What Did You Watch This Weekend?

By  · Published on July 7th, 2014

Shout! Factory

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.

Adam Green’s Hatchet is a fun and gory slasher that has fun with the genre while also telling its own goofy little legend, but the sequel is a far lesser creation. The gore is still prevalent but the entertainment is minimal elsewhere. Hatchet III just hit Netflix so I gave it a watch, and unfortunately it’s more of the sequel same. There are some wonderfully bloody effects to enjoy, but the characters and story add nothing of note (aside from a super silly mythology) to the franchise. Danielle Harris is a spunky delight here though, so there’s that.

I haven’t seen Southern Comfort in years, but I’ve always remembered it as an entertaining adventure with a great cast. Memories don’t always hold up on a revisit, but happily this one does. Very much an allegory for the United States’ involvement in Vietnam (even though the writers swear the thought never entered their mind), this is a finely crafted adventure about survival in what amounts to a foreign land. Director Walter Hill delivers the goods, but the greatness here comes in the fantastic pairing of Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe. They both do great work, and it’s a delight seeing Boothe in one of his rare “good guy” roles.

Silent Witness is a new Chinese film that tackles the crime genre from a relatively new direction for Chinese cinema – it’s a courtroom thriller. There are some fun twists and turns to be found, but it’s clear the sub-genre is in its infancy here. Aaron Kwok is the most recognizable face on hand, but all of the leads a re big names doing solid work. The script goes overboard more than once in its zeal to create tension and surprise – it’s honestly ludicrous – but it’s enjoyable enough.

Like Walter Hill’s film above, Steve Miner’s Lake Placid is another film I hadn’t seen in years but recalled loving. Happily, once again, the movie holds up quite well. The smart humor of David E. Kelley’s script pairs well with Miner’s horror sensibilities, and it all comes to life through great practical/CGI effects and a spectacular cast of talented, fun people. Bill Pullman is fantastic, of course, but there’s a particular joy in the interactions between Oliver Platt and Brendan Gleeson. I won’t pretend to understand how the former thinks he can get away with calling the latter “fat,” but he is playing a bit of an arrogant prick so I guess it makes sense.

I also re-watched The Raid 2, and it remains a staggeringly brutal and brilliant action film. Sure there’s plenty to nit-pick with the script and some of the acting, but sweet jesus the fights are gloriously epic.

What did you watch this weekend?

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.