Thank you, Wikipedia. My friend Marty and I have a common Friday discussion. It always starts the same. “What do you have for the weekend?”, one of us will ask. And then we rattle off our movie plans for the rest of the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sometimes it’s wildly ambitious, and someone will invoke the phrase “I’ve got three or four things I need to get to on my DVR” after already rattling off three or four other films. On other occasions, it’s wide open, ripe for improvisation. “Well, I have these two movies, but I’ve had my eye on a bunch of things from Netflix Instant”. It’s a vast chasm of possibilities. And so with the weekend upon us, here’s what I have standing in the on deck circle for this weekend:
It’s been a very long time since my first and only viewing of Oliver Stone’s biopic about America’s train wreck president. I simply can’t stop rubbernecking at the Nixon era of American history. I last watched it in 1996, barely paid attention at the time, and feel the need to give it a fair chance. The cast is humongous- Anthony Hopkins in the title role, Paul Sorvino as Henry Kissinger, Ed Harris as Howard Hunt, J.T. Walsh, James Woods, E.G. Marshall, Bob Hoskins (as J. Edgar Hoover)… the list goes on and on. It checks in at over three hours long, meaning it’s going to be a bit of a marathon. But as a closet history nerd, this is the type of thing that’s right up my alley.
Once Were Warriors (1994)
I’ve had zero exposure to New Zealand cinema (New Zealish?), and very recently decided to correct the error of my ways. The Netflix plot description makes this sound like it teeters on Bergman territory. And that’s a wonderful territory:
Director Lee Tamahori’s (Along Came a Spider) powerful adaptation of author Alan Duff’s best-selling novel centers on the troubled life of a Maori family crippled by poverty, bigotry, alcoholism and domestic violence. Rena Owen stars as Beth Heke, a beleaguered mother who struggles to care for her three children while battling the demons of her erratic, often violent husband, Jake (Temuera Morrison).
Troubled lives? Poverty? Alcoholism? Bigotry? BRING IT ON! I would have watched this one last weekend, but it got left in the so-called on deck circle, ironically, because I lost a few weekend hours when the baseball game I went to ran into a rain delay, a lot of pitching changes, and ultimately a loss for my St. Louis Cardinals. Now back in the on deck circle, I refuse to let it stay there beyond Saturday.
Four Lions (2010)
I’m in a wonderful place to watch this movie, because I know almost nothing about it. I have no pre-conceived notions. The only thing I’ve heard about it came from my friend Marty, who described it by saying, “Imagine Karl Pilkington directing a movie about suicide bombers”. Um… ok? That sounds wacky and fantastic.
Scream 4 (2011)
There is a decent chance I’ll find my way out to the theater to catch Scream 4. After giving the original Scream the Re-Watchterpiece Theater treatment last week, I tackled Scream 2 and 3. While I thought the third film was dreadful, the second one was a very solid sequel. And the current incarnation is doing reasonably well with Rotten Tomatoes, especially for a horror film. My curiosity is piqued enough that I’ll probably drop a few bucks this weekend to see it on the big screen.
I tend to keep my DVR full of five to ten films at any time, knowing that I may not watch them immediately but I’ll get to them eventually. There are three staring me in the face right now- The Wild One (1953), Batman (1966), and 3:10 to Yuma (1957). It’s really a shame that I’ve never seen The Wild One and my exposure to early Brando is limited. I snagged Batman a few weeks back in the middle of a peyote-style NyQuil haze and I can only imagine that it’ll be campy, fun, and probably crappy in a really enjoyable way. In other words, it should be a lot like the Adam West TV show. As for 3:10 to Yuma, I certainly enjoyed the re-make from 2007 and seeing the original is long overdue.
Now that I’ve taken my turn, what do you have for the weekend?