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.
The Monuments Men has everything going for it on the surface — a relatively solid director and star in George Clooney, an incredibly strong supporting cast including Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett, and a look at a fascinating slice of history few people know about — but it surprises by being incredibly dull in its execution. The film never feels as important as Clooney and friends believe it to be. Tone is a big part of the problem as the movie tries to be lighthearted and funny even as events suggest a different route.
I also re-watched About Time with my girlfriend who had yet to see it. She’s a fan of the other Rachel McAdams-marries-a-time-traveler-movie (The Time-Traveler’s Wife), and while I’m not nearly as enamored by Richard Curtis’ latest film as many folks are I decided to give it another shot. And once again it did almost nothing for me. I’m pretty much the target audience for movies about father/son relationships, but as with Tim Burton’s Big Fish this film just failed to connect with me. It has its sweet moments, but the complete and utter lack of logic regarding the time travel concept just annoys me. Why would the son not even try to make money? How is it romantic when he basically wins her over by trickery? Why doesn’t he sleep with Margot Robbie?!? (Fine, fine, I actually know the answer to this one.) What happens to the original him in the past when he travels back? How does he get Posey back again?
The abundance of gingers didn’t help obviously.
The French film The Other Life of Richard Kemp, renamed Back in Crime for us more simplistic Americans, was a pleasant surprise as I had never heard of it before. It’s about a detective who catches a case bearing similarities to an unsolved string of murders from early in his career. He gets knocked into a river and when he surfaces he’s back twenty years in time. He’s able to watch as his younger self works the case in vain, and his attempts to help lead to further complications. The movie tackles what could have been a convoluted premise and handles it rather simply with compelling leads, some solid mystery and a few nice twists. Its only real weakness is the killer’s underwhelming reveal, but that’s a minor point in a film that isn’t really about the killer anyway.
Finally, and as usual, I also caught up with the latest episodes of Hannibal and Orphan Black. The former is finally getting close to revisiting that Hannibal Lecter vs Jack Crawford fight that opened the season. It’s already clear that the series isn’t beholden to Thomas Harris’ novels or the existing films, so Crawford could very well eat it here (shortly before Hannibal eats him of course). Even without reaching that moment yet there was still a lot to love here including some very graphic face carving courtesy of Mason Verger.
Orphan Black meanwhile continued to layer on more questions than answers as it hits the second season’s midway point. My full thoughts are here, but I’m still enjoying its mix of sci-fi, intrigue and kick-ass acting from Tatiana Maslany.
What did you watch this weekend?