Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

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.

Whitewash is a slow-burn Canadian thriller about a man (Thomas Haden Church) who takes a drunken drive behind the wheel of a snowplow and ends up hitting and killing another man in the street. He hides the body and heads into the woods to dodge the police, but his attempts to avoid detection conflict with his need to survive the harshly cold winter. The film moves between his struggle in the woods and flashbacks to before the accident where we discover that the man he killed was actually a recent acquaintance. The story is teased out and offers some revelations along the way, but none of them carry the weight the film itself thinks they do. Church offers a stellar lead performance though — a good thing seeing as he’s in every scene — and makes the film more compelling for it.

Let’s just get this over with quickly shall we? I, a vaguely professional film critic, just watched The Godfather for the first time this weekend.

What can I say, the opportunity just never presented itself, and each new Francis Ford Coppola film I watched made me less and less interested in watching another. But when I received the new Blu-ray of The Godfather: Part III recently I figured it would make sense for me to finally see what all the hubbub has been about. I rented parts one and two on Amazon and watched the first, and while this may surprise you… I can confirm that The Godfather is a damn fine film. James Caan’s iconic death scene was a bit of a disappointment, mainly due to Sonny’s utter lack of reflexes, but the film as a whole sucked me in and made me interested in a sub-genre (crime families) that normally does little for me. I hope to watch the two sequels by next weekend.

At the other end of the quality spectrum sits Mr. Jones. No, not the Richard Gere one from the early ’90s… the new horror film about a young couple who move out to the woods only to discover a dark secret involving the art world. It seems one of the neighbors is the legendary Mr. Jones, an “artist” who years ago sent creepy, handmade scarecrows to random people around the world setting the art world ablaze. The couple comes across his house and basement lair, but the truth they discover is far less terrifying than the truth that discovers them!

Anyway. The core idea here is kind of cool, but the execution including inconsistent POV and an incredibly annoying, noisy and ineffective third act make it a dud that frustrates and bores when it should be scaring and engaging.

Finally, I also caught up with the most recent episode of Hannibal, and I have some mixed feelings. Basically, if Will Graham actually did what the episode wants you to think he did then the series has crossed a line that they won’t be able to undo. My belief though is that Will is playing Hannibal Lecter here with a little help from a certain female journalist. I expect we’ll find out soon enough, and odds are it will play a part in the Hannibal/Jack Crawford rumble that opened the season. I’m excited to find out as one of the show’s many joys is watching as it walks a fine line between following the books and carving its own path.

What did you watch this weekend?


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