The Hulu Weekend Watchlist
Splash (1984) – Back in the 80's, Tom Hanks was a goofball. Long before he began the second act of his career, racking up 5 Academy Award nominations for Best Actor (and winning twice), he starred in ridiculously charming comedies like this one. Here, Hanks plays a genial nice guy who’s depressed after a break-up and falls in love with a mermaid (played by Daryll Hannah, post-Blade Runner and pre-Kill Bill). There’s a lot of plot that kinds of consists of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial meets, well, The Little Mermaid, but it’s Hanks (with assists from Eugene Levy and the late John Candy) and Hannah who carry the show. (It’s available by adding Showtime to your Hulu account, but you can sign up for a free month, then cancel the add-on, if that’s your bag).
What About Bob? (1991) – Back in the 90's, Bill Murray was a goofball (okay, and in the 70's and 80's, too). Murray also segued into a very respectable dramatic and semi-dramatic acting career, including films like Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers. In What About Bob?, Murray commits just as fully to crafting a character who has to be both infuriatingly obnoxious while also being sort of endearing and likeable, and he does it amazingly well. Murray’s aided in this with a strong straight man performance by Richard Dreyfuss, as Bob’s long-suffering therapist.
48 Hours (1982) – I’ve written about Eddie Murphy’s career trajectory before (Beverly Hills Cop, for the record). While not as consistently great, this is one of the definitive “Buddy Cop” movies, and features peak Murphy as a motor-mouthed convict partnered with a slightly racist cop (Nick Nolte) to catch a bad guy. Murphy’s the entirety of the comedy in the film, but it’s also a great action film (directed by Walter Hill of The Getaway, The Driver, and The Warriors fame, and the first producer credit for Joel Silver – if it’s an action movie post-1982, he probably produced it).
Adventure Time (2010-present) - This short-format animated show focuses on the adventures of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog, voiced by Jeremy Shahada and John DiMaggio, respectively. Inspired by everything from 8-bit video games to Dungeons & Dragons to Mad Max. In the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where the show takes place, a sweet and innocent surface conceals the dark underbelly of danger that Finn and Jake constantly battle in order to restore order and protect their friends. The show is cute and fun for kids, but deep and trippy enough to be enjoyed by adults, too. Mathematical!
Steven Universe (2013-present) - Another short-form animated show from Cartoon Network, Steven Universe is about the titular character, a young boy who lives with three humanoid alien super-heroines called the Crystal Gems. Steven himself is a half-Gem, having inherited some limited powers from his mother, Rose Quartz. Although the show has been praised for its science fiction premise and world-building, along with its explicitly LGBT-friendly themes, I think my favorite part of Steven Universe is that it focuses on a young boy who experiences a wide range of emotions and experiences, which are never shied away from or obfuscated. Steven has a full and rich emotional life, somewhat of a rarity for young male characters, especially in animated shows.
The Venture Brothers (2006-present) - Rounding out my trio of Cartoon Network animated series this week is The Venture Brothers, which is definitely intended for a more adult audience (one of my favorite side characters, for example, is named Molotov Cocktease). Even though the main reference point for the show is a pop culture relic I'm only barely familiar with - Jonny Quest - I still find the show hilarious because of the ridiculous sci-fi and action thriller plots, the excellent writing, and unmatched voice acting from everyone on the cast, but especially Patrick Warburton. In lieu of a trailer, check out the Best of Brock Sampson:
New in Theaters This Week...
[Click the posters for more information]
Steven UnThe Venture Brothers