Before delving into the recent viewings, some of the recent works we’ve checked out include Call of the Wild and Birds of Prey, the theatrical release of The Rhythm Section, and some catch-up recently on A Quiet Place and Cold Pursuit. This past month also had Darius stepping in to provide a review for The Photograph. We’re looking forward to when theaters can open again and get behind supporting them so we can continue to enjoy the big screen experience.
Pulling myself away from the ongoing coverage of the virus hasn’t been easy as I’m an information junkie but I try to make the point in the evenings to find other things to focus on in order to “Ease down” before sleep. This week, I finally got to watch Bad Times at the El Royale. I’ve enjoyed things Drew Goddard has worked on before and with him writing, producing, and directing this, I wanted to see what he’d bring to life. It’s a pretty standard thriller film with a variety of characters coming to an unusual location and shit getting weird. If it had come out 15 years prior it might have stood out more but it really needed more flash or something striking to happen within it. What we do get is solid and it’s an engaging enough feel even though it goes for the more relaxed approach. Cynthia Erivo is a real delight here to watch and I’m always glad to see Chris Hemsworth outside of the roles he’s usually cast in. He’s good as a kind of loose California early 70s hippy-ish cult leader. And Lewis Pullman as Miles the hotel clerk is definitely a great character that gets expanded as the film goes on. The project has its own internal stakes but the lack of that spark and energy, something that a Tarantino or younger Nolan would bring to this just isn’t there.
Escapism was big at one point this week and nothing delights more than Mars Attacks. While some pieces have not aged well it’s a lot of fun to watch for its all-star cast at the time and seeing where some went to in the years since. The project is one that I really wish had done better because it could have easily done some really fun sequels with Tim Burton behind it. I loved the style he used to bring the Martians to life and just the silliness of it all and their dialogue really hit home well. That this property has not been revived as a full CG project under Warners or someone else at this point is a travesty.
And in going in a completely different direction, I also revisited the two Weather Woman films that Right Stuf released ages ago. These films still baffle me and I’m not quite sure of what social context they fit into and what larger thing they’re trying to say. I think I still just watch it for the weirdness and the boobies.
What are you watching this week?