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: Not really my cup of milk per se but it looks excellent.
RDT: I have no thoughts. No feelings. No opinion or snarky comments. This is a movie. Good for it.
Rick: Kelly Reichardt is kind of a master at quiet character dramas. There’s nothing flashy or overwrought in her style. She’s incredibly deft at eliciting strong performances and letting the camera act as an observer (Michelle Williams in Wendy and Lucy and Kristen Stewart in Certain Women are particular standouts). You can’t go wrong with anything she’s directed, and I suspect this will be just as satisfying an experience.
Jen: I, like AJ, really thought this was about a cow president. However, this looks much quieter than that would, no doubt, be. This does look like a lovely little film I just can’t see myself running out to see it.
AJ: Oh goodness. I have seen many of the rave reviews on this and obviously the trailer is peppered with some seriously enthusiastic critic quotes. But all of it is lost on me. I just cannot get into this. And how is a movie called First Cow a period drama and not a Jim Carrey/Jonah Hill vehicle about a cow accidentally being elected to the White House? (Which, let’s face it, would be preferable to what we’re currently working with.)
The Way Back
Loren: Hey you guys ever see a sports movie? Also I just have a bit of an issue with Affleck these days. I don’t think this one is going to be for me.
RDT: I’m a sucker for a good sports movie which is, I think, ironic given how much not a sports guy I am. And, I like Ben. His brother seems like a real piece of shit. But I’m pulling for the elder Affleck.
Rick: So, it’s basically a riff on The White Shadow/Hoosiers, but with addiction thrown in. Not that that’s a bad thing. If you have to borrow, borrow from something good. It’s challenging to make a sports movie stand out. You’re ultimately tied to the “will they or won’t they win the big game” element. Everything else comes down to character. Not sure I’ll ever see this, but I’ll keep an eye on reviews.
Jen: I feel a good amount of credit is due to the fact that Ben Affleck, a real-life addict, is dealing with his personal demons in such a raw way through this story, but that being said I get it, they’re scrappy underdogs.
AJ: If addiction wasn’t present in this story, I would guess it was one of those sentimental Disney live action sports flicks like Remember the Titans, Million Dollar Arm or The Rookie. And that’s not a bad thing. Looks like a really strong performance from Affleck whom I believe is capable of way more than that mediocre-at-best Batman, so it’s nice to see.
The Burnt Orange Heresy
RDT: At first, I was all “Too artsy fartsy.” Then I was all “heisty-weisty?” And, by all accounts, Mick Jagger hasn’t given a performance of this level since Freejack.
Rick: I enjoy a good heist, and I’m a sucker for them if there’s a long con involved. I’ll give this a spin.
Jen: It seems like this trailer is hiding some more details about the plot – some bigger twist and I like that they aren’t giving away the farm here, but the only thing that really drew me in was the fact that Mick Jagger is involved. How good was the script that he decided THIS would be his return to acting? Although, I guess I thought the same thing about The Man From Elysian Fields and that film did nothing for me.
AJ: MICK JAGGER?! Okay, let’s just shove that to the side. And the weird title – let’s shove that aside, too. And also — never mind. I’m never going to see this. That trailer bored me.
Transference: Escape The Dark
Loren: That was like 12 movies in one. None of them good mind you, but still.
Rick: ‘*snore* I got bored with the trailer halfway through. Pass.
Jen: I’ve had enough Wolverine back stories already, thanks.
AJ: Were it me, I’d drop that “Escape the Dark” bit in the title but anyway, it looks like a gritty, X-men-ish, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch-ish, origins tale. I’m not opposed to it. I might see this one. You don’t get a lot of indies like this. Consider me, at minimum, intrigued.
Loren: This is so very niche. Even as someone who doesn’t read a ton of books, I love the idea that the small bookstores that were able to survive the megachains and Amazon are having a resurgence in this way.
RDT: I miss just browsing a bookstore, waking through, picking out a book because you like the cover, reading the back, returning it to the shelf, making eye contact with that cute girl in the automotive section, realizing you have no need to be in the automotive section, going to the automotive section anyway, awkwardly smiling and bringing up your out-of-commission Saturn, showing her a picture when she doesn’t believe you, actually asking for her number, ACTUALLY getting her number, meeting up for coffee even though you don’t drink coffee, dating for two years, proposing, having a small wedding at the courthouse, having a reception at the beach with a bonfire, getting in a fight because she, yes, she, forgot to take out the garbage, putting up a chore wheel, ignoring the chore wheel, moving to Northern California to be closer to her family, getting pregnant, with twins!, naming them Fred and George, living life, retiring early, meeting your grandkids, mourning your loss because she died before you did, and passing away in your sleep peacefully a few years later while Grease 2 plays on the tv, book sitting on your bedside table.
Rick: I’ve whiled away many hours in old bookstores. If I’m ever walking anywhere and I happen upon one with time to spare I’ll always pop in to browse. Not that I need more books, mind you. I just find old bookshops comforting. That aside, I’m glad this doc exists, but I don’t have a pressing need to see it. I should probably spend that time working through the stack of books on my nightstand.
Jen: This looks like a delightful little doc to while away 90 minutes, they should screen it in some cool local bookstores for added charm.
AJ: I actually got to sneak peak this documentary and found it charming and delightful. If you love history, books, bookstores, or just reading in some form (I’m on a Kindle finally but it took me a while to let go of my physical books), see this movie. I collect autographed hard-covers; I am a person who keeps a list of bookstores she wants to visit on Pinterest and on my iPhone, so I was excited to watch it. Books are magical and bookstores even moreso. (OMG, Jen – I love that idea!)
Run This Town
Loren: I feel like it’s a little burying the lede here (see what I did there?) to not mention Rob Ford until the last third of the trailer but maybe it’s to really sell these apparently terrible journalists as our main characters. At any rate this looks decent but I’m not sure it’s enough to get me to actually see it.
RDT: Stop saying “Pitch me!”
Rick: The trailer is cut well, but I have zero interest in that movie.
Jen: That is Damian Lewis as Rob Ford!!! I love a journo movie, but something about this doesn’t feel up to snuff.
AJ: I don’t know how the title of this movie isn’t Pitch Me but whatever. I had to watch this trailer twice to figure out it’s a movie about ill-fated Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. Pass.
Like Harvey Like Son
Loren: Man, I don’t even like to drive that kind of distance or walk down to the corner store for that matter. Good on Harvey’s son.
RDT: Sometimes, I miss running. And, other times, I don’t miss running. This is one of the other times. Good for you, running dude. Enjoy it!
Rick: An amazing achievement to be sure, but I super don’t care about this story.
Jen: Rick took the words right out of my mouth. And, in this heightened virus season, he really should keep his hands away from my face.
AJ: I’m really surprised this is seeing theaters but it’s probably a sweet little documentary. A little The Human Race and a little Unbranded in spirit. Not something I am rushing to see – and frankly, through no fault of the film’s subjects, of course, the title gives me some “ick” right now – but maybe one day it will wind up in my streaming queue.
Loren: Yeah this gets way too melodramatic for what’s supposed to be happening. I doubt I’ll make it to this one.
RDT: What Rick said, except I didn’t even make it a third of the way through.
Rick: The trailer loses focus about a third of the way through and never recovers. What the hell is this movie? You know what? Nevermind. It doesn’t matter. I’m never going to see it.
Jen: This is either a family drama, a medical drama, or both. It takes place either in Jamaica, Ghana, or both. That’s the best I got.
AJ: I am skeptical because the film description is much more about who is in the film and where they are from, less about the film’s content. Then the trailer lost me about halfway through. So I’m out.
Loren: At least this isn’t framing Bill Nighy’s character as the one in the right like the start of the trailer leads on. Bening looks superb here, but overall I don’t think this on is for me.
RDT: Kinda shocking that, of everyone here, I’m the most into that trailer. I liked it a lot, based mostly on Nighy and Benning. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it.
Rick: I do love me some Annette Bening, but this isn’t exactly ringing my bell. It all feels pretty standard.
Jen: Annette Bening and Bill Nighy – that’s quite a coupling, but it’s not sucking me in.
AJ: It feels criminal to me that Bening has zero Oscar wins in her four nominations. She is ridiculously talented. (I wish more people had seen Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool in which she was unbelievably good.) I would perhaps see this just for her although her British accent wasn’t 100% convincing…. Call this one a positively leaning maybe for me.
Loren: Oh man, I was really hoping this would be a fun one to watch over some bourbon at the Whitsett Theater but yeah no, it looks pretty terrible in comparison to other action fare that’s out there right now.
RDT: Wait….. was that Dr. Drew????? That was totally Dr. Drew!!!! (I’m still not going to see this movie.)
Rick: I’m generally a mark for movies like this, even when they’re clearly as bad as this one, but this gets some extra demerits for choppy editing and the terrible, overly aggressive fight sound effects. Was that a note or did your SFX editor just have access to a shitty/limited library? Pass.
Jen: Yawn, this is definitely not my cup of tea.
AJ: If I’m going to watch a movie about a hired hand with a crisis of conscience, I’ll put Grosse Pointe Blank on again.
Loren: Right time and place, maybe this could be fun. But as my cohorts below state something is amiss with that trailer.
RDT: **reads everyone else’s reactions** **ponders** **shrugs** I liked it. **shrugs again**
Rick: I’m with AJ on this one. Drop in all the pull-quotes you want, but based on the trailer this movie looks obnoxious. No thank you.
Jen: This feels like it could be very funny and the reviews seem positive, but nothing in the trailer made me laugh. Maybe they’re saving the funniest stuff for the movie?
AJ: That movie has 42 positive reviews for a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score and I am baffled. Maybe this is just a bad trailer. Or I am just way too outside of the target audience? I think it looks ridiculous. And not in a good way like when I said Annette Bening is ridiculously talented. Just to be clear.
Loren: Ho. Lee. Shit. That not only has a terrible concept, but it looks awful on top of it all. All the way out.
Rick: Pffft! I mean, come on. You’re not serious, right? Oh…oh, you are? Eeeesh.
Jen: My Lord, that is awful. In so many ways that I don’t really have time to list them here.
AJ: That is just…. fucked up. I think they had a good idea when they started. But where Jordan Peele took a profound and topical issue and made a thought-provoking and sincerely clever thriller, this movie took a sharp left and went into the abyss of inappropriateness and corny punchlines.
Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter Life Crisis
Loren: It feels like Taylor popped up out of nowhere (probably because she’s 25 *cough cough I’m old*) but I dig her comedy. I watched most of this the other night but fell asleep because it was late and again I’m old.
RDT: She literally says “Now come inside my chocolate factory” in reference to sex and doesn’t make a “butt stuff” (I’m an adult) joke. Like, it’s right there. Maybe they saved it for the special? Anyway, sure, I laughed. Also, I have a thing for ponytails.
I’ve revealed too much.
Rick: *shrug* I’m definitely not the mark for stand-up amongst this group, but this would be just fine as laundry-folding entertainment.
Jen: I chuckled at this, it’s hard to laugh at 20-something humor, but I think I can remember what my life was like 5 years ago, so I’ll give it a go.
AJ: Oooh! I have seen Taylor! I didn’t realize she was so big she could get a Netflix special… (Just kidding, ANY comedian can apparently get a Netflix special, amiright?) Anyway, I saw her randomly open for “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness at The Hollywood Improv and she was hilarious. I am excited to watch this. Good for her.
Ugly Delicious Season 2
Loren: Roy Choi is all over Netflix. Good for him.
RDT: I’m more of a Chef Show guy.
Rick: I have zero interest in cooking shows.
Jen: Too many food shows! This one looks… fine.
AJ: Season TWO? What is this show?! I can’t keep up with all of this stuff.
Loren: Iliza told a story on Kimmel the other night that she got the part in this because she did the accent in the audition even though they were explicitly told not to. So there’s that. But yeah she could have toned that down by like 80% and it would be perfect. Anyway, this looks like a fine Sunday afternoon action comedy that we don’t get too many of anymore. I’ll probably give it a go at some point. I mean, I’m not working unless the lady with the accent there gets to make more of her sketch show, so I’ve got plenty of time to kill.
RDT: Honestly, what Jen said, nearly word-for-word.
Rick: Okay, whomever conceived this trailer, you need to lead with the info that comes at the 1:20 mark. Don’t make me wade through three action-comedy beats before you tell me what the movie’s about. As it stands I stopped caring about the movie about 45 seconds in. This reeks of lack of confidence in the material. I may put this on out of boredom, but I’ll probably forget about it in a week.
Jen: OK I LOVED Spenser for Hire as a kid, so I’m likely going to check this out, but guys, the accents. Some comically bad Boston accents in here. Wahlberg sounds for real and everyone else is an SNL sketch. And believe me, I hate complimenting Mark Wahlberg on anything.
AJ: I hate everything about this movie except Winston Duke, whom I loooooove. So I am sorry to say, I will probably give this a watch.
Loren: This one hurts even more after Tuesday/Thursday. Someday we’ll live in a society that will elect the most capable candidate. I just hope it’s within my lifetime.
RDT: I’ll come watch with you, AJ and Jen!
Rick: I stopped watching the trailer after ten seconds. I got too angry about all the freaking ignorant people I share the planet with.
Jen: I’ll bring the Chardonnay, AJ!
AJ: I’m now going to rip off a tweet from a friend…. America: “Of COURSE I want to see a woman as President. Just not her…or her…or her…or her…or her…or her…or her…or her…or her…” I’m hosting a mother-effing viewing party to watch this one, kids. Who wants to come over Sunday night?
Loren: Man, I really don’t care about drug runners. Like at all.
RDT: Too much tv.
Rick: If this were a movie I’d give it a shot, but I have so many other drama series in my various queues that I don’t have time for one where I only have a passing interest.
Jen: Drugs! Guns! Crime! I’m so busy with those things that I don’t have time for this series.
AJ: Ooooh Gabriel Byrne is so very “Keaton” in this character, right??? (That’s a Usual Suspects reference for our younger readers.) It is doubtful I will ever make time for this one.
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