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: Very excited for this. I’ve heard that if it does well (Currently tracking at 96% on RT) Johnson wants to make more movies with Daniel Craig’s character. A sort of modern day Poirot and I’m so down for that.
RDT: What Rick, Jen and AJ said.
Rick: 100%. I already have tickets to see it.
Jen: What Rick said, I can’t wait to check this one out.
Yes, we are in sync here! I look forward to seeing this tonight with RDT, Rick, Jen and many other friends.
Queen & Slim
Loren: I’m down. The pedigree behind it is enough for me to at least check it out.
RDT: Fuck man, so many good movies out or coming out. I will definitely keep this up there on the list.
Rick: You had me at “Written by Lena Waithe”.
Jen: I love this take on the Thelma and Louise story. Waithe is an amazing writer so I have no doubt this will be even better than it looks.
AJ: I’ve been half-paying attention to this but now that I see “written by Lena Waithe,” I am all in.
Loren: I dug the way that looked, so much so that I kinda want a dubbed version so that I can truly appreciate the visuals.
RDT: Not really for me. But I hope those interested enjoy it.
Rick: The story of the White Snake is considered one of China’s four great folktales, so you can imagine that this is not the first time it’s been adapted. This is, however, unique in that this serves as a kind of prequel to the well-known legend. I love the bold look and that it’s obviously influenced by countless wuxia films. It was a huge hit in China, but their animated films haven’t really broken through in the US. This is also aimed at an older audience (there’s suggested nudity and a love scene), so don’t look for it to pull Frozen II numbers at the box office. But maybe some good reviews and awards season love will get it noticed and bring more Chinese animation stateside.
Jen: This title is very misleading, I didn’t see David Coverdale in there at all.
AJ: You know what? I am surprisingly in for that! Didn’t see that coming. Animation looks pretty bad-ass and the story is great. I’m gonna make Rick take me and teach me his ways.
Loren: Woof. I get that it’s not easy to make a musical in today’s world but, I don’t know, maybe try a little harder than that?
RDT: Holy shit. That. Looks. Terrible. I think I’ll sit….and watch a different movie.
Rick: AJ hits the nail on the head here. This looks awful.
Jen: I didn’t get more than :30 through this awful-looking trailer. This feels like a parody of a musical from SNL not the real thing.
AJ: “Hey, guys! We’re gonna take 1992’s Newsies and mash it with 2017’s failed musical film Stuck. It should do pretty well if we make it super timely with immigration and race issues – you know, peppy things that always work really well in an indie movie musical. Audiences will love it.” 😒
My Friend The Polish Girl
Loren: I’ll await Rick’s report before seeing this but am hoping that it leads more toward interesting than pretentious.
RDT: Feels like all the artsy fartsy. Pass.
Rick: Maybe it’s the black and white visuals and aspect ratio, but these feels like a bit of French New Wave ported into 2019. But it also reminds me of Creep and the Belgian faux-doc Man Bites Dog (which is in dire need of an HD scan), minus all the murder. It may wind up being overwrought and lean towards trying too hard, but I’m willing to take the bullet for the group and find out.
Jen: Thanks for that Rick, this feels like it could easily lean into pretentious territory but it’s equally possible that it’s brilliant and moving and will make me re-think everything. So, Rick, let me know.
AJ: I had to go see what people on Rotten Tomatoes are saying and it reads like what film students say when they are trying to be prophetic. “…provocative, bold story told with an inventive approach…,” “…a study in personal loneliness…,” “In its indirect way, it casts a compassionate light on London’s migrant workers…” But at least we got that edgy shot of her on the toilet.
Loren: I feel like this is trying to be so much more intense than it actually will end up being.
RDT: Bored Staring.
Rick: I think I’ll just rewatch The Manchurian Candidate instead.
Jen: So this was a real thing? The premise is interesting but I’d love to see what, say, David Fincher would do with this story.
AJ: A “world famous hypnosis crime” I have never heard of in a movie that is almost three hours long. Starring that guy who’s always a Russian/Armenian/Turkish/Unnamed-European-descent mob boss whom I’m too lazy to look up. It’s a pass from me.
Loren: I wish these Bollywood Action movies looked more realistic. I get that then they wouldn’t be a Bollywood Action movie but it totally loses me. It works for the love stories but not these crazy action ones.
RDT: Weren’t they going to make a Commando sequel with Alyssa Milano all grown up? Or am I thinking of True Lies and Eliza Dushku?
Rick: I appreciate that India is upping their production values. They’re basically just making Hollywood movies but with their distinctive Bollywood feel. I mean, this is just a Bourne or Mission: Impossible movie with Indian actors. I might check this out to see how ridiculous it is. Also, I really should sit down and watch the director’s cut of Commando I picked up like two years ago.
Jen: This doesn’t look bad, but if I’m going Bollywood I’m going all out love story/musical/over the top. Not to say this isn’t over the top, but you know what I mean…
AJ: I’ve never seen the Arnold Schwarzenegger Commando. Is this related to that franchise? (And I just googled it – ALYSSA MILANO?! WHAT?!) It’s not for me but I always admire Bollywood’s efforts. I can’t believe the quantity of media coming out of there at peak quality and it’s always been that way.
Loren: I understand teenage angst and all that, but why would the younger girl not eventually just go back home? I kept questioning that through out the trailer and didn’t bother to pay attention to the heroin understory.
RDT: I really have no feelings one way or the other here. I mean, really. I can’t even muster snarky disdain.
Rick: Wait. Was the younger girl already homeless? I watched this twice and couldn’t figure it out. Regardless, they give away basically the entire story in the trailer. I think I’m good.
Jen: I kept waiting to hear “Under the Bridge” in that trailer, but they didn’t veer that far into cliche. I think I’m good with skipping this one.
AJ: It looks a little overwrought with cliches so I’ll probably wait til I can watch it from my couch but I will say, I think Hannah Marks is absurdly talented and “one to watch,” as the press likes to say.
Loren: These kids are stronger than anyone should have to be at their age. Hopefully they will be the change this country is in desperate need of.
RDT: I have no words. Only sadness, and disappointment in so much of this country.
Rick: Ugh. I can’t. I got misty watching the trailer. But this should be required viewing for every NRA member and every government official who refuses to do anything about gun control.
Jen: Having a school-aged child makes this story all the more terrifying. This should be screened at the White House ASAP.
AJ: I’ve seen it and I cried and cried. It’s very powerful. Very well made and poignant. Have tissues handy. I don’t even know what to say about this topic anymore.
Mike Birbiglia: The New One
Loren: We saw this a few weeks ago when he performed it here in LA. Birbiglia is a fantastic story teller and this is one of his better stories. I’m looking forward to seeing how this performance of it differs from the one we saw.
RDT: Can’t say it better than Loren and Jen. It was a great show. You should watch it.
Rick: I’ve heard good things about this show and I generally like Birbiglia’s comedy. I’m in no rush to watch this, but it’ll probably wind up as background over the holidays.
Jen: I saw this show and it was fantastic. To be fair, I am a huge Birbigs fan AND the target audience for a show about becoming a parent, but I think this is one of his best shows yet. I can’t wait to watch it with my husband since he wasn’t able to see it with me.
AJ: I know a lot of my friends went to see this show a few weeks ago (see: Loren, RDT, Jen) but I passed because for reasons beyond me, I just can’t get into his act. So… I dunno. Maybe? Someday? Obviously I am missing something. *shrug*
Loren: I super don’t want to live on this planet anymore, but we’ll just fuck up the next one too.
RDT: Science put us in this situation. So, science better fuckin’ get us out of it.
Rick: I mean, do people not know how boned we are? Is this news? Just in terms of plastics, recycling centers are closing all over the place and China won’t take our trash anymore. Where do you think that stuff is going? I still don’t understand why we haven’t switched over to bio-plastics. It’s not like there isn’t a surplus of the plants required to manufacture them. Anyway, we’ve got bigger problems. Plastic straws aren’t the enemy. It’s basically everything else we should be banning.
Jen: I feel this is old news to anyone that might tune in voluntarily, and anyone to whom it might be a wake up call is going to avoid watching this all together.
AJ: This is hugely self-serving but I hate watching documentaries like this because it makes me a more paranoid consumer and sometimes I just wanna stay in a land where ignorance is bliss.
Loren: Yeah that just looks cheap on all fronts. I’m good.
RDT: I am not an anime guy (though, at times, I can be an animated guy!).
Rick: A lot of newer action-oriented anime has taken on this animation style. I am not here for it. It looks stiff, shiny, and kind of plastic-y. It feels cheap to me. Even if the subject matter grabbed me (it doesn’t), the look turns me off.
Jen: I haven’t said this in a long time, but, Dad I hope you enjoy this one.
AJ: Unlike the bold and beautiful animation in the “White Snake” trailer, this genre isn’t grabbing me at all. I know it’s stylized but it looks dull to me.
Loren: Is it bad that I wanted the producer to just be a friend or something. Like I didn’t feel it needed the added love angle. Oh well, it’s not like I’m going to watch this anyway so it doesn’t matter that much.
RDT: This looks like 8 different holiday movies in one. And I’m into, like, 4 of them…?
Rick: Admittedly, this looks cute, but I’m never going to watch it.
Jen: Oh you guys, Imma watch the hell out of all the Christmas rom-coms.
AJ: Check out Romany Malco in a more serious spot. Good for him. It’s cute. I could take it or leave it. Might be something I put on in the background in a couple weeks.
Loren: Wait, EVERY love story is a ghost story? Like even Lady and the Tramp? Crazy.
RDT: It is highly unlikely that I will ever watch this movie.
Rick: It looks beautifully photographed, but it’s just not grabbing me. There’s something super familiar about it too, but I can place it. Now it’s going to bug me until I figure it out…Roma? Was that it? Crap. I can’t remember. I got a screener in the mail today, so I’ll wind up watching it soon and figure out what’s so familiar about it.
Jen: That trailer sucked me right in, I’m not sure what it was about it but I’m so curious what the story is here that I think I’ll tune in for sure.
AJ: I don’t think I’d be sold on this were it not for a ton of high praise for it out of Cannes. It seems a little genre-bending but that’s not a bad thing. I know I’ll see it at some point; I just don’t know how soon.
Sugar Rush Christmas
RDT: I love a lot of cooking/baking shows. But, sadly, this is not one of them.
Rick: I’m trying to cut back on sugar.
Jen: I might just watch last year’s Nailed It Holiday instead.
AJ: Loren stole my answer.
I Lost My Body
Loren: That does look amazing. I don’t even know what’s happening but I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.
RDT: That looks gorgeous, but I don’t know that I’m ever gonna watch it.
Rick: I got a screener for this last week. Even if I hadn’t, I’d absolutely watch this.
Jen: I’m not usually an animation fan, but this looks pretty cool, I look forward to checking this one out.
AJ: It’s important that our industry provides work opportunities for everybody so I am happy to see Thing getting a job. (There was probably something more interesting I could have said but who can resist a Thing joke?)
Loren: Great cast, timely material, yeah this one’s going to win some awards.
RDT: Yeah, I’m into this.
Rick: Ooh! I almost forgot it’s compelling drama season at the movies. Gimmie.
Jen: I’ve heard some buzz about this one and have been looking forward to it. I didn’t realize it was going to be on Amazon so I’m even more excited about it since I can watch it from the couch!
AJ: I’ll see just about anything Annette Bening does. True story. That looks pretty great, too.
So that’s your upcoming weekend in review. Let us know what you saw, liked and/or hated.
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–Loren, RDT, Rick, Jen, and AJ