THE WIRE 3

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.

It’s always a bit silly when the Hollywood machine decides in advance who the next big star will be, mostly because they’re rarely correct in their prognosticating. Sorry Taylor Kitsch. Sorry Alex Pettyfer. Sorry Yahoo Serious. But the odds increase a bit in the actor’s favor when it’s the press singing those praises. Currently it’s Jack O’Connell who’s being sung about, and the reason why is his breathtaking turn in Starred Up. (Although it’d be more of a star-making performance if we could understand more than 3/4 of the words coming out of his fookin mowf.) O’Connell plays a nineteen year old troublemaker transferred from juvie to the big house and a whole new world of pain. He finds trouble with the screws and the inmates, but his biggest concern is his father (Ben Mendelsohn)… who’s incarcerated in the same joint. It’s a harrowing and brutal film all around.

My ongoing first watch-through of The Wire reached a new milestone this weekend as I finished up season three. Surprise! It’s fantastic. It’s a return to the heights of season one as far as I’m concerned too with its story line mix of drugs, politics and the antics of high-ranking police. The writing and performances are all top notch, and it’s back to being a rare show with characters and issues you really and truly care about. And not for nothing, but Major Colvin’s speech about the distinction between soldiering and policing is a sadly prescient bit of dialogue in this post-Ferguson world. I also enjoyed the Omar/Brother Mouzone face-off, for obvious reasons.

Clark Gregg’s directorial debut, Choke Me, is a blackly comic romp highlighted by a deliriously great lead performance by Sam Rockwell. His follow-up behind the camera, Trust Me, doesn’t have that same kind of secret weapon. Gregg takes top billing, but while he’s solid and the story — a cynical look at child actors and their morally bankrupt circus of Hollywood — offers some engaging turns the film falls apart spectacularly in the final ten minutes. Seriously, I don’t even know the last time an otherwise okay movie nose-dived so ridiculously fast and hard.

I haven’t watched The Walking Dead as it airs since the first season as I’ve been binge-watching them on Blu-ray instead, and that trend continued with season four. I seem to recall some Twitter griping about this most recent season, but now that I’m caught up on all sixteen episodes I can’t say as I understand the complaints. Sure the show is mostly a mildly repetitive cycle — movement, zombie attacks, human shenanigans, movement — but I’m not sure what else a series about a zombie apocalypse could do. Besides, this season, the back half in particular, is crazy good. The fate of the two little blond girls? The Glenn/Maggie story line? The scene featuring the attempted rape of everyone’s least favorite son of a sheriff? Hell, I’m still impressed with how wonderfully gory the damn show is each and every episode.

What did you watch this weekend?


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