don’t know that you’d have a much better time.
Jen: Is this related to Pearl Harbor in some way? I mean it REALLY looks just like it – not in a good way.
This is giving me all the Michael-Bay-Pearl-Harbor vibes and that is not a compliment.
Playing With Fire
Loren: I know I’m the wrestling aficionado of HPN but this isn’t doing it for me. I prefer Cena on the silver screen to the flatscreen, but this seems below what he is capable of.
RDT: Kindergarten Cop may not have done it first, but it did it best. Sorry, Cena, it’s not that I can’t see you in this movie, it’s that I won’t see you in this movie.
Rick: Dear John Cena. You’re better than this. Also, this looks like it should have been a Disney Channel TV movie, not a theatrical feature. And this release date is unfortunately timed. After all the horrific fires out here I have a hard time getting behind a movie that is more fire fighter buffoonery than heroism. This is probably going to die on the vine.
Jen: AJ makes a very good point that I hadn’t thought of. Maybe this is the inevitable growing pain of a star. But then what’s Keegan Micahel Key’s excuse?
AJ: It’s important to remember that before we got the version of The Rock we know and love, we had to suffer through his horrendous CGI Scorpion King and Tooth Fairy. John Cena gave us gold in Trainwreck so I know he can do better.
Loren: I know that The Lady™ is interested in this, so I’m sure we’ll have it on in the background at some point next holiday season when it’s streamable.
RDT: You people are all marginalizing Thanksgiving with this insistence that the Christmas season start in November. You disappoint me. Yes, even you, Mariah Carey. That being said, one of them is a ghost, right? Him? He’s a Christmas ghost here to teach her to love again or something. I dunno. Looks cute enough. I’ll watch it, on or after November 28th.
Rick: This is shaping up to be one of the worst reviewed movies of the year. With the talent involved I don’t understand how it went so far afield, but maybe it’s worth spiking some eggnog and revelling in its terribleness?
Jen: I’ve heard some terrible reviews, but I’m still totally going to see this. It’s hokey and cheesy but it’s the holidays and there’s George Michael and Henry Golding is hot so… AJ, let’s make a plan!
AJ: Awwww, I think it looks cute. I also think Henry Golding is pretty cute. That’s too much cute to pass up. I saw some tweets after a press screening this week that made me think I’ll enjoy it. So I’m officially here for you, holiday season. And that George Michael soundtrack. Let’s do this.
Loren: This looks like an excellent sports doc that I will most likely check out down the road. On a side note hearing Adam Carolla’s voice at the beginning made me cringe. Has he always been this much of an asshole and we just never noticed?
RDT: I don’t care about sports. Sorry.
Rick: This looks like it’s on the level of an HBO Sports doc. I might have to give this a watch.
Jen: I’ll check this out when it comes to the stream-box. I’m all about a good doc.
AJ: I’m pretty positive this is the same documentary that played at the 2017 LA Film Festival called The Classic (likely renamed to alpha-stack). It won the Storytelling Award from that festival and, I think, got pretty strong reviews. I grew up in LA suburbs hearing about this annual game’s legend and I’m very interested in seeing this.
The Swallows of Kabul
Loren: I almost think that this would be too melodramatic as a live action film. The animation style gets it just right.
RDT: Reading AND a weird animation style? I’m an asshole…..but I’m out.
Rick: The animation style reminds me of something I can’t quite place and it’s driving me nuts. Anyway, all of the yes for this.
Jen: I was all ready to say no to this, but it sucked me right in. I’m not usually an animation fan but this looks worthwhile.
AJ: I agree with Rick re the animation style. But it looks rather beautiful and the score sounds quite stunning as well. I’d probably have to sit in front of a laptop to really focus on this and I’m fine with that. It’s earned my full attention.
Loren: Wow, the best friend is a terrible actor. Oh and I didn’t click with the premise.
RDT: Oh, I get it. It’s an indie movie.
Rick: I got everything I needed about that movie from the trailer. I’m all set.
Jen: This really turned me off. Everything about this made me NOT want to see it.
AJ: Everything here is screaming INDIE ROM COM, isn’t it? I’m a firm “maybe” for this.
Loren: Thankfully none of the animals look even remotely real so I will have no problems in that regard. This looks insane and I’m here for it.
RDT: When Rick screens this, I will watch it. And I am legit curious what the other movie will be.
I really need to host a double feature of awesome/terrible Nic Cage movies. Clearly this needs to be one of the two.
AJ: I like the little blurb at the start of the YouTube description: “Exclusive to Home Entertainment 1 January 2020.” Translated: “You don’t really need to spend money on a movie ticket for this one, guys. It’s really terrible.” (But by the way, it’s not “exclusive” to home entertainment if it’s coming out in theaters this week.) Can’t wait for Wally’s Wonderland, though.
Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man
Loren: Good for him but there’s no way I’m watching a whole doc about this.
RDT: I dunno. I mean, it looks pretty shitty.
I’ll see myself out, thanks.
Rick: This is an admirable mission, but there’s no way I’m sitting through an entire doc on this. At most this feels like an NPR story.
Jen: I’d rather just write a check to the organization and not have to sit through this doc.
AJ: Oof. I’m sure this is more important than our reactions to this trailer will make it feel. This movie is 97 minutes long. It’s just 87 minutes too many for me. When this becomes a 60 Minutes segment, I’ll tune in.
Love is Blind
Loren: I had to look it up, but Selective Perception is real. Does that make for a good love story? Probably not, but I’ll be damned if Uncork’d didn’t try anyway.
RDT: The second the VO hit, I checked out.
Rick: I like this idea, but I think it has better potential in a horror movie or thriller than in this trying-too-hard-to-be-indie dramedy.
Jen: Who wants to live in a world where you can’t see Chloe Sevigny?
AJ: This reminds me of that one with Martin Freeman we took a look at a few weeks ago — Ode to Joy, was it? Is there some kind of trend in rom coms themed with obscure neurological disorders? I can’t believe something quirky and odd like this starring award-winning actors we know and love comes from Uncork’d, by the way. (To Rick’s point, rare disorders do play well in thrillers – have you seen A Face in the Crowd? I thought it was effective there.)
Loren: I’m really into the idea of a biopic told by its subject. It in and of itself makes it come from an unreliable narrator but that’s sort of the selling point.
RDT: I’m super into this.
Rick: I appreciate that LaBeouf is just doing passion projects anymore. They’re not always home runs, but at least he’s stretching and trying to do something interesting. This looks far and away like one of his stronger efforts. I’m in.
Jen: This is an autobiography, right? I’m sort of fascinated by this. LaBeouf may be a douche, but he’s undoubtedly talented.
AJ: It has allllll the raves from critics and the “certified fresh” badge. Good for him. He’s been hitting the press hardcore. I’m intrigued. I may check it out.
Good Girls Get High
Loren: I wonder if anyone else will think this looks like Booksmart?
RDT: I think I’ll just watch Booksmart again.
Rick: Oh look, everyone! A Booksmart knock-off! All of the logline, but none of the talent, wit, intelligence, or emotional resonance, and 100% less Billie Lourd! Get the hell out of here with this crap.
Jen: Wow, they didn’t even TRY to not just be Booksmart light. Try just a tiny bit harder next time, girls.
AJ: Booksmart, Eighth Grade and Ladybird got together and barfed out this movie. I think there’s an over-the-counter you can take for that.
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan
Loren: War movies have never been my bag. This looks… fine? I’m sure there are some Aussie Dads that love their version of the History Channel that are fiending for this though.
RDT: Oy! …….that’s all I got.
Rick: Props for showcasing the oft-forgotten fact that Australia actually participated in the Vietnam War, but this looks overwrought and like it was shot nowhere near Southeast Asia, crippling its immersion. You’re better off tracking down a copy of The Odd Angry Shot from 1979. It’ll paint a better, more realistic picture of Australia’s efforts during the war.
Jen: If you have to see a war movie this week, this feels like the obvious choice. But the question is, do you really have to see a war movie this week?
AJ: It certainly looks more promising than Midway.
Loren: I appreciate the weirdness of the premise and it’s nice to see Kim Coates not playing his usual “the worst person you can imagine” but I’m still never going to see this movie.
RDT: Well that sure is a movie.
Rick: I love it when meh-looking movies give me the entire story in the trailer.
AJ: What a weird…. What?! Everything in there conflicts for me. The tone, the dialog, the music…. I just feel confused. With a more thoughtful tone, aesthetic and soundtrack, that could be an interesting movie. Maybe.
Loren: I can’t see Antigone and not read it An Tie Gawn. That said, I know I was supposed to have read Antigone when I was young but I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. That’s not promising for me watching a modern day French retelling.
Rick: I feel like having no knowledge of the play is going to work against me, but I’m still interested.
Jen: This looks fine, but I’m going to own up and tell you guys I’m never going to see this.
AJ: I’m having flashbacks of my tenth grade English class with Mrs. Cano right now. And I can’t say that’s a good thing. I remember reading and studying Antigone and I’m good with it being that distant memory.
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby
Loren: Put this on the other day in the background. If you like Meyers humor you’ll enjoy this, as I did.
RDT: I like his Late Night Youtube clips. So, sure, why not?
Rick: I’m not a huge fan of Seth Meyers. He’s fine, but I’m not going to go out of my way to watch this.
Jen: I have a major crush on Seth Meyers and I’ve already watched this, and enjoyed it. Also, I like the route they went with the trailer. Cute. Oh and the skip politics button is adorable.
AJ: I’ve also already watched and enjoyed. (Clearly we should have had a viewing party?) I was really skeptical because when Meyers’ late night show began, his stand up opening monologue was super weak, but he found a lot of confidence when they got him back behind a desk and he’s grown from there. Anyway, yes, enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of his.
The End of the F*cking World Season 2
Loren: I opted out of the first season due to some pet death I was warned about. Guess that means I can’t watch Season 2 either.
RDT: Blah blah blah season 1.
Rick: I don’t know that ‘enjoy’ is the right word, but I didn’t dislike the first season either. It’s definitely an acquired taste and incredibly nihilistic. Frankly, I’m surprised this got picked up, especially after the season finale. I’ll give this an episode or two to see how it is.
Jen: Meh, I had no interest in the first season so I’m skipping out on this one as well.
AJ: Ditto, Jen.
Let it Snow
Loren: Jacob Batalon has really found his niche as the high school best friend and that’s ok. Also, it’s weird to see Kiernan Shipka in period appropriate clothes.
RDT: What Rick said.
Rick: Have you seen a romantic comedy set in high school? Oh, then you’ve seen this movie.
Jen: This is an eye roll of a movie. But, as AJ said, that doesn’t mean I won’t watch it.
AJ: Some unsolicited professional advice to Odeya Rush: Find something different to do really soon. I beg you. And to Shameik Moore, you are 24 and look 35 so I don’t know who thought you should be playing a high school student. All that’s not to say I won’t watch this when I’m really vibing on the holiday spirit next month.
Green Eggs and Ham Season 1
Loren: I imagine kids are going to love this but I didn’t even finish the trailer.
RDT: How is this a series?
Rick: So, they shoehorned the IP into a generic kids magic-ish adventure show? No thanks.
Jen: Ooooh, my daughter has just gotten to the point of obsession with this book (we literally made green eggs just yesterday). This timing couldn’t be more perfect.
AJ: That looks pretty cute. I’m not the target audience and I’m not apt to check it out but I’ll concede it looks great for kids.
Shameless Season 10
Loren: Much like my compatriots I can’t believe that this show is on season 10.
RDT: Blah blah blah season 1-9.
Rick: Man, still going, ehh? Good for them!
Jen: 10 seasons? Way to go, Showtime.
AJ: My dad really loved this show so I find it a little comforting that it’s on a tenth season. But I’ve never seen it and am not likely to anytime soon.
Back to Life
Loren: I think the most impressive thing about this is it got RDT to make a music joke.
Rick: Ehhhh. *half-hearted shrug*
Jen: Reading what AJ wrote below it didn’t occur to me this might be about a woman. I don’t think it’s worth me getting Showtime for, but I’m more intrigued than I thought I’d be.
AJ: We have seen a lot of movies like this, haven’t we? Person wrongly or sadly imprisoned for a while comes home, tries to fit in again, may or may not reconnect with an old love and/or quirky family members, seeks redemption… Eh, I’m good.
His Dark Materials
Loren: I know The Lady™ is super down for this, and I’m definitely intrigued. In for sure.
RDT: Jesus, that looks pretty good.
Rick: Want to sign up for HBO this instant…must wait for HBO Max…
Jen: Please be better than the movie, please be better than the movie!
AJ: Yes, I’ve been excited for this. I’m setting the DVR right now.
Loren: That looks like a great way to spend a couple hours.
RDT: Too many docs but sure, I’ll add this one to the list anyway.
Rick: Want to sign up for HBO this instant…must wait for HBO Max…
Jen: I have a good friend who worked as a researcher on this and she says it’s amazing. I’m sold.
AJ: I couldn’t even tell you how many Saturday nights I stayed up to watch “Showtime at the Apollo” after SNL when I was a teenager. That also probably tells you too much about my social life back then… I’m looking forward to this one. Looks great.
One Child Nation
Loren: Not for me.
RDT: Intrigued, sure, but not enough to remember to watch Prime video.
Rick: Nope. This won’t be the least bit heartbreaking. Not at all. *adds to queue, steels self for all the emotions*
Jen: Oh no, the John Oliver segment alone wrecked me, I don’t know if I could sit through a whole doc.
AJ: I am deeply curious about this. I’ve read some about the “one child policy” including how a lot of families found loopholes to still have second children. But in the 30-something years this policy existed (they ended it in 2015), an estimated 400M births were prevented. God, could you imagine the Republican party tackling that shit?
Loren: I like that it feels like a Irish version of True Detective. If it pops up on another streaming service that I pay for at some point I’ll give it a go.
RDT: What Rick said.
Rick: That looks pretty solid. Still not enough to get me to subscribe to Starz, though.
Jen: Cool and Creepy looking drama but now sure Starz is on the menu for me at this point.
AJ: Looks a little Broadchurchy, no? I read one Tana French novel and it was just not for me. I am not sure I’ll be checking this out.
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, Instagram at instagram.com/hollywoodpicturenews, or @HWPicNews on Twitter. And send in your questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Loren, RDT, Rick, Jen, and AJ