Weekend Watch – 01/31/20

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).


Wide Release

The Rhythm Section

Loren: Yeah this isn’t treading any new ground but I could get into it. A more serious version of Peppermint, without the Lady Punisher stuff. A solid maybe.

Rick: This is just the action movie version of In the Fade, a movie I can’t recommend highly enough (and got snubbed for an hugely deserving Oscar nod). I’m not saying I wouldn’t give this a watch if I need an action fix, but this is still treading very familiar ground.

Jen: I have no interest in movies that use losing a child as character motivation – it feels like that rules out 90% of films these days.

AJ: Looks a little Peppermint’ish, yes? But I actually liked that movie whereas most did not. I just love ass-kicking women. Also, I became a bigger Blake Lively fan after A Simple Favor. I’ll probably check this out with tempered expectations.

Gretel and Hansel

Loren: Why did they use the Orion logo from 1987? Anyway that looks pretty damn good for a take on a classic fairy tale. But as we all know, Grimm fairy tales were way more fucked up than the Disneyesque versions we were given as kids.

Rick: This gets all the points for atmosphere and the claustrophobic 1.33:1 aspect ratio, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to make this a feature. At first blush it would work better as a two-reeler short. I’ll give it a curiosity-watch if the reviews are any good.

Jen: Creepy! Also, don’t search “creepy” as a term on giphy. It’s… upsetting.

AJ: It’s cutting edge this time because they put GRETEL first, see??? But seriously, this looks hella creepy and no thank you.

Limited Release

The Traitor

Loren: I’ve said for a while now that Mafia movies don’t really do anything for me then add in the foreign language element and I’m pretty much out from the get go.

Rick: To answer AJ’s question, it’s not the first movie about Buscetta. There’s one from 1999, a miniseries from 2007, and a documentary came out last year. I can’t say I have any interest in this story, but if I did I think I’d rather watch the doc or read up on it than sit through this movie.

Jen: That looks like it was made in the 70s, which I think, was the intention. And they succeeded. Other than that, I have no feelings on this one.

AJ: I love mob stories. Is this the first time someone’s made a movie about Tommaso Buscetta? That would surprise me…. I’m trying to keep this spoiler free because I know how his story panned out in real life… Anyway, yes, I want to see this. (And thank you, Rick.)

The Assistant

Loren: I’m honestly so glad I never went the assistant route. The closest I got was being a PA for a TV producer and having to do a lot of personal assistant stuff. That was bad enough. I can’t even fathom it as a woman. This looks super real and off putting in that good way. I’m down for it.

Rick: That trailer straight up gave me flashbacks. My first job out here was working at a production company and it was…intense, to say the least. Not an environment I would ever want to re-experience. This movie is getting really good notices, though. I might have to choke back my anxiety and give this a watch.

Jen: The trailer alone is so tense.  This is getting some great notes and feels like the release timing is spot on as context for the Weinstein trial. I’m planning on checking this out for sure.

AJ: The moment the HR guy says “you can tell me, that’s what I’m here for….,” I get filled with so much rage. How often, as women, have we heard that only to know that silently the end of that statement is “… for the company’s protection, not yours.” So much of my early career came flooding back to me in watching this trailer, I’m almost afraid to see this movie for psychological reasons. But it’s getting a lot of great buzz, especially for Garner, so I’m going to check it out and hope it doesn’t trigger me left, right and center.


Loren: I thought this was a doc when I first started watching. It’s a true testament to how well this movie is crafted.

Rick: That’s one of the best trailers I’ve seen in a while. Definitely a compelling story and, given the new agreement that’s trying to be brokered between Israel and Palestine, incredibly timely.

Jen: That looks great. I think a lot of docudramas have trouble piecing together the archival footage with their shoot but this does an excellent job of combining the two to tell a compelling story, even in the short time span of the trailer. And as an archival researcher, I especially appreciate that. I’ll give this a watch.


Loren: I can’t even imagine playing hockey, let alone in goal, without some sort of head protection. This looks like a fine biopic.

Rick: If I were more interested in hockey I’d dive right in, but I’m not. This will find an audience, though.

Jen: This doesn’t look bad, but there’s nothing particularly drawing me in here, either. Performances look solid and I wish this movie well.

AJ: Take a look at this image and you may get a feel for what kind of hockey player Sawchuk was. 21 years in the NHL (for five teams) is a huge feat. The guy took a lot of beatings. At 6 feet tall (very unusual for a goalie), he was a bigger target than most. He’s a hockey legend. If you want to know a little more, the NHL did a short piece on his career a couple years ago that’s a great summary. From what I know of the guy, this trailer looks a little dark and more “action-y” than his real-life demeanor but perhaps he had demons I am not aware of. So that said, I’m not sold on the tone here but maybe I’ll see it on cable someday. Obviously, I am a hockey fan.



Next in Fashion

Loren: Not really for me but I bet The Lady™ will devour this once she’s done with Runway.

Rick: I watched a decent amount of Project Runway (which this is clearly ripping off) back in its heyday, but I’ve grown weary of the formulaic reality show style. Nothing is going to convince me to watch this.

Jen: Wait, more Tan France in my life is an option? Yes, please.

AJ: Clearly a blatant rip-off of “Project Runway” but then, “Runway” hasn’t been itself since Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn left to develop something for Amazon and I’m not nuts about their new hosts and format. I LOVE Tan France and Alexa Chung so I think this could be the show to finally sell me on a reality show via SVOD platform.

Miss Americana

Loren: I don’t understand the hate on Taylor Swift. I kind of find her a little fascinating. Once again this looks like something The Lady™ will be super into so I’ll probably watch it with her.

Rick: I have zero interest in Taylor Swift.

Jen: I am interested in how she decided to post her 2018 political endorsement and how that impacted things professionally for her. It made such an impact and I’m sure there were a lot of her people that weren’t happy about it. I’ll watch for that stretch alone.

AJ: Yes, I’m gonna watch this. Consider it a case study. Whatever you think of her or her music, there is no denying that Taylor Swift is talented and smart AF. She takes her brand super seriously, her fans are her everything, and she knows what she is doing AT ALL TIMES. (Disclosure: I worked on her Red tour.) BTW, I loved when this trailer broke how the press was all “OMG! T-Swift said the f-word! She’s not a princess anymore!” (If you really think Taylor Swift is a “princess,” you are naive.)


Loren: Cool idea with the Norse Mythology but I’m not going to watch this.

Rick: It looks like Percy Jackson, The Tomorrow People, and Twilight had a baby. I think I’m good.

Jen: Well Rick nailed all the influences. So if I’ve seen two out of three of those I’m probably in the clear on this one, right?

AJ: It bugs me when Netflix acquires a series from another country and calls it their original series but whatever. If Chris Hemsworth and Jeff Goldblum aren’t in it – and I gotta read captions – I’m not bothering.

Bojack Horseman Season 6

Loren: I haven’t started it yet but I plan to.


I’m genuinely going to miss this show. It’s had some of the best writing you’re likely to find in any format, let alone animation. Hilarious, resonant, and carrying more emotional depth than many dramas could hope to reach. It’s also the end of an era for Netflix. Being one of their first original series, Bojack was greenlit at a time when Netflix actually gave shows room to grow. Now it seems to be quantity over, well, everything. I bet you a dollar that if this show debuted in the last year or so it would have been cancelled after its first season. Nevertheless, I’m glad it was able to stick around this long, and I’m anxious to see how it wraps up.

Jen: I keep meaning to start watching this and it keeps not happening, but hope springs eternal.

AJ: I never got into this series so it’s an obvious pass. I don’t know why, though. Looks like something I’d enjoy on paper. Hmph.


Ted Bundy: Falling For a Killer

Loren: Besides Mafia stuff, True Crime is also a genre I don’t care for. I applaud the fresh take but I’m not interested in more about Bundy.

Rick: Finally, a fresh perspective on a story that’s been told ad nauseum otherwise. If I find myself in the mood for some true crime I’ll absolutely give this a watch.

Jen: Oh this looks like the best of the Ted Bundy pieces to come out of late. I’d much rather hear from these women than the man himself. I am 100% checking this out ASAP.

AJ: There have been a few pieces about Bundy in the last year or so but they’re right, this is the first one from the womens’ POV. Interesting to see Liz Kendall among them, too. (If you watched the Zac Efron movie on Netflix, she was the one portrayed by Lily Collins.) I was skeptical at the beginning when I couldn’t tell if this was a Bundy doc or a women’s suffrage piece, but by the end of the trailer, I was sold.

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 questions@hollywoodpicturenews.com.

From Hollywood,
–Loren, Rick, Jen, and AJ

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