Cast of PICKET FENCES

CBS

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers.

The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some time in the last few years a handful of actors including Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Robert De Niro, 50 Cent, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis all bought a piece of the same New Orleans timeshare. Sure Louisiana has transformed itself into “HollywoodSouth,” but these actors in particular have seemingly made a habit of combing the trades and hopping downtown whenever they catch wind of a feature film production in need of bit players. The Prince is the latest fairly generic action film to rustle up some of these recognizable names for supporting roles as Cusack, Willis and Cent (?) all show up opposite lead Jason Patric in the tale of an ex-assassin who returns to the city in search of his missing daughter. It’s a generic action flick through and through, one you’ve seen before with the likes of Jason Statham or John Cena as headliner, but its appeal rises a bit through the participation of Cusack and Willis. They’re both in odd roles far below their station, roles that could easily be filled by second or third rate “stars,” but their mere presence here makes the film strangely compelling. Which I guess may have been the point all along.

I never read Lois Lowry’s beloved and best-selling novel for young adults, The Giver, but I’ve heard its praises sung by many. Even so, the only trailer I watched for the film made it look like every other YA adaptation of the past few years so I left it on my list of movies I’ll catch “eventually.” But then a bunch of us celebrated a friend’s birthday with brunch and a movie of her choice… and that’s how I came to see the worst YA film since Divergent. (I know that one wasn’t that long ago, but they fade from my memory so damn fast.) The point is the movie sucks the shit from a dead dog’s ass. The world-building and plot are sloppy and crumble under the slightest scrutiny, the characters and cast are dull and the film’s message makes something like Paul Haggis’ Crash look supremely subtle by comparison. My god I just want to talk about the ending and trash it but I won’t because it would be a spoiler but can you really spoil garbage? Ugh.

David E. Kelley’s CBS series Picket Fences has been a favorite of mine for years — I used to have the entire series on VHS recorded off its syndication run — but I haven’t seen it in ages. A recent dip into Hulu’s library of older TV shows revealed that the first two seasons are available so I jumped in again this weekend. You know how they say you can’t go home again? Well, happily, you can go to Rome, WI again as the show is still a ton of fun. It was always at its best when the characters were drawing a hard line on some ethical issue, both because it’s interesting and because they don’t always fall on the “right” side of things. The cast is great, the jokes still work and some of the hot-button plot points are still sadly relevant today.

What did you watch this weekend?


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